So you screwed up. It happens to the best of us. The problem is that now you know that you have to say you’re sorry. Regardless of what you did, you need to say you’re sorry. You know you were wrong and it’s the right thing to do. You want to be a stand up guy, but you don’t want to come off as a weakling. Here are some tips to remember for giving an apology.
1) Face to Face
Make sure that when you apologize you do it face to face. Don’t send a text message or an email or do it over the phone. When you put yourself next to the person that you’re apologizing to you are showing that you’re not afraid of their reaction. You also are proving that you can stand up, look someone in the eye and say ″Yeah, I made a mistake″. Don’t make a big deal out of this, when you meet up with the person you wronged just stand up, look them in the eye and be as clear as possible.
2) Don’t Beat Around the Bush
Even if it’s sleeping with a friend’s girl, you need to be direct with your apology. Say exactly what you did and don’t dance around it with filler words. Tell the person what you’re sorry for. Your friend doesn’t have to accept your apology and that’s part of why you need to be direct. Just be direct. If nothing else, the person that you wronged will appreciate that you’re not a coward.
3) Tell The Person You are Wrong and it Won’t Happen Again
Make sure that when you are making your apology you tell your friend that you know that you were wrong. Make sure to tell them that you will never do that particular thing again. It’s important to tell your friend that you won’t make that mistake again. Don’t make excuses; it doesn’t matter why you did whatever you did. All that matters is that you will not repeat the same transgression.
4) Do Not Beg For Forgiveness
Your friend is going to need some time. That means that you are going to have to give them space to forgive you. You’re apologizing, not getting forgiveness. They aren’t the same thing. When you are done with apologizing, wait to be forgiven. Tell them you understand if they aren’t ready to forgive you, but you respect them too much to not apologize. If they say they have to think about it then let them. Give them space and do not bother them. Wait a few weeks or even months, depending on what you did.
The trick to apologizing without seeming like you’re groveling is to be direct and forthcoming. Admit that what happened and do not make excuses. Then add the caveat that it will not happen again. That’s it. They do not have to forgive you. Give them time and check in with them in the future. Be aware that some things end friendships forever. It’s best to end the friendship saying that you know you messed up, you’re sorry, and that you respect the person you wronged.