When we make major mistakes, they often affect others more than we want to admit. Humbling ourselves and taking intentional time to apologize can be very difficult to do. However, as hard as it is, it’s very important that we do so. In order to effectively apologize for our major failures, here are a few key things that we simply must do to rectify the wrong.
Admit You Were Wrong
One of the most difficult elements in a true apology is admitting that you were wrong. We all want to be right. Admitting failure takes a lot of humility and a letting go of our ego, but it carries a huge amount of weight. Whether is was an intentional or unintentional wrong, we simply must acknowledge it. When we don’t verbally acknowledge that we were wrong, it never brings closer to those we have offended or hurt by our mistake. Although it’s not your responsibility to get them to forgive you, it certainly helps the process when we express this position of humility.
Say, “I’m Sorry”
When we say, “I’m sorry,” we validate the feelings of the individual who is hurt and express that their feelings matter. When we decide to forgo this step, we leave the individual feeling under valued and essentially give them the impression that their end of the relationship is worthless. If you want to truly rectify a wrong, you cannot be concerned only with yourself. And it’s not enough to validate their emotions in your heart, you must also express it verbally.
Additionally, to make this more effective, go ahead and say what it is that you’re sorry for. “I’m sorry for ….” This lets them know that you get it and that makes a world of difference.
Ask for Forgiveness
It’s never ok to assume that you deserve forgiveness. When we don’t ask for forgiveness we are essentially saying that they owe you forgiveness. It’s their choice. By asking for it, you are acknowledging that their choice in the matter counts and it’s also good for them to know that the ball is now in their court. They have the right to make that choice right then, take some time to reflect or decide not to forgive you. This further validates their value in the relationship and is a healthy final step to righting a wrong. Chances are they will forgive you, but rest at ease knowing that you did the right thing even if they choose not to forgive.