Apologizing to someone is never easy, but if done properly, it'll help to make almost any relationship better. Below are steps which you can take when making your apology.
State that you are Remorseful
- Use words like, "I'm sorry", "I regret", "I'd like to apologize"
- Be specific and acknowledge the damage that was done.
- e.g. "I'm sorry for raising my voice at you yesterday, I know that it hurt you deeply."
- Acknowledge the it was your fault, don't make excuses or place blame on others.
- e.g. "It was completely my fault, I should have remained calm and not let me emotions get the best of me."
- Take personal responsibility, use the word, "I".
- Don't blame the person that you're apologizing to.
- Promise that it won't happen again or let them know what you'll do to prevent it from happening again in the future.
- e.g. "I will work on being patient and listen before I speak."
- Only say what you mean; if you're not willing to change, then don't make promises that you'll change, it'll only make things worse over the long-term.
- Offer something to make up for your mistake.
- e.g. "Let me buy you dinner to help make up for any pain that I have caused you."
- Ask for forgiveness, if the offence was great, then you can just allude that you'd like forgiveness in the future.
- e.g. "I hope that you can forgive me in time. You mean a lot to me and I don't want our relationship to suffer because of what I did."
- Don't expect instant forgiveness, sometimes it takes time for people to forgive.
- Let your emotions settle down before apologizing.
- Practice your apology, go over what you'd like to say before saying it.
- Once you are ready, apologize as soon as possible.
- If possible, apologize in person.
- Apologize in private first, then if necessary, apologize publicly.
- Givng a small gift such as flowers or chocolate in at the begining of the the apology proccess, can help the other person be more receptive to your apology, especially when apologizing to a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse.
- Don't just focus on what you have to say, if they has something to say, let the other person speak and listen to them.