Sunday, January 7

How to give a sincere apology

If you are staying with one of two of your family members, then there are chances that they must have offended you, or you must have offended them. When you are stressed or angry, it is very unlikely that you will say words that are unkind and lash out at someone you care about. We all make thoughtless mistakes.

The art of a heartfelt apology

Not sure if you should apologize?

It is important that you apologize to someone you have offended or injured, even if you don't think your actions or words were particularly offensive or if you think the other person was at fault. "You have to let go of concerns about right and wrong and try instead to understand the other person's experience in order to preserve or re-establish connections with other people," says Dr. Ronald Siegel, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. This skill is fundamental to emotional intelligence, which is the foundation of all positive, fruitful relationships.

How do you genuinely apologize?

For an apology to be effective, it has to be genuine. Making an accepted and successful apology acknowledges responsibility by accepting that your actions caused the other person pain that was not good. You want to express to yourself that you truly feel sorry and care about the person who was hurt. Make amends immediately or later, but do not make promises you cannot keep.

According to the late psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Lazare, who is an apology expert and former chancellor and dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a good apology has to contain these four elements:

Acknowledge the offense you have committed. Take responsibility for the offense, no matter whether it was physical or psychological harm, and assert that your behavior was not acceptable. Avoid making an apology in a way that downplays the pain or raises doubts about whether the victim was truly harmed, as well as using evasive or ambiguous language.
Explain what happened. Explain what happened without excusing it. In fact, sometimes the best strategy is to say that there is no excuse for what you have done.
Express remorse and be real about it. If you feel sorry or ashamed about your actions and errors, this is all part of expressing how remorseful you are.
Offer to make amends if you can. A good example is if you destroy someone's property, repair it, or replace it.

Example of a heartfelt apology

I am sorry for my outburst last night. Even if I've been working under a lot of stress, my actions are not justified or acceptable. I love you, and I promise not to vent my frustrations on you again.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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