If you’ve recently upset someone that you know, I’d like to share some ways to show someone you’re sorry, besides just saying it. Saying you’re sorry is simple, painless for most of us, yet doesn’t offer a true, direct sincerity like some of the other ways to show someone you’re sorry. I always say that actions speak louder than words, and these little tips put that theory into truth!
1. Go to Them
For starters, one of the most important ways to show someone you’re sorry is to go directly to them and apologize. Don’t just do it over the phone, or for goodness' sake, through email! Saying you’re sorry is something that should be done in person. It’s a direct way to show someone that no matter how embarrassed you are, you’re truly sorry enough to confront them face to face.
2. Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice
Next off, if you’re really sorry for something you did, don’t commit the same crime again later, or make this the second time you’re apologizing for the same thing. Most people forgive you the first go round, but the second time, they’ll question your honesty. If you’re going to show someone you’re sorry, be sure you do it honestly with them and yourself. Messing up twice for the same reason creates barriers that are hard to ever get back down again.
3. Write It out
If for any reason you really can’t apologize face to face, whether through traveling difficulties, or they refuse to see you, then write them a handwritten letter. Don’t type it, but write it by hand and mail it through snail mail. Why? This is one of the oldest ways to write a letter, and quite possibly, one of the most appreciated ones. When you take the time to not only write a letter that’s truly expressive of what you feel, but also mail it the old fashioned way, it speaks volumes. Also, be sure to write more than just “I’m sorry.” Explain yourself, they deserve it!
4. Give Them Time
Before you do anything, I’d at least give the person a day, or even better, a few days to calm down first. People are more receptive to thorough apologies once they’ve had time to sit with their feelings and let go of a little anger. Anger is always the first reaction when someone gets hurt, so give that time to pass and they might be more apt to listen to you.
5. Send Them a Card
After apologizing either by letter, or face to face, I also suggest sending a card. Visual reminders and words for them to read will be greatly effective and appreciated. Trust me!
6. Make It Right
Whatever you did, either with money, lies, saying something wrong, etc., make amends by making things right. Go out of your way to correct the issue. Actions speak louder than words, and by making it right, you’ll be taking huge steps towards recovering your relationship with them.
7. Offer to do What’s Needed
Offer to do whatever you need to do to get their honesty back. People usually receive this offer well, even though they might not be able to answer it. Letting them know that you’re truly sorry, and letting them know you’ll do whatever it is you need to do to make things right puts everything out on the table.
8. Be 100% Honest
If you’re keeping something from them regarding why they’re upset, or about anything else, now is the time to be 100% honest. Let them know you care about them enough to hurt your own self pride enough to be honest with them about everything.
9. Don’t Throw Blame
No matter what happened, whether your fault or not, don’t throw blame if you messed up in handling the argument. Don’t say “you” when confronting them, and instead say “I” when expressing yourself. People become defensive when you talk accusingly and throw blame around. I know you’ll have to “eat your own crow,” but it’s very important, trust me! It will get you further, and your self pride may be deflated, yet isn’t that worth the relationship?
You should also be prepared that no matter what you do to show someone you’re sorry, there’s a possibility they won’t accept it. Depending on what happened, some things people just aren’t able to forgive. Forgive yourself and then move on, but first do everything you can to apologize the right way and show someone you’re truly sorry. Do you have a tip to show someone you’re sorry?