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6 Sincere Ways to Say You're Sorry

How do you say I'm sorry?

It's hard for some people to say the words, "I'm sorry." It's easy for others. But is it easy to mean those words? Is it easy for the hearer to believe those words? Have you ever had friends or lovers who said they were sorry only to go and do the same thing again to you? Conversely, have you ever had to convince a friend that you were truly sorry? How did you do it? What are ways to say that you're sorry when the traditional words "I'm sorry" have no effect?

Remember the 70s movie "Love Story?" Or the "Love Story" record?

My old Love Story LP

My old Love Story LP

1. First, you do have to say you're sorry.

Saying you're sorry is a place to start. If you are waiting for someone to come back to you, he or she will also have to learn to say I'm sorry. Even if you don't believe the apology at first, it has to be said. There has to be a place to start.

Are you familiar with the movie Love Story from the 70s? The big quotation from that movie was "Love means never having to say you're sorry." While the line may sound romantic, it doesn't work in the real world. Saying I'm sorry is a necessary way to begin, to admit that there is a problem, that you were at fault, and that you want to make things better. You have to acknowledge when you are wrong in order to begin to make something right.

2. Write a note or letter to express how sorry you are.

Okay, so you've said that you're sorry. Now what? If an "I'm sorry" in person doesn't work, maybe a handwritten note or letter will. Picking out and sending a greeting card gives the implication that someone took some time and thought...just for you. A card is a special effort on the part of the sender. Regardless of what a preprinted card says, the surprise of getting a card in the mail with a few heartfelt, handwritten words could have a positive impact.

A letter might also be the appropriate intervention, as explaining in person might not be conducive to resolving the situation. Explaining on paper is easier for some people and could be a way to make the other person understand just how sorry you are.

Saying "I'm sorry" is a start....

3. Do something out of the ordinary

Do something out of the ordinary to show that you're serious about what you say. Remind the person that you are still out there and you are thinking about him or her. Buy that book or scarf she has been wanting; drop it off with a note. Buy his favorite fast food and take it to him. If you live together, cook a nice meal. Buy groceries to bring home. Make an effort to pick up your shoes off the floor or your messes off the counter. Be thoughtful. Make an effort. Don't let the other person forget that you are still there and that you are really trying.

Do you write? Pen a poem that expresses your apology. Depending on the person you're trying to win over, you can make it funny, serious, or sweet. Even if you're not the best poet, your clumsy effort could make a difference in melting a heart that may secretly want to forgive you.

4. Show how you will change

You may have to convince your friend that you won't hurt him or her again. You may have to tell him how you will change or what you will do the next time you're in a similar situation. This may even have to be in writing. It's not enough just to say "I'm sorry," but you will have to prove yourself somehow. This could take a while.

5. Prove trust over time

If the hurt is deep, it may take some time to gain the other person's trust. Be patient. Check on the person now and then but not so much you drive her away. If she doesn't want to talk to you, send a text, email, or card occasionally to let her know you're thinking about her.

Recently, a friend of mine stopped talking to me. I have my suspicions as to why, and it's nothing that I did, but rather something she will have to own up to and apologize for if we are to be friends again. This is the second time in a few years that this has happened in our relationship. The last time, she finally came back, but it was after about a year and a lot of hurt. I forgave her and we were working our way back to the friendship we once had. This time, however, if she does come back and want forgiveness, it will be a hard thing for me to be able to trust her again. This is a situation in which time will be a factor. Just words won't be enough.

If you are in a position that you are the one apologizing, try to understand how the other person feels about your betrayal. Put yourself in his or her shoes and be patient as you prove your sincerity. Even if someone is sorry and forgiveness is given, does trust always follow? A trite phrase, but only time will tell.

6. Don't Give Up

If the relationship is really important to you, don't give up on obtaining the other person's forgiveness. This alone will show the person how sorry you really are. Keep after him or her--gently, and from a distance if you have to, until he or she is ready to talk to you again.

It would mean the world to me if my estranged friend would come back and say "I'm sorry" and truly stand by those words. I think that most people are like me in that they want to forgive the people they care about.

Sincerity goes a long way in mending severed relationships. Show how much you mean what you say . . . and give it time.


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on May 25, 2014:

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Johna49 I'm not sure exactly what you're saying. Please feel free to leave another comment, so we can talk about this. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Johna49 on May 24, 2014:

Specifically where web can a certified psyciatrist submit content or sites for them to become fashionable? eafdfeefeefe

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 15, 2014:

tvcspb--LOL--that's funny. :-)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on December 30, 2013:

You're welcome, padmendra. Thanks for reading!

