If you struggle with sincerely apologizing to a friend, family member or partner, diving into the groundwork of saying you’re sorry is a great place to start. Apologizing and admitting a mistake shows emotional intelligence which elicits productive responses and relationships amongst two people.

Not sure if you should apologize? Think about how your actions or words make others feel. On the contrary, if you don’t understand why you’re apologizing for something, don’t give a pity apology that will end in manipulation of your feelings or the other person’s. Be true and honest with your thoughts as you evaluate how and when to apologize to someone.


The first step to realizing if you should apologize is to acknowledge the mistake. By taking responsibility for your actions, you are able to begin understanding why you may have hurt someone. Don’t use language that minimizes the offense or leaves the person wondering if it was heartfelt or not. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see if what you said or did was hurtful. This gives a lot of perspective when it comes to understanding the other side.


Try your best to explain what happened in a way that doesn’t elicit an excuse. The best way to apologize is to know that the offense was inexcusable. This way the other person knows you’re not trying to defend yourself as you’re apologizing.


However you’re feeling, whether it’s remorse, embarrassment, shame or humiliation, express it. Keeping those feelings bottled up may leave the other person feeling confused. Expressing your feelings while apologizing opens up the idea that you’re hurting too, and wishing to reconcile.

Make Amends

If you want to make amends, do what you can to make that happen. The other person wants you to promise to be more sensitive in the future and show your loyalty and friendship. Take action to make the situation right by using your words to express that you care.


When apologizing to someone, it’s important to use your words effectively. Short, vague and passive language is not how you should approach an apologetic conversation. Instead, use “I feel” statements to get your point across. Moreover, end with a question of how you could avoid the problem in the future, showing how you want to remedy the error in conversation.

James 5:16 tells us “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Jesus is forgiving and all you have to do is ask; he already paid the price for your sins. When you face apologizing or accepting an apology, remember Jesus’ ability to forgive and carry that with you throughout your conversation and your life.

Never ruin an apology with an excuse.

- Benjamin Franklin

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