The main difference between a mature personality and an infantile one is the ability to admit mistakes, and not only in your head but also out loud. Apologizing is unpleasant, embarrassing, but it is an important communication tool, so you need to know how to use it. It would seem that it’s difficult to mumble: “I did not on purpose, I won’t do that anymore”?
However, we often receive new reproaches from the offended person in response to an apology. Why is it so hard to believe in our remorse and what typical mistakes do we make when trying to apologize?
Mistakes you make when apologizing
The worst thing that can be heard after “sorry” is the conjunction “but.” There are only two letters, and everything that you said before them no longer matters. Even if you used “but” to combine two thoughts, it sounds like you are taking the apology back.
“Sorry, but…” – after that, each of us expects to hear a stream of excuses, accusations, insults – anything but repentance. Saying “I’m sorry” and then “but” is possible only in one case – if it is a horse ride, and after these words, you dramatically jump into the sunset.
Apologize in private if the conflict was public
If you offend a person in public or apologize in private, you show your cowardice. Sometimes, the conflict concerns only you and the opponent, but everyone present at the scandal becomes its involuntary participants.
A public apology shows your humility and respect for the other person. You put your pride in the wrong place to fix the discomfort you caused the person. It’s hard not to appreciate such a gesture.
Don’t let yourself be interrupted
When a person tries to interrupt you in the middle of a repentance tirade, try to listen to him. So you admit that you understand his feelings. After all, it’s not so important to say as many variations of the word “sorry” as possible, as to let the other person express their resentment.
You analyze it
“You react this way because in childhood your parents disliked you, your educators didn’t educate you, and your teacher didn’t teach you enough,” you may be right, but an apology is not the best time to play psychoanalysis. There is no need to dissect his experiences.
An offended person needs to recognize the mistakes in your behavior. Attempts to find the objective reasons for the conflict and convince the opponent that no one is to blame will only exacerbate the misunderstanding.
Using an exit strategy
“Have I offended you? Oh, I’m sorry. What do we have for dinner today?” – such a quick transition from apology to another topic does not in any way hint at a depth of your remorse. There is no single rule about how long a tragic silence should last and when a guilty face can be erased from a face. But it’s important to focus on the apology and not use it as a routine phrase.
Apologize in return
Try to refrain from asking for a return apology, even if you deserve it. This is another attempt to rehabilitate your ego as soon as possible, to translate the topic and change the position from the villain to the victim.
When a person cools down, he will most likely understand that he was wrong. Trying to get an apology from him as soon as possible only increases the tension.
Don’t try to explain what you did
On the one hand, justifications cause a new attack of aggression on the opponent’s part; on the other hand, simply saying “I’m sorry” without explaining anything is also wrong. The act of apology suggests that you did something wrong. The person probably wants to know why you did this. Try to talk about what was happening in your head at that moment, but do not deny your guilt.
There are no magic words that completely nullify your act, but avoiding some mistakes, can make it easier to make peace with a person. As the desire to forgive, the ability to apologize is a sign of strength, so you should not neglect them.