Apologies can be very awkward. Handling an apology gently and thoughtfully can ease your discomfort and encourage the other party to accept your apology so that you can both move forward positively. When apologizing remember to:
- Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush. Get right to the point. Say “I’m sorry” upfront.
- Keep eye contact. Looking the other person directly in the eyes shows that you are being genuine and honest.
- Use a soft and steady voice that shows respect and remorse. It also communicates that you are there to create peace versus conflict.
- Don’t be defensive or make excuses. Sure, there are reasons that caused you to do what you did. Regardless, what you did was wrong, so those reasons aren’t relevant. Bringing them up will sound as if you’re justifying or minimizing the wrongdoing.
- Keep it short. If the other party wants to rehash the entire situation, which may bring up bad feelings for both of you, politely interrupt and say “This is why I’m apologizing. I’m sorry. Let’s put this behind us.”
Do you have a specific situation that requires you to make an apology? Would you like assistance with how to carry out the apology? We would love to help you! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your situation, and we’ll email you back with advice on how to handle this apology.
Note: FMPR reserves the right to respond or not respond to any request. FMPR cannot be held liable for the outcome of any advice given by its employees, consultants, or contractors.