Love, Self

How To Say 'I’m Sorry' In A Way That Actually Means Something

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How To Say 'I’m Sorry' In A Way That Actually MEANS Something

If there are three words that are difficult to express to others, it's the words "I am sorry." Because not everyone truly understands how to apologize, making amends with someone can feel fake.

But it's also important to speak to the other person from a place of sincere intention, not just quickly mumble the words and think that will do it. So often, the apology feels superficial while it could be straight from the heart.

A good apology has three parts, and with that knowledge, here's how to apologize correctly.

RELATED: 5 Ways Apologize To Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend So They Know You Mean It

1. "I'm sorry."

For many of us, saying those words out loud is a challenge that we turn our back on. We "reason" ourselves out of it because our ego makes it to difficult to be humble and take that first step.

The purpose of any relationship is to connect and communicate. When we are hurt, we turn away and try to keep a distance, which makes us feel disconnected.   

If you say "sorry" from a place of respect and humbleness, you are making the first step to connecting again with that person. The purpose of those words is to open the door again to communicate and talk about what happened.

2. "It’s my fault."

From when we were small, our upbringing and the educational system tell us that we are not good enough as we are and they show us what we do "right" or "wrong." We are judged and punished for everything we do "wrong," and equally judged and rewarded for everything we do "right."

The fear of not being good enough and the fear of punishment are the basic sources of our difficulty to admit that we made a mistake. We are afraid of what comes after that because we do not want to be judged or punished.

Making a mistake is okay, and admitting you did this is a sign of strength and respect. There is no reason for others to judge or punish you. We all make mistakes, big and small, and if you have not made a mistake today, you have not lived.

It's also smart to go and find out for yourself why you did this, because you have your own feelings and needs that you need to be aware of. And you probably did not consider what the feelings and needs of the other person were at that time.

Isn’t that what relationships are all about? Learning to know the feelings and needs of others and yourself so that you can understand each other better?

3. "What can I do to make it right?"

When you ask that question, you are connecting with the other person, asking them what they need to feel better again. Even if you can do "nothing" because it's up to the other person to mourn and get over the situation.

But the fact that you ask this question means that you are trying to understand that other person’s needs, and that on its own is a big signal of connection and empathy which are both the cornerstones of healthy relationships. Every human being wants and needs connection and empathy!

Be aware that you can also say "I’m sorry" to yourself. Forgiving yourself and apologizing to yourself is harder than to anyone else. We can be so hard and harsh on ourselves.

Being mild and forgiving to yourself for your mistakes and hurts is a foundation for self-care and self-love, which are the cornerstones of a balanced and meaningful life. Conscious self-care is the base of your relationship with your outer world, never to be underestimated.

RELATED: 10 Powerful Ways To Apologize When You've REALLY Messed Things Up

Danielle Sax is a physiotherapist, author, writer, speaker and self-care expert. 

This article was originally published at Danielle Sax. Reprinted with permission from the author.