PADMENDRA S R from DELHI/NCR on December 28, 2013:

An interesting hub. Thanks for sharing.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 14, 2013:

KatNance--I totally agree with that. Showing is everything.

KatNance on March 13, 2013:

Great hub,,theres some great points in your hub..But saying im sorry does NOT mean anything if u don't mean have to show how sorry you are even if it takes you along time to show it..

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on February 19, 2013:

Elizabeth Mara, I'm glad you found the hub thought-provoking. Saying one is sorry is complicated and means little if it's not followed up by action. I agree that action means more. Thanks so much for your insightful comments.

Elizabeth Mara from New Hampshire on February 19, 2013:

Hello, Victoria Lynn,

Great article and great discussion; I've enjoyed reading both! You are so right that trust is harmed and can be slow to heal. I agree with Dalia Flower that 'but' can only derail an apology. I think saying 'if I did such and such' is the same false aplogy as saying 'but'. For myself, I try to own my part of whatever has gone wrong and I expect a genuine apologist (?) to do the same -- no 'if's or 'but's! Action means more to me, then, because I don't worry that the other person is looking for a loophole to allow them to transgress again. An important issue for any relationship and a great, thought provoking hub! Thanks!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on February 19, 2013:

josephbarrett--You're very welcome. Thanks for the nice comments and input!

Joseph Barrett from South Carolina on February 18, 2013:

Very impressive and really very sincere tips to say sincere sorry :)

Thanks for such an informative and helpful hub. All ideas are great.

Fredena Moore from South United States on February 18, 2013:

Thanks for article, and for the great picture of the movie Love Story. I totally agree with it.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on January 21, 2013:

andyglean--Thanks for that insightful comment. You are so, so right!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on January 05, 2013:

Katie in NC--I'm glad this article encouraged you. I hope it works out with your boyfriend if it would be good for both of you. I wish you the best!

Katie in NC on January 05, 2013:

I am going through a very tough time right now after emotionally hurting my boyfriend. It has only been two weeks and I thought it was hopeless to keep trying to get his forgiveness. Your article is so timely and encouraging. I will definitely continue trying, without being pushy, to show him that this was a real mistake on my part. I'm printing this article and putting in my journal. I am sure that it will help me stay focused and positive on the road towards mending my relationship with him.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on December 04, 2012:

Alistair--I'm so glad that reading this helped! Maybe you'll make things okay with your dad. Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know that this helped.

Alistair on December 04, 2012:

Hi, I broke a few tools that my dad owned so I was looking on the internet and found your hub, thanks, really helped.


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on November 26, 2012:

heller, is that a smile? :-D

heller on November 26, 2012:


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 09, 2012:

MIke, you're right. It is so difficult sometimes. Thanks for the read and the comment.

Mike Robbers from London on October 09, 2012:

Sometimes, saying I am sorry is one of the hardest things to do. This is a very good topic to write about, thanks :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 21, 2012:

That's interesting, chalie. Sorry for your situation, but I'm glad you worked things out. I've never heard of anything quite like that. Thanks for stopping by.

chalie on August 20, 2012:

my name is charlie from united kingdom i had a problem with my wife sometimes ago but never knew what the problem was,i tried to asked her but she refused to tell,me what it was as time goes on i discovered she was having an affair with a friend of mine that happens to be my best friend,i was so sad that i never knew what to do next,during my search for a way out i met a friend of mine who had similar problem and introduced me to a man who helped him with his situation,on getting to the man i discovered he was

a spell caster i was shocked because i have not had anything to do with a spell caster in my entire life so i tried to give this man a chance cos i never believed in spell casting as i thought it will not work for me but to my surprise i got positive results and i was able to get my wife back from him even after the spell caster did all i discovered my wife fell much more in love with me on like before so i was so happy that i never know what to do for him so i am using this opportunity to tell anyone on this blog having

similar problem visit,and your problems shall be solved……Good luck.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on August 19, 2012:

victoria jade--You can try all those ways. I've lost hard-headed friends, too, who wouldn't listen. It's a sad thing. I wish you the best.

victoria jade on August 16, 2012:

how do u tell a hardheaded man you're sorry about what you done to them and telling them that you would change for them and that you loved them more than anyone you have ever cared about?

