There are some things you can guarantee in life, like death, taxes and that your partner at some point in your relationship will hurt you. One of the ways we can ensure that we come back from disappointment and hurt feelings in your relationship is to learn how to make an effective heartfelt apology.
Repairing hurts and upsets as quickly and lovingly as possible is one of the keys to a long-lasting and connected relationship the five steps to effective apologizing are laid out as follows:
1. Empathise with your partner’s position and feelings first. We call this “connection before Connection. It’s important to be able to truly get that your partner is hurt even if you did not mean to hurt them.
2. Acknowledging – Whether you have hurt your partner willingly or unwillingly, you can begin an effective apology by taking responsibility and acknowledging the relevant offence. Demonstrate that you recognize your responsibility by owning your mistake or hurtful behaviour. For example, “I messed up” or “I am at fault. Acknowledge that you have hurt your beloved, as well as the nature of the transgression itself.
3. Express your remorse – Naturally, we feel regret and remorse amongst other feelings when we hurt our partner. Expressing the emotions that you feel – such as humiliation, shame, embarrassment, and so forth – can help your partner understand your recognition of the mistake.
Doing this after you have acknowledged your part in the hurt is important. An apology should not become about your feelings and shifting the focus to you will be even more hurtful to your partner.
For example, “I feel bad about what happened. For days I have felt embarrassed about how I let you down”.
4. Make amends – Follow up your verbal acknowledgement and apology with actions that aim to fix the damage caused. Talk to your partner and see what they might consider a good reparation. Ensure you ask them what they need from you to mend the situation.
5. Mend your mistake as soon as possible do not wait days or even years to give that sincere apology.
Warmly Sharron Brandon
Relationship & Couples Counsellor.