Page 1 of 2 [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Summer_Twilight
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,607

24 May 2015, 9:28 am

Hi:
I wanted to know what the best way to apologize to someone without being too intrusive or overbearing.



Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 40,451
Location: Stendec

24 May 2015, 9:37 am

1. Describe the event.
2. Admit to doing it.
3. Admit that it was wrong (no excuses!).
4. Say, "I'm sorry".
5. Offer restitution.
6. Ask to be forgiven.
7. Accept the response, no matter what.



SocOfAutism
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 2 Mar 2015
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,537

26 May 2015, 9:20 am

Fnord wrote:
1. Describe the event.
2. Admit to doing it.
3. Admit that it was wrong (no excuses!).
4. Say, "I'm sorry".
5. Offer restitution.
6. Ask to be forgiven.
7. Accept the response, no matter what.


^ I agree



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 63,888
Location: Queens, NYC

27 May 2015, 8:59 am

Just say: "SoWeeee!"

Seriously....why do you feel the need to apologize?



domanite
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 26 Dec 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 25

27 May 2015, 9:21 am

The key thing to remember is that an apology is "about" the other person, not you. So you go, you apologize, and then just listen and agree. If you find yourself explaining anything, you're doing it wrong - it probably sounds like you're making excuses.

That's apology 101. If its someone you are close to, or know well, you can try some other techniques; here are some I've used with my wife:

If the discussion goes in an intellectual direction instead of emotional, then it can be useful to do some explaining, of your perspective. I remember that it used to make me angry when my wife would say "here's the deal: " and then describe a course of action for me. I felt like she was just telling me what to do. Then after several years, we talked it through, and it turns out she actually meant it in the sense of "here's a possible deal we can make between us, if you want to accept it." In that case, I explained what I was hearing, and she explained what she meant to say, and it was very useful.

Sometimes a person just wants or needs to fight. (I mean verbally - if you get physical abuse, leave.) If its something I also feel strongly about, I'll argue. It can be emotionally draining, but it lets us both get anger, irritation, and frustration out in the open, which often helps make it more manageable.



Kiriae
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,343
Location: Kraków, Poland

27 May 2015, 10:53 am

From my experience, at least when I want to apologize to someone really close to me (a parent, grandparent, boyfriend) just saying "I'm sorry" and giving them a hug works the best. But it might be just my thing - I rarely hug them(I don't understand the meaning of hugs) so they appreciate it when I do and they can't help but instantly get in a better mood. It's some kind of shock therapy to them, lol.

Describing the situation doesn't seem to help. We end up arguing before I am able to get to "I know I did bad and I'm sorry". Everything ends up in "You did it on purpose!" and "You never do what you are supposed to do.". No logical discussions when they are emotional.



elkclan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 699

30 May 2015, 5:12 am

Fnord is almost right when he says:

Quote:
1. Describe the event.
2. Admit to doing it.
3. Admit that it was wrong (no excuses!).
4. Say, "I'm sorry".
5. Offer restitution.
6. Ask to be forgiven.
7. Accept the response, no matter what.


Or rather - he's TOO right.

for some people they want steps 1-7. Others, not so much, when someone asks for forgiveness sometimes they can be a little too insistent and I feel like it's a real intrusion to be asked for forgiveness. My MIL once did something really horrible to me and she apologised and said "do you forgive me?" I felt like it was too soon, I needed to process it. As it happens, I still haven't forgiven her, but I do acknowledge that she realised she'd crossed a really big line. I don't forgive unless people change their behaviour - she still does the same things just at a lesser intensity!

Also you don't always need to offer restitution. sometimes it's not possible. However, if you can make things right then you should and depending on the situation you can ask if there's something you can do to put things right. But they may not know what that is straight away. If you broke something, offer to fix it. If you maligned someone to someone else, offer to go that person and tell them you were wrong. But sometimes you've just said something really awful to someone or hurt their feelings - only time and not doing it again will 'make up for it' - and acknowledging their hurt actually goes some way to restitution.

If you get mad if someone doesn't seem to accept your apology or doesn't want to forgive you, then it sort of erases your apology. (See my MIL situation above, I didn't feel I OWED her forgiveness.) So Fnord is absolutely right that you need to accept their response. Some people don't accept apologies very gracefully and that sucks. But give them time, if they're hurt. Making the apology can be a big help to them feeling better.