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 17, 2012:

Thanks, Jenna. Good points! Good to see you!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 17, 2012:

rajan--You certainly speak the truth. Your comments are so insightful. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing!

Jenna Pope from Southern California on July 17, 2012:

I voted up on your article. Well written. Strong people say that they are sorry. But weak people can't. Saying we are sorry is a lifelong lesson.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 16, 2012:

Sorry is such a powerful word but many of us are not able to say this simple word just because we have a big ego. I do try to patch up with friends whom I've lost but like you say sincerity in the said word has to be practically shown. Without meaning it however, saying sorry is just wasting the power of this word.

A beautiful write up and you show practical ways to say this to win back lost friends.

Voted up, beautiful and useful and I'd like to share this beautiful hub.

Thanks for sharing some lovely thoughts Victoria.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 27, 2012:

klara, I did the same with my friend. Sad. Their loss, I guess. At least we have to think that.

klarawieck on June 27, 2012:

I wish I could tell you. I never heard from him again. And I was there through the most difficult time of his life. Oh, well.... life goes on!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 27, 2012:

klara, I'm going through something like that with a friend, too, who owes me money, but the estrangement seems to be about something else. After about 10 years of friendship, how does one ever trust a friend again? I miss my friend, too.

klarawieck on June 27, 2012:

One of my best friends abandoned me after I lent him money. My guess is that he couldn't or wouldn't pay me back. I told him his friendship was worth more than all the money in the world and to keep it as a gift. He still chose to stay away. So I learned an important lesson - if you want to help someone you love, gift them the money. I still miss my friend.

Beautiful hub, Victoria. Well done!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 26, 2012:

True, Janine. In that way, perhaps her friends like you have become like her family.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 26, 2012:

Victoria, you make a valid point. My one close friend has no immediate family since she lost both her parents at a very young age and was an only child. So in her case, she truly has had to make it on here own and with a little bit of help from her friends.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 26, 2012:

Janine, yes, it does happen. Maybe having only one close friend is good. I like what your mom said. Although sometimes friends are closer than family, they don't always seem to stay around. Thanks for commenting!

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 26, 2012:

Victoria, image had too many friends over the years do just that. I have one very close friend and many acquaintances now, because of that. Another thing my mom always would say is family is family, but friends are only friends.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 26, 2012:

glorgeousmom--Good points. What really hurts, though, is when friends "prove" their trust over the years but then suddenly do something to destroy it. That is sad....

Thanks for the votes and for commenting!

Glo L Bernadas from Philippines on June 26, 2012:

Emotional and psychological damage is hard to heal over time especially if the wound is too deep. But asking for forgiveness and being forgiven is a very good start for healing. However, I agree with Ardie in your point of proving trust over time. After all, unlike forgiveness which can be freely given, trust after a deception is made cannot not freely given but it must be earned. Great and useful hub. Voted up.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 22, 2012:

Janie--Good for your mom! Thanks for sharing that. Saying those words is very important. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on June 21, 2012:

I agree saying sorry for many is a hard thing to do. My mother taught me this lesson over and over as a kid. I have to say at 35 years old I have very little problem saying these words now, because of how my mother instilled this in me. I was stubborn about it as a Hilda, but she never gave up on me. So a big thanks goes to my mother for teaching me to say I am sorry even I didn't necessarily want to say it. I am now the mother of 2 little girls and trying to teach them this same lesson too. Great reticle by the way :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 21, 2012:

whydThatHappen--love that name! :-) Thanks, too, to Michelle T, for sharing this! :-)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 21, 2012:

Michelle--I think you're right, but I don't understand when people won't say they're sorry when that's all it would take to mend the relationship It's sad. Thanks for the input, voting, and sharing!

WhydThatHappen on June 21, 2012:

This is an important lesson to remember, will share and thanks Michelle T for sharing so I could find this gem

Michelle Taylor from New Jersey on June 21, 2012:

This is great advice. The hardest part I think is for people to admit that they were wrong and in fact should say they are sorry. Voted up and shared!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 20, 2012:

Dahlia--Wow, great point! That is so true!

Dahlia Flower from Canada on June 20, 2012:

I sure do agree. Saying, "I'm sorry" is a good start. And if the third word out of our mouth -- after 'I'm sorry' -- is 'but' then we are not really apologizing. We are justifying.

