13 Components of an Effective Apology: When A Sorry Isn’t Enough

13 Components of an Effective Apology When A Sorry Isn't Enough pin


10. Commitment:

While you can’t guarantee that you will never commit another transgression in the relationship, you can provide reassurance that you are committed to making your best effort to prevent similar future occurrences and let the other person know that you have learned an important lesson from this experience and tell him or her what it is.

“Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.” ― Mark Matthews

11. Request forgiveness:

If the other person is not yet ready to forgive you, respect his (or her) response and thank him for his honesty. Reassure him that you understand how he may feel the way that he does. Reassure him that he can take all the time that he needs in order to find forgiveness towards you and that you will hang in there until he trusts you as much as you trust yourself to fulfill your promises and intention.


12. Patience:

Your partner may need to express her pain, hurt, or disappointment before she can be fully present to receive your apology. Resist the temptation to “set the record straight” or to “correct” her interpretation of what actually happened. Allowing her to have her say without interrupting her or disagreeing with her (even if you do) will greatly facilitate the healing process.


13. Gratitude:

Thank your partner for being open to restoring trust and express a hope or desire that together the two of you can infuse an even higher level of trust into the relationship as a result of your mutual efforts to deepen your connection.

“An apology is the superglue of life! It can repair just about anything!!” ― Lynn Johnston

When we have confidence that harm caused to the relationship through unskillful choices can be fully healed, we are motivated to use the methods that we know work to keep our relationship in the best possible condition. The belief that the pre-break trust, harmony, and love can be fully restored, and perhaps even become more than it was prior to the breakdown, prompts us to hold a standard of excellence. And then we strive to use every incident that occurs in the partnership to become stronger at the broken places. There is surely some work involved in the process of becoming adept at repair, but the rewards of a close, delightful, trusting relationship are well worth the effort!


Linda and Charlie Bloom are excited to announce the release of their third book, Happily Ever After . . . and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams.

“Love experts Linda and Charlie shine a bright light, busting the most common myths about relationships. Using real-life examples, they skillfully, provide effective strategies and tools to create and grow a deeply loving and fulfilling long-term connection.” –Arielle Ford, author of Turn You Mate into Your Soulmate

When it comes to minor fights, saying sorry and moving on from it is all right. But, it is imperative that you understand, that does not apply to every unpleasant incident. You need to put in some extra effort and give a more sincere apology if you have badly messed things up with your partner. A mere sorry is not going to suffice if you want your partner to forget the painful things you said or did, and go back to the way you both were.

If you want to know more about saying sorry the right way, check out this video:

Written by Linda and Charlie Bloom
Originally appeared in Psychology today

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