Relationships Tips

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Portrait of an Apology: Learning How to Apologize

One of the hardest things for Americans to do is to apologize. We all want to be right, all want to believe that we can do things the way we want without people questioning our methods or becoming upset with us.

That is not the way real life works, however. Invariably, we will end up hurting someone close to us, and will need to mend that relationship through an apology.

A good apology has four parts:

1. I was wrong. It is important to acknowledge this for both your sake and the other person's. If you still think that you were right in whatever caused the argument and you are apologizing for it, your apology lacks sincerity.

2. I am sorry. Let the other person know that you are genuinely remorseful for whatever caused your falling out, and that you wished the events had not transpired the way they did.

3. Please forgive me. Solicit forgiveness. The other person needs the opportunity to give that forgiveness to you in order for the relationship to flourish in the future.

4. I love you. You do not have to use those words specifically, but it is important to communicate to the other person that she is valuable, cared for, and that it is important to you that the relationship continue.

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Ray Lokar