Voting this one up and across.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 19, 2012:

Christy--You are so right. It's amazing to me how so many people refuse to say they're sorry when that could mean so much! Thanks for the feedback, the vote, and the share!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2012:

Saying the two simple words "I'm sorry" can really heal a relationship. You offer many meaninful tips here Victoria. A vote up and a share for sure!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 16, 2012:

Angela, we can hope it helps someone do the right thing! Thanks for sharing the hub all over. You are the master of SHARING these days!!! :-)

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 16, 2012:

Thank you this was a great article. It is a horrible feeling to think that you hurt someone that you love! Maybe this will help someone give a long overdue appology? Great advice! I will share this on Facebook, Twitter google+ and with followers!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 26, 2012:

Thanks, Orasdaughter. Great input!

Orasdaughter from Missouri on April 25, 2012:

Your article was so helpful. It's not that any of us don't know how to apologize, be we get lazy and we think that if someone doesn't accept our "I'm Sorry" then it's really their problem and we have already done our part. The truth is, apologies are hard to accept when we hurt. You remind us all that apologies are serious business and people need time to accept them.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 05, 2012:

Thanks, taw. I wish some of the people who have screwed me over would use some of those ways to apologize!

taw2012 from India on April 05, 2012:

a mere i'm sorry doesn't work always. I think i have to try some of these ways for an apology!!!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 29, 2012:

madmachio--Sometimes we have to say I'm sorry. Thanks for your input. :-)

Nathan K from Kansas on March 29, 2012:

I've had to say sorry a lot in my life.. Sucks.. But, it's worth it.. Good hub!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 29, 2012:

Well, ackman, I guess that might work. I love the fabric paint idea!

ackman1465 from Cape Coral, Florida on March 28, 2012:

I get her a fancy - and expensive - bit of lingerie... and write "I'm sorry" on it with fabric paint.... then, when the time is right, I present it to her, then take her hand and retreat to the bedroom for "make-up s*x"!!!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 27, 2012:

Oh, sabrina, that is sad when your closest friends don't get along with each other. I've had that problem, too, and it can cause tension. Do you have anything to be sorry for? It doesn't sound like it, but I don't know the situation. I hope that things work out for you and your friends. Take care.

sabrinafirdous on March 27, 2012:

victoria i have 5 best friends in my life,i want them all but they don't like each other....three days back i have an argument with regarding there one is talking with me now.i don't know how to say them sorry because i never said sorry to anyone.

sabrinafirdous on March 27, 2012:


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 26, 2012:

I don't know, sabrina. I think there are cases in which an apology is needed. At least that's what I've seen. Maybe your case is different....

sabrinafirdous on March 26, 2012:


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Hypenbird--Hurting without intention, I can understand. It's the purposeful, more than once hurt that is hard to get over. But you're right, it should always begin with I'm sorry. Thanks for stopping by!

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on March 25, 2012:

This is great advice Victoria Lynn. So many times we hurt someone, often without intention. Hopefully we can make amends. I agree that it starts with saying "I'm sorry."

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Susan, I think it's harder for men to say I'm sorry. Oh, I just read that teaches wrote that, too. Still, it would help to learn how rather than just saying it through action. I've seen that, too, teaches!

Thanks, ladies!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Thanks, sholland! Glad you asked the question that inspired this hub, and I'm glad you approve. I like putting it in writing, too, but in person is often necessary, I think. I hope my friend comes around, too. Thanks for the input, the votes, and sharing!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

I agree, homestead, with everything you said here. Very insightful and true. Thanks so much for the input.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Cardisa, that's a sweet story about your boyfriend. I would be the same with my guy. I will have to wait and see what happens with my friend, though.

Yeah, sometimes I've wondered about the funny button. I guess people just do that--click, click, click, all the way across. haha. Oh, well, it's funny that it happens, so that's okay! Thanks Cardisa, for the great comments!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Well, thanks, CC. Your compliments mean a lot, as I love YOUR writing style! Yeah, Love Story may have messed people up for a couple of decades with not saying "I'm sorry." haha Thanks for the votes!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

True, Marcy. Some people will just do something to make up for it without acknowledging they were wrong. You're so right about it chipping away at a relationship. Insightful comments. Thanks!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Thanks, Martie for the input, the kind words, and for sharing this! I truly appreciate that!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Flora, Yes, some situations are not repairable, as you say. I got chills when reading about your former friend. I wonder about the January thing, too. I would be afraid to ask. Regardless, I'm sorry for your pain in all of that. It sounds like you were really hurt, with good reason. I hope that you don't hold onto any guilt on your part. It sounds like your friend had always been troubled. What a sad situation.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

That's frustrating about your friend, RealHousewife. With my friend, it was her withdrawing from everyone the last time, but now doing it twice...I don't think I'm sorry will ever be enough this time. I wish you the best with your friend. It sounds like you're doing all you can, and perhaps your gentle approach will be what she needs to come back to. Hugs! And the best of luck!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

Maybe it's easy to say I'm sorry,Vellur, but proving it makes it real. Great comments. Thanks for the vote!

