We’re human, so we mess up from time to time. Apologies can set things back on the right course, but only if they’re well-communicated. Psychologist and author Guy Winch breaks down the most important ingredients of a good apology so you can make sure you offer an effective one.
Photo by butupa
Here are the five points to cover:
1. A clear ‘I’m sorry’ statement.
2. An expression of regret for what happened.
3. An acknowledgement that social norms or expectations were violated.
4. An empathy statement acknowledging the full impact of our actions on the other person.
5. A request for forgiveness.
This may seem like a lot, and sometimes we don’t want to apologise because it hurts our pride, but if you’re going to do it you might as well give it your best shot. Sometimes we feel reluctant to apologise and do it quickly, but that doesn’t really soothe any of the pain caused or feel genuine. If you’re sorry, mean it. If you skip over the difficult acknowledgements and honest remorse or neglect to make your statement clear, you may as well not apologise at all.