How to apologise: A Psychologist’s complete guide

Mistakes are common in life. We often end up hurting people in life. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, when our behavior hurts another person’s emotions, it is a mistake on our part no matter what. When we get angry and grumpy, we can end up hurting others or saying things which we do not mean, ending in a tear in the relationship. However, while hurting people is common in life, it is our way of repairing it which shows what the relationship means to us. On one of her recently Instagram posts, Psychologist Nicole LePera addressed apologies and wrote, “Throughout our lives, we hurt people. This is what humans do. We get grumpy. We shut down. We say things we regret. We are insensitive. This is why it’s so important to understand what repair is in relationships. Repair is the act of understanding your impact on someone you love. Taking ownership and responsibility makes us a safe person.”

Nicole further added that ego and apologies can get into a direct clash most of the time. “We do this through apologising. Many of us (like myself) grew up in homes where we never saw healthy repair. Apologies didn’t exist. Or, they were simply used as ways to “get out of trouble” with someone. Our ego doesn’t love apologizing. It clings to being right. When we get past the ego, we can actually develop emotional intimacy,” she added.

Nicole further noted down a complete guide on how to apologise from heart; they are:

Be direct: Instead of hitting the bush, we should be direct about why we want to apologise. Be it an action done by us or our words, we should be clear and direct about it.

Acknowledge: The impact of our actions from the other person’s perspective can be huge. We should learn to acknowledge the impact done on someone else due to us.

State the next action: No apology is greater than the one where you learn to change your attitude about the thing. While you apologise, you should also mention how you plan to work on a similar situation with more grace the next time.

Communicate: The other person may not be in the state to communicate after we hurt them. It is best to allow them the time needed and then apologise.

Assistance: Affirmations and love are the ways to heal the other person from the impact of the action.

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