Dianna Mendez on March 24, 2012:

Women can say I'm sorry easier than men. However, I do believe it is easier for men to say I'm sorry through action than words. They will bring flowers or candy as an apology. Great suggestions for developing the sentiment.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 24, 2012:

I really need to get my husband to read this hub as he needs to learn how to say I'm sorry. I think in the past 24 years he's said it a handful of times.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 24, 2012:

fpher--Great advice. I have heard that saying before about fooling me twice, shame on me. I am beginning to think I should heed advice such as yours, as I feel I deserve better friends than one who does me wrong twice...if she even comes back and apologizes. But something is broken now, and I don't think it can be fixed. I deserve friends who are going to be better to me than that. I think that everything you say is correct. If I were your, that's sweet! But you're probably not old enough to be my mother! :-) Thanks for the input. It means a lot both on a professional and personal level. :-)

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on March 24, 2012:

I love it, Vicki! You have listed great ways to say, "I'm sorry." I always like to put it in writing or be face-to-face, and I like it to be the same if I am the one on the receiving end. It is the sincerity that counts. It can't just be the words. You are so right about wanting to forgive the ones we are close to when something bad happens. Carrying around bitterness is unnecessary when you can sincerely say, "I'm sorry," or accept an apology. I hope your friend comes around. Great Hub! Votes and SHARED! :-)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 24, 2012:

Thanks, jeyaramd. You have some great insights yourself. You're right about how sometimes the one who should be sorry is actually felt sorry for or comforted...Loved your input here. Thanks!

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on March 24, 2012:

I think that writing an apology is many times a great option especially when the other person does not want to listen to what you have to say. It gives them time to read the apology at their leisure and in their timing. It gives them time to digest and see if they want to believe you.

Ardie's comment reminded me of something I wanted to say. It only takes a moment to break a trust, but it takes much longer to repair the damage than it did to cause it. It is so important to be careful so we do not have to repair those issues.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 24, 2012:

Me, too, Bill, about the Elton John picture! Thanks for reading again! :-)

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on March 24, 2012:

Victoria, you have outlined all the necessary steps needed to make amends for a broken trust. Recently my fiancé broke my trust and he has been doing everything possible to regain it even though I have already forgiven him. I am so easy to please that a simple I'm sorry always work.

I hope your friend owns up to her behaviour so at least you two can get it out of the way. Maybe the friendship is broken forever, maybe not, but owning up to what you did is very important to start the repair.

Off topic: have you ever wonder why a serious hub would have people voting "funny"? It's not that it's funny, it's just that the hub might be so amazing that we click right across without thinking. I just noticed I'm not the only one who did

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 24, 2012:

I'm sorry...but this hub is soo beautiful! You're so amazing and the ideas and thoughts you put here are just wonderfully written. I agree with you on that movie line...I hope it didn't "influence" too many people that not saying sorry is O.K. In any case, you've got my votes.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on March 24, 2012:

I'm glad you emphasize that it's important to actually apologize. Too often, people will perhaps make a nice gesture as a way of patching things up, but they don't own up to their actions. This chips away at your relationship, and when future issues come up, it makes it more difficult to survive with the relationship intact. Voted up.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on March 24, 2012:

Hi Victoria, I am always the first to say 'I am sorry', and I always make amends.

I have learnt that the pain I cause others is most of the time a habit I have obtained in order to stand up to him/her, so I have to work on myself... improve my own ability to ignore, or overcome, whatever triggers me to do something that could force me to say 'I am sorry'.

This is an outstanding hub, voted up, awesome and useful. I am sharing this with all my friends and relatives.

FloraBreenRobison on March 24, 2012:

I ran out of time to add this, but I feel the need to do so. One thing about this woman-her mother was murdered by her father when she was growing up-it was the month of January: and ever since then she reverted into her shell every January and drop out of everything. I did not know this until after our argument-and it was not a subject she discussed openly. I found out from a mutual friend who was trying to explain her behaviour. I don't know how she died. I'm afraid to ask her husband, and it is none o my business. But the fact that she die din January-the same month-always made me wonder.

