A typical apology goes quite like this. "Sorry!" Is there more to it though?
Here's how I think apologies should play out.
Accept & Acknowledge
If I don't accept my error, we're never going to move on. My first step here would be to acknowledge and accept that I've made an error.
- When forced by circumstances, one might grudgingly apologize without actually accepting the error.
- Then there are possibilities where one might accept the mistake but follow it up with a string of excuses.
I like to keep it simple - it may not have been my fault, but it is still my responsibility (even when the situation is not entirely within control). This doesn't put you at a disadvantage, on the contrary it empowers you to move beyond guilt.
This might seem redundant after the first step but a formal apology goes a long way. Now formal doesn't mean staid or stuck up.
In fact, the art of saying sorry requires sincere expression of regret towards the harm caused to the other. How can I ensure that the extent of my apology matches the depth of my regret?
Remember, we're not limited by the spoken word alone. Use hand written letters (you can still scan and send digitally), video, gifts, whatever it takes to get the message across.
An apology is only the beginning of the journey back to where we started. It's imperative to not apologize for the harm caused but also attempt to undo (if possible) or make amends alternatively.
Actions speak louder than words. So as important as the aforementioned eloquent apology is, correction of the caused damage is that much more.
Don't forget that amends are to be made in a way that is acceptable and beneficial to the wronged party, not for one's own convenience.
Ask, not Expect Forgiveness
Now that I've done everything by the playbook, I deserve to be forgiven right? Err.. about that.
Forgiveness is not something to be wrested by making all the right moves.
If you've made it this far, you should know that carrying the feeling of hurt is hurting the person more than the actual hurt itself. So forgiveness is a gift that would be as beneficial for the wronged to let go of, as it would be for you to receive.
However all you can do is ask and wait... Someday maybe 🤞🏽 While you're waiting, here's some reading material on forgiveness.
If you want to play that back on Twitter 👇🏽