How to Say “I’m Sorry”

Posted on by Annette Vasulka

Have you ever heard someone complain, "He or she never says they're sorry!" Maybe one of the reasons is that they don't know how to apologize. Here are some steps from a New York Times article that can provide some direction.

1. Take ownership for what you have done.

2. Don't follow your apology with a rationalization, or try to explain your behavior.

3. Apologize for the offense, not the impact of the offense. "I'm sorry you feel that way" shifts the focus to the reaction rather than the offense and comes off as sincere.

4. Don't expect forgiveness. If appropriate, express the desire for a relationship in the future.

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