FloraBreenRobison on March 24, 2012:

I find myself feeling quite exhausted and sick to my stomach if I don't at least say sorry-the first step-in an important relationship-or any relationship. I have never had a problem ownin gup to my mistakes and I want to get things cleared up as soon as possible. But certain things do take time. And others are non-reparable. I had a friend who decided to intervene for me in my relationship with a family member- but she choose to do it in a crowded room so anyone could hear. And when the other person who was still upset started to talk loudly, all my privacy was lost as the whole room knew my business. Meanwhile I had thought that my phone call to her was private and just an opportunity to vent.

I never did forgive her for that. Perhaps over a longer period of time, I would have done so. But in the intervening time she moved-and died very suddenly in January 2011. Now it is too late.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 23, 2012:

Hi Victoria - saying sorry is hard for some people and others say it too much. I only apologize if I really mean it though. And I've heard "sometimes sorry does not help" also. There are consequences for everything....I do have a friend that has been angry with me for some time...she will not tell me why. I send her emails - every now and again - just to remind her that I am her friend and when she is ready, I'm still here. This friend has had much misfortune - and so I'm confused about if she is withdrawing from me - or everyone. So I let her know I won't give up, she means that much to me. I'm also sharing this and I hope she reads it:)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 23, 2012:

Great ways to say sorry. Saying sorry is a difficult thing to say, but if you mean it from your heart then I guess it is easy. No, not very easy,I guess following your ways will definitely make it easier. Great read. Voted up.

Suzie from Carson City on March 23, 2012:

Victoria....I understand what you are talking about here, quite well. Saying, "I'm sorry," is just mouthing 2 words if there is no regret or sincerity behind it. Often, the person you are apologizing to, will only accept it if there is some discussion in terms of WHY the person harmed the friendship to begin with.

I have some work to do on's not at all easy for me to FORGIVE. I lean on the jaded/cynical side and I rarely believe someone is truly sorry and won't "do it again."

My Dad would warn us about friends who deceive or betray you. He used the expression, "Fool me once, shame on you....fool me twice, shame on me." I doubt that requires explanantion.

It's clear that your "friend" who hasn't spoken to you is feeling embarrassed or ashamed....or just doesn't want to face you to admit what she's done.

Victoria, even though I have no idea what it's all about....if you were my daughter, I would tell you to cut your losses and walk away without looking back. Is she really worthy of yet another chance to do you wrong?

jeyaramd from Mississauga, Ontario on March 23, 2012:

I am sorry should definitely carry weight when you say it. As you mentioned, you really have to show how you can earn trust over time and how you will change.

Personally, I think that there are far too many people who feel sorry for having to deal with someone being upset than for genuinely feeling sorry for what they had done and how it makes the other feel. Then there are those who feel so sorry that you end up comforting them that it was not so bad. May I add that such people are few.

Regardless, we cannot wait too long until we feel genuinely sorry. We should say those words. We may not realize at the time how much we may have hurt the other person emotionally or the damage we may have caused. However, by saying sorry we at least acknowledge that we are at fault. To what degree can be determined later. That is the first step. Thanks for sharing with us such an insightful hub. Voted up.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 23, 2012:

Yep, I have found that the mere words mean very little unless they are accompanied by a change in behavior. I loved the picture of a young Elton John! I'd forgotten he was ever that young.

Great job as usual!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 23, 2012:

Nell, I don't know if my friend and I will ever be okay. And if we are okay, I think it will just be that--just "okay." Thanks for the input. :-)

Nell Rose from England on March 23, 2012:

Hi, I am sorry about your friend, that happened to me once a long time ago, the sad thing was we were never the same again, I actually apologised to her, so we were okay, but only okay, sending a card is a good idea, that way you are not face to face and can't start arguing again, great hub, and so true.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 23, 2012:

Vinaya, I think that writing is a great way to express that you're sorry!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 23, 2012:

Thanks, Ruchira! I bet your son will learn this, too, from you. Thanks for the vote and sharing!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on March 23, 2012:

I'm quite not comfortable to say sorry, even though I'm guilty. But I honestly feel that I must say sorry. So I do this by writing to the person.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 23, 2012:

Yeah, Ardie, just "I'm sorry" doesn't get it. Kids have to learn that, I guess. Glad you liked the hub!

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