Adamantium
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Age: 1019
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,998
Location: Erehwon

31 May 2015, 9:10 am

elkclan wrote:
Fnord is almost right when he says:

Quote:
1. Describe the event.
2. Admit to doing it.
3. Admit that it was wrong (no excuses!).
4. Say, "I'm sorry".
5. Offer restitution.
6. Ask to be forgiven.
7. Accept the response, no matter what.


... when someone asks for forgiveness sometimes they can be a little too insistent and I feel like it's a real intrusion to be asked for forgiveness.


That's demanding forgiveness and is not at all the same thing as asking. Worse, the way your MIL did it, she didn't even ask for forgiveness, she apologized and then asked "do you forgive me?" --She asked if you had internally made the decision to forgive with the coercive implication that you SHOULD.

That is a very different thing than saying "Please forgive me."

I think Fnord's steps are right, with the recognition that restitution isn't always possible or appropriate and forgiveness is also not always appropriate or possible--sometimes the best you can hope for is to have acknowledged a wrong.



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 63,888
Location: Queens, NYC

31 May 2015, 9:52 am

Usually, for me, a mere acknowledgement that a person made a mistake is sufficient. I don't like it when people start apologizing profusely to me. I like to move on--people make mistakes, I make mistakes.

I rarely bare grudges--unless the other person brings up whatever event created the grudge all the time. Just move on...please!

As for "restitution," I don't ask for that.



Waterfalls
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jun 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,087

31 May 2015, 4:57 pm

I'm so sorry i____. That was unfair/unkind/bothered you because___ and I will do/not do/try____so that it does not happen again/so that I do not do that to you as much anymore.

An apology, an explanation you know how what you did had a negative impact, and a promise for change is often helpful, too.



cathylynn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,301
Location: northeast US

31 May 2015, 5:10 pm

i'm sorry i hurt you. don't go into detail because you can force them to relive it and that's hurtful.



Adamantium
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Age: 1019
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,998
Location: Erehwon

01 Jun 2015, 8:16 am

cathylynn wrote:
i'm sorry i hurt you. don't go into detail because you can force them to relive it and that's hurtful.


This along with Kraftie's comment about keeping it simple make me think that a key thing is always context.

Some situations call for something very quick and restitution is irrelevant, (e.g., I am sorry I rejected your idea in the meeting) and others call for a full acknowledgment of the wrong that was done and restitution (e.g., I am sorry I dented the side panel of your car, please let me pay for the repair)



Incendax
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 5 Aug 2011
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 174

10 Jun 2015, 10:56 pm

Fnord wrote:
1. Describe the event.
2. Admit to doing it.
3. Admit that it was wrong (no excuses!).
4. Say, "I'm sorry".
5. Offer restitution.
6. Ask to be forgiven.
7. Accept the response, no matter what.
This is excellent, but throw out Step 6. That exists only for your benefit and should not be included in the apology. Someone will forgive you or not at the pace they feel most comfortable.

Also, absolutely avoid saying "I'm sorry, but (reason)". Reason is mostly for your benefit, and an effort to make the other person see your point of view. The only times a reason should be used is if the other person directly asks for it, or it is something sufficiently big like, "I'm sorry for not showing up to the party, but my wife went into labor."



slave
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Feb 2012
Age: 106
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,416
Location: Dystopia Planetia

11 Jun 2015, 6:31 pm

Summer_Twilight wrote:
Hi:
I wanted to know what the best way to apologize to someone without being too intrusive or overbearing.


Buy women a really big diamond.
Buy men a Ferrari.


_________________
Since the birth of civilization, small sets of dominant individuals have controlled the numerical majority. Even a cursory reading of world history will substantiate this claim. Kings, Pharaohs, Emperors, Sultans, Czars, and Dictators have imposed their will upon their subjects. This pattern has not changed over the millennia and it remains so, today. Our Masters rule over every nation and no one can defy them. They will attain Absolute Power as we reach the Singularity. All those who oppose their will, will be destroyed. Given the obvious futility, I will not resist. 2+2=5.


elkclan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 699

09 Jul 2015, 1:45 am

@Incendax -

don't necessarily throw out step 6 - some people find that step really valuable and like to be asked for forgiveness.

I don't. But that's ME personally. And I think there are some situations where that's appropriate. If you hurt someone deeply in an emotional way then you can ask to work toward forgiveness.

Steps 1-4 and 7 - ALWAYS. (Step 1 describe it in just enough detail so that they know you know what you're apologising for!)
Steps 5, 6 - sometimes, when appropriate, but that will be hard to know when it's appropriate.