It’s a tough thing to do to admit one is wrong or has offended someone. Apologizing is one of these human actions that is like pulling teeth to do. Entire wars have been waged because someone couldn’t apologize. Some wars ended because someone took enough responsibility and courage to apologize. All in all, there are several ways to apologize and each situation is a case by case basis.
1.) Just say you’re sorry
As miserable as it may seem just saying sorry can go a long way. Perhaps the person or persons you’ve offended aren’t receptive at first so you’ll have to exercise caution and candor. Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep a stiff upper lip and apologize. Just don’t say you’re sorry and walk. You need to make sure they know what you’re saying you’re sorry for. If for example you accidentally ran over your neighbor’s lawn gnome. Well, your apology should not only include the fact you’re apologizing for breaching their property line but also that you’ve damaged their lawn gnome. That shows that you’re acknowledging not only their sovereignty over their property but also that you respect their personal property. That should break the ice and then reparations can be started.
2.) Bring a gift
Nothing says apologize like a good bottle of wine, chocolates, beer, food. It’s the kind of gift that people can appreciate and will remember. Sure you’ve probably done something silly like thrown a snowball that scared their dog or your pet did some damage to your neighbor’s property. Nothing serious but something a good gift can cover. For those co-workers or teachers, fellow students, you know a gift can change things for the better right away. This works with everyone but with family you have to do more. Family should be the first to forgive but they can be a royal pain sometimes. Food and drink are the best. If the offended person is a child, then toys and video games will always win the day. Comfort items are a big hit as gifts. With women they like emotional items. Men like things they can use. Think before gifting and you’ll come out on top.
3.) Offer assistance
Just about everyone has something they need to do around the house. From cleaning the garage to the attic, landscaping, painting, repair, offering to do some of those chores will brighten up an offended party. Be prepared to dig in and do the best job you can and not do something half baked. You need to be sincere and even if it comes to watching their dogs or walking them, mowing the lawn and other tough chores. People appreciate the extra effort and it’s a way of showing you mean it. Lifting that burden is a great way to mend things up and start anew. Say you’ve accidentally knocked over that store display. Sure they’re insured but you’ve got the manager and workers sore at you. Offer to help out and watch things fizzle away.
4.) Give money
No one is going to refuse an offering of money as a token of apologizing except someone who just won’t take any kind of apology whatsoever. It doesn’t have to be a big chunk of change but something significant like $20 or $50, something that they can use for gas or lunch or dinner. It shows that you’re willing to bridge the gap and with a big smile and apology it should cut through the past hostility and open doors to the future.
5.) Make the apology public
Without embarrassing the person, if it’s someone at the office you’ve offended or a family member or member of any group you’re in, take the time to send a message or stand up and announce that you wish to apologize for whatever transgression you’ve committed. It will show everyone that you’re big enough to swallow your pride and makes the offended person stand out as someone to be reckoned with. For example if you spilled coffee on the desk of a co-worker and didn’t do irreparable damage, then at the next meeting just stand up and apologize and take responsibility. It will show your boss that you’ve learned your lesson and that all is forgiven. It teaches others to be cautious as well.
6.) Social media apology.
If you’re on someone’s social media lines like Facebook, then posting an apology on their timeline or as a comment can be a big step forward. Make sure you clearly explain why and what you’re apologizing for. It removes the pressure and opens the way for a better relationship. Others will see your apology and might comment. You might want to look for a nice graphic of a smiling kitten or something the person likes or even make your own apology graphic. People might share it and it makes the offended party popular.
Making amends is something that takes finesses and courage as mentioned earlier. One has to own up tot the fact that first one has offended someone or a group and that one is willing to take responsibility whether it was intended or not. We all make mistakes and we learn from our transgressions. It’s about having the where-with-all to rise up and notice this and take action. If the offense wasn’t intended then an apology that explains that one didn’t mean to offend works just as well. Bumping into things, spilling things, saying things, can all lead to a situation where an apology isn’t mandatory but should be issued as a way to keep the peace. Some people get offended at the slightest of things and often regarding matters no one else would. To stem the tide of turmoil it’s best to just acknowledge it when you’ve become aware of it and not get into an argument. Apologize and go on with your life. It will be more rewarding for all around.