It’s hard to stop apologizing when you think it’s expected of you.
It can help these conversations if an apologizer tweaks the language to make it more specifics. People love to be around those who show understanding of a situation. Often over-apologizers miss out on sharing meaning.
The book The Five Languages of apology would be a worthwhile read for both sides. The types of apology:
- “I regret that this happened.” – I’m sorry as words itself may not clearly show that we are sad to be in a situation.
- “I understand that I was wrong for doing that.” – Rather than I’m sorry, say specifically what we accept responsibility for
- “Let’s talk about what can be done to make this right.” – Are you willing to make amends? Say that outloud
- “I’ll try not to do that again. Here’s what I’ve done to prevent future problems.” – Show that you’ve taken steps
- “Will you forgive me?” – Directly ask for forgiveness.