How to Say “I’m Sorry”

Rolling Water Group

An apology is one of the strongest forms of human communication. When conveyed professionally, sincerely, and honestly, apologizing is the most important thing to know how to do as a person. Often, people give spineless versions of an apology because they fail to recognize that they are wrong and that their actions or words hurt others. There is the classic, “I’m sorry you feel that way” and the “sorry but--”.  Beating around the bush when apologizing, or failing to recognize your fault at all, does not allow you to be sincere and empathize with the other person’s feelings. It is important to put yourself in their shoes and see how they may be offended by what you did or said. Even though you may not always agree with them, you must see the situation from their point of view to thoroughly understand the situation. The sincerity of your apology is the main factor that will go a long way.

To recite a sincere apology, you must say the words “I’m sorry”. This sounds so simple, yet many people are afraid of saying those words and try to apologize without saying them. The truth is you simply cannot create an apology without using those words; they are not scary words. It is important to also give a small explanation as to explain your actions. It gives the listener a bit of feedback on your perspective of the situation. Simplicity is best when it comes to explanations. A simple sentence that outlines why you did it or how you may have felt creates a small form of peace. A principle for an apology is detailing solutions on how you will address and mend the problem. This is a principle in an apology because it allows the person to know that you really want to work hard repairing the problem. People want to know that you are regretful about what you have done and that you have heard their perspectives.

If you’ve apologized, quickly stated your reasoning, and offered up well-thought-out solutions, it’s time to drop it. If you continue to dwell on the problem, it will never get resolved. The person you’ve apologized to may still be hurt, but you must stick to your word and restate your apology. Understand that they are hurting, but do not bring it back up. Empathize and apologize. The only thing left to do is to drop it and begin to repair the problem at hand. Otherwise, a whole list of arguments can spark if it keeps getting brought up. It is incredibly difficult to please everyone but empathizing and forming a valid apology with an attainable solution should soften the blow for most people.

Celebrities are often caught in sticky situations in which they are demanded an apology by fans. In this day and age, celebrities can get “canceled” for lots of things. With this “cancel” culture, many celebrities have had to apologize and often make situations worse by giving half apologies or refusing to understand that they were wrong. A great example of a celebrity apology is the one of Evangeline Lilly when she had many angry fans complaining about how she blatantly ignored the stay-at-home order in the 2020 quarantine. When fans found out that she had taken her children to gymnastics camp and said she would continue to participate in her normal schedule, people were angry that she did not follow the COVID-19 guidelines. After receiving lots of backlash from fans, she addressed the situation in a public apology. In this apology, she stated her sincerity and regret for the actions that she had taken. She addressed how she would fix the problem in the future by not going out and she also briefly explained why she did these things at that specific moment in time.

Having empathy and showing concern make for a great apology. Saying you are sorry is a valuable quality that not everyone owns. The ability to reflect sincerity in both actions and relationships will set a person apart.

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