3 Ways To Completely Ruin A Good Apology

Whether we call it a “Panera, Panhandle, Pandora, or a Pandemic” one thing many of us can attest to is how stressful it’s been and caused us to not be our best selves at times. We are rightfully on edge, some days more than others, and the smallest things may have caused you to go off on someone in a way you didn’t intend.


Now you have to apologize and you should want to do it right. We all know when an “I’m sorry” isn’t sincere. So don’t make matters worse by adding insult to the injury. Blaming the person, giving excuses, or minimizing what you did can completely ruin a good apology which is what you don’t want to happen.


Unfortunately, many of us make the wrong statement out the gate and completely undermine the acknowledgment of fault. You have to own your transgression completely because apologizing is about making the other person feel better about what you did. Not making yourself comfortable with it.


If you want to avoid a complete flop, here are a few statements to steer clear of.


#1 Not Accepting Blame For Your Actions


Saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” If you are trying to pour salt in a wound, this statement is the way to do it. Why doesn’t this suffice? There is zero accountability here. You are apologizing to the person for how they feel, not how you made them feel. So what’s a better way to say it? “I’m sorry I made you feel that way.” 


That’s it. That’s the apology. You can go into detail about what you did to make it more authentic and show ownership for how you hurt them here too.  But never make them feel like they are taking it the wrong way, even if they are. Because you did it to them, they didn’t do it to themselves. Find the right time to explain how it may have been misconstrued after you’ve made amends for what you did first.

#2 Justifying Your Behavior


Saying, “I’m sorry for hurting you, but….” Consider your foot to be all the way in your mouth if you use this tactic. Adding the “but” kills it every time because it then becomes about you before you’ve even apologized. You haven’t recognized what you’ve done wrong here. You have though, done a good job of negating the apology and justifying what you did instead. News flash sis, that ain’t what they want to hear!


An example of a better way to do this would be, “I’m sorry I didn’t come to your party, I understand why that was hurtful and why you felt left out.” And if you’ve offended someone because they did it to you first, don’t bring it up here. Wait until you see their relief, then find an appropriate, non-attacking way to reveal your motives so the both of you can heal each other’s wounds together.


#3 Not Taking The Situation Serious


Having no remorse at all is also a sure-fire way to screw up receiving forgiveness. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t mean to hurt someone, you have to learn how to accept that you did. Your intention isn’t the determining factor of if an apology is due. We all have inner traumas that we’re healing from and triggers that set them off. If you see you’ve touched a sensitive area for someone, you owe them the proper recognition they deserve to move past it.


Atonements are not always easy. It shows a lot of growth when you can tell someone you are sorry, even if it was accidental or you were hurt too. But being the bigger person doesn’t just show your maturity, it reflects in the blessings you get from the universe. So the next time you realize you’ve caused someone pain, handle it the only way we know-how, the civil way.


Candace Blair's byline 

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