Top 10 ways to apologise effectively


Mending hurtful words and actions needs more than just saying sorry to achieve real reconciliation. These helpful steps to communicate an apology were first suggested by

  1. Determine what went wrong and take responsibility
    You can't apologise effectively if you are too proud to admit that you have done anything wrong.
  2. Say sorry in person (if possible)
    It may be difficult to face the person but it allows you to see how they are feeling or reacting at the moment you are apologising.
  3. Choose the right words
    Choose your words carefully. Even if you feel that it is as much their fault as yours, restrain yourself from justifying your actions and or blaming others.
  4. Choose the right time and place
    Sometimes, it is best to apologise immediately after you have done wrong, sometimes it is better to wait and let the other person calm down first. However, don't wait for too long and try to avoid apologising in public.
  5. Do something nice and thoughtful
    Back up your words with actions by doing something nice for the other person. Buy a gift, give a handmade card or take them out for a meal.
  6. Leave a handwritten letter
    This is an effective way to apologise to someone who is not ready to listen to you in person. Do not make the letter too dramatic and artificial, keep it honest and simple.
  7. Listen to the other person
    Show your willingness to listen to what the other person has to say. Don't interrupt. Ask follow-up questions if you don't understand where they are coming from.
  8. Show gratitude, hug them
    Let the other person know their importance in your life. If you can't express yourself completely by words, just hug them tightly.
  9. Mean everything you say
    Do not apologise half heartedly. Keep your word and your promises if you want to be sincere and gain back the trust of the other person.
  10. Give it some time
    It might take the other person time to forgive you. Do not get impatient if your apology is not accepted immediately. Give the other person some time and space to think. Before leaving, thank the other person for hearing you out and politely request them to consider your apology and give you a call when they are ready.
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