Making mistakes is part of life. We must also accept our responsibility for them. Although it can be uncomfortable and difficult to apologize, the reward of forgiveness is well worth the discomfort. It is possible to learn forgiveness and apologize, even though it might not be easy for most people.
We surveyed 500 people to find out how long it takes to apologize and 500 more about when an apology is most effective. Then we created a six-step process that will help you make amends.
Six Steps to Say Sorry
Step 1 – Apologize promptly – The longer that you delay in apologizing, the worse the situation will get. Respondents said that it is more effective to apologize quickly after an incident occurs.
Step 2 – Recall the situation. This will ensure that you and the person you're apologizing to are on the right page. It also shows empathy and understanding of their emotions.
Step 3 – Recognize the harm you caused – This validates their feelings. Avoid getting defensive! This is a crucial step towards rebuilding your relationships.
Step 4 – Take responsibility for any damage caused. This is the most important part. Accept responsibility for your actions and say "I am sorry". Make sure you explain why you aren't doing it again and what you did wrong. Your apology will be authentic and meaningful if you express your regret.
Step 5 – Ask for forgiveness Offering some form of repartee can be a good idea.
Step 6 – Promise it won't happen anymore – Learn from your mistakes and try not to make them again in the future. This will show that you can admit your mistakes.
The Best Apologies
Apologies that are timely and effective
No surprise, the majority of respondents thought that the best time to apologize was within one day of the incident. The quicker you can resolve any hurt feelings, the better.
Older people value prompt apologies.
The older groups emphasized the importance of prompt apologies. Respondents aged 35-plus felt that prompt apologies were important. Younger people were more likely to wait several days before they received an apology.
Older groups are quick to apologize
Older people were more open to apologizing promptly.
Urban dwellers are more likely to be sorry
Suburban communities are great at quickly saying sorry. Nearly 78% said they had apologized within one day. Only 64% of those who live in cities did so in less than a day.
Take your Apology to the Next Level
Now that you are aware of what to apologize for, there are several ways you can put your apology into practice. To ensure you are calm and convey your sincerity, you can either write an apology or say it in person. These are some cute ideas to accompany your apology. These lighthearted options are only recommended if the offense was not too serious.
On a pizza with pepperoni, spell "Sorry!"
Write a silly poem.
Make a cake.
Make a silly gesture of apology, such as a stick figure.
You can leave small notes for them with your reasons.
Attach a note stating "Sorry for driving You nuts!" to a package of their favorite nuts.
Change their desktop background to an adorable apology photo
A sweet gift can be the perfect addition to an apology. To make your peace offering stand out, attach a note, poem, or sweet treat to a bouquet of beautiful flowers from Rose Bay florist. Bright flowers such as sunflowers and Gerber daisies can brighten their day and bring a smile to their faces.