The Challenge of Apologies

Here’s this month’s PAIRS Quick Tips –
Just a minute to invest in your relationship skills!


The Problem:

When I apologize, I’m told it’s “not a sincere apology” – what does that mean?

After a mistake is made, it’s hard to apologize.  But even when we do it, often our apology is not accepted, or it even seems to make things worse!

 The Solution:

There are three components to the solution:  timing, how to apologize, and forgiveness.  Regarding timing – the quicker, the better.  Even if you say you want to apologize more fully later, don’t put it off … feelings only intensify.  Discuss ahead of time with those you are close to what kind of apology feels genuine to them.  Some people want words, some a written note, some flowers and cards, some want a specific act of contrition (I’ll wash the dishes for a month…” – some want to be held during the apology.   Find out what really works for THEM (and let them know what works for you, too) – remembering that the approach will probably be different for each of you.  Thirdly, remember that we are all imperfect, and don’t hold others to a standard of perfection that we can’t achieve ourselves.  Forgiveness is a gift to both of you, even though it can be incredibly hard.


Before, I just wanted out … PAIRS definitely helped save our marriage.”  –  Jo K., NC  

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