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Finding The Right Words To Say: The Art Of Apologizing

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

While I don’t know many, I do know a few couples that rarely if ever argue. Heck, they hardly ever disagree and couplehood is bliss. Then there are those of us, who despite are unending love and respect for our mates, associate couplehood with being one, but trying to figure out which one. And, it’s often “plagued” by some serious “debates” (we’ll call it that since this is a family site) and a host of head-shaking and eye rolls.

But, according to experts, its these “minor” differences that actually make the relationship healthy, allowing each of us to express ourselves, get our feelings out an move on. And, part of that moving on, is being able to make up…and that means one party (or both) apologizing and forgiving.

And, according to experts, just like there’s a right way to “fight”, there are also rules for asking for forgiveness.

The Right Time To Apologize:

Is there a right time? Perhaps, but maybe the right time for you is NOT the appropriate moment for the person you’ve wronged. Still, experts suggest taking the initiative once you realize you’ve been hurtful, offensive, or in the wrong.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, experts suggest that when we are in the wrong, we often seek to protect ourselves and our fragile egos by remaining silent. And often our pride and our silence only serve to make matters worse.

However, professionals point out proceeding with caution, especially if you really didn’t do anything wrong, but are simply looking to procure peace. They note that while you may succeed in changing the atmosphere, you are avoiding real issues that weaken the meaningfulness of apologies and issues that may be at the core of your relationship.

Apology Strategies:

1. Take Responsibility: As awkward as you may feel, experts note that it’s imperative that you fully outline what you did wrong and why your feel it was wrong. Remember violating you own code of ethics is just as bad as violating those of someone else, and you still need to apologize.

2. Offer an explanation: Even if you simply state that you lost your cool, it’s best to give a truthful reason as to why you reacted or overreacted the way you did. Also, understanding your own motivation will help you change behaviours and patterns. Also, make sure to leave excuses out of the explanation, they only cloud your better judgment and stand in the way of a proper change of heart and reconciliation.

3. Say what you mean and mean what you say: Be honest about your regret or remorse and don’t just apologize for the sake of “getting it over with”. True remorse will be followed by actions reflecting it, false remorse won’t, and your partner “will” be able to tell. If you’re not truly sorry, don’t say you are, the truth will eventually rear its ugly head causing your more and often far greater problems.

4. Get yourself on the road to recovery: Knowing what you did wrong and why is different from taking action to repair the damage. After the “I’m Sorrys” you need to get honest and courageous and humble yourself to the other person, do your part, without any immediate expectations and wait for him or her to come around in his or her own time, depending on how well you do on correcting and improving your ways.

Making Up:

Once you apologize you should feel good about yourself, and the other person should also feel better about the situation. If the other person is not quite where you are, give him or her time and space, but continue to do your part and keep working on it. Remember, the key here is to continually reassure the other party that you were serious and that they can take your apology seriously.

Long Island Relationship Articles > Finding The Right Words To Say: The Art Of Apologizing

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