So you messed up… you know you’ve made a mistake and now you need to confess you are sorry. Whether you know you were wrong because your girl- or boyfriend is giving you the cold shoulder, or you just realized it all on your own, it is important to own up to your mistake and restore the relationship.
Simply saying “I’m sorry” is not always enough though. You may very well be sorry, but will you do it again? Have you done the same thing before? If you are a repeat-offender in the relationship game, then your “sorry” will be worth less and less over time.
Even if you have made the same mistakes again and again, if you finally realize you were wrong after all and want to make things right, you can simply change up how you say you are sorry.
How to apologize
Ever heard an apology that sounds a little like this: “I’m really sorry I called you a bitch, BUT…”?
The “but” might be followed with something like “you drove me to it”, or “I was very frustrated”, or a range of other excuses. This, my friend, is NOT an apology. Here you are saying you’re sorry, but you are actually shifting the responsibility over to the other person again. You are not saying sorry, you are instead blaming the other person for ‘making’ you do something you now regret.
You may still be forgiven, but the relationship will never be what it was, or could be.
A better way to apologize and actually restore your relationship, you truly have to own what you say, and mean it. It will depend on the person you are apologizing to in terms of how you will end up phrasing things. However, you will generally say you are sorry for a specific action or comment, and then explain you will try your best not to do it again.
If you are a repeat offender, then just saying you won’t be doing it again holds little value after three times. Your promise will be greeted with the “yeah yeah” it is worth. Instead, explain what you will to do prevent making the same mistake.
If you call your loved-one names, and although you would like to stop it seems you keep doing it again, make sure you distance yourself from a situation where this behavior is triggered. If you yell during fights about particular topics, then take some distance. Go for a walk, clear your head, and only return when you are calm enough to face this issue like an adult and talk it through.
Dealing with the emotional trigger
Having said that, it takes two to tango and if your partner acts like a child during a disagreement, then perhaps you should have a chat about communication skills. There isn’t a thing in the world that really requires raising your voice for, so if your name-calling is triggered by her yelling, then although you have to own up to your mistakes, you still need to find a way to peacefully discuss a hot topic. That’s for another article though…