How to Make Apologizing Easier
by Meredith Bell
When you make a mistake or cause problems for someone else, you may be tempted to minimize the impact and avoid admitting you’re wrong. Find out why apologizing quickly is a far better approach.
One thing we quickly learn in life is that NO ONE is perfect. While it’s easy to see the flaws and faults in others, we often wear blinders when it comes to our own behavior and its effect on others. Recognize that you’re going to make mistakes, and when you do, sometimes your words and actions will negatively impact those you care about most.
Have you ever:
- Lost your temper and said something in anger that you regret?
- Blamed someone else and then realized you were the one at fault?
- Inconvenienced others by being late, careless, or otherwise self-absorbed?
If you have, you’re not alone. We’ve all failed to be the person we aspire to be at any given moment. The trick is to recognize what you’ve done (or haven’t done) as quickly as possible so you can repair the damage before it becomes deep or permanent.
Saying “I’M SORRY” can make all the difference in strengthening or healing a relationship, yet sometimes these two words stick in your throat.
Why is it so hard to say “I’m sorry” when you’ve said or done something hurtful?
For one thing, we like to be right so it’s painful to admit we’re wrong. With an apology, we acknowledge we’re imperfect. It takes a strong sense of self to make yourself vulnerable to another person.
Or maybe you’re concerned that you’ll be perceived as weak and the other person will take advantage of you in some way.
Here’s the reality though.
Most of the time, the injured party will be relieved to hear you say, “I’m sorry” and quick to forgive you. At a minimum, you’ve opened the door to more meaningful communication where you can discuss what went wrong and what’s needed to repair the relationship and restore good feelings.
You can expend enormous energy trying to justify your behavior or defend what you said. But in the end, if your words or actions created problems for the other person – and that individual is important to you – you need to set your ego aside and apologize as quickly as you can. I guarantee that your relationships will be stronger when you make a sincere apology and follow up with behavior that restores trust and respect.
Related: Regret and Self-Forgiveness: How to Get Over Your Past Mistakes
An entrepreneur since 1982, Meredith Bell is a skilled coach and expert on behavior change. Her software company publishes assessment and development tools for the people side of your business. For more information and the free guide for entrepreneurs, “Ignite Your Business,” visit: http://www.ProStarCoach.com/smallbiz