How to apologise: A Psychologist’s complete guide

Mistakes are common in life. We often hurt people in life. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, if our behavior hurts another person’s feelings, it is a fault on our part no matter what. When we get angry and grumpy, we can end up hurting others or saying things we don’t mean, resulting in a rift in a relationship. Although it’s common in life to hurt people, it’s our way of fixing them that shows what the relationship means to us. In one of her recent Instagram posts, psychologist Nicole LePera apologized, writing, “All of our lives we hurt people. That’s what people do. We get grumpy. We switch off. We say things we regret. We are insensitive. That’s why it’s so important to understand what repair means in relationships. Repair is the act of understanding your influence on someone you love. Taking ownership and being responsible makes us a safe person.”

Nicole further added that ego and apologies can clash head-on most of the time. “We do this by apologizing. Many of us (like me) grew up in families where we never saw healthy repair. There were no excuses. Or they were simply used to “get out of trouble” with someone. Our ego doesn’t like to apologize. It clings to being right. When we transcend the ego, we can actually develop emotional intimacy,” she added.

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Nicole also wrote down a complete guide on how to say a heartfelt apology; they are:

be direct: Instead of beating the bush, we should state directly why we want to apologize. Be it an action of ours or our words, we should be clear and direct about it.

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Recognize: The impact of our actions from the other person’s perspective can be enormous. We should learn to appreciate the impact that we are having on someone else.

Specify the next action: There is no greater excuse than one that teaches you to change your attitude about the cause. While apologizing, you should also mention how you plan to work on a similar situation with more grace next time.

Communicate: The other person may not be able to communicate after we hurt them. It’s best to give them the time they need and then apologize.

Help: Affirmations and love are the means to heal the other person from the effects of the action.

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