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6 Parts of a Proper Apology

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She researches and shares remedies for using certain products for illnesses.

Just saying, "I'm sorry" is not enough for a genuine apology.

Just saying, "I'm sorry" is not enough for a genuine apology.


Apology is a noun. It is a written or spoken expression of a person's regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, harmed or wronged another person intentionally or unintentionally.

Apologize is a verb. It is what the offending person does to express sorrow and regret to the one offended.

The offender is the person who has something to apology for.

The offended is the person who has been hurt or harmed by someone's words or action.

Apologize definition

Apologize definition

Merely Saying, "I'm Sorry" Is Not a Proper Apology

Everyone seems to be apologizing for having done or said something that was offensive to someone.

These days, people are apologizing for something they have posted on social media. Sometimes companies have to apologize for a nationwide offense.

What individuals and corporations need to understand it that a proper apology has to include more than making a blanket statement by merely saying, "I'm sorry."

Learn to apologize the right way.

Learn to apologize the right way.

Step 1: An Admission

The first step in an apology is the admission that you have done something to apologize for. Some people begin an apology by saying, "If I have done anything wrong, I apologize." There is no admission in that statement. Both parties must agree what the offense was. Therefore, the offending party should admit the offense.

There is no need to give a long drawn out admission. You could say something like, "I apologize being two hours late while you were babysitting for two young children."

Just saying "Sorry" is not enough.

Just saying "Sorry" is not enough.

Step 2: An Explanation

It helps the injured person understand when a true explanation is offered. The offending person should be courteous enough to offer an explanation and accept responsibility without casting blame on anybody. Don't lie and say your boss made you stay late unless he really did.

A valid explanation provides information why the offense occurred whether intentional or by accident.

For example, you could explain to the babysitter that there was a car accident and you had to detour and you got lost on your way to her house. If you tell the truth, the babysitter will understand. She might not believe you if your tardiness happens on a regular basis.

Step 3: Promise It Won't Happen Again

Provide details why this situation won’t happen again. In order to accept an apology, a person needs to feel like the offense was a rare occurrence, and it isn’t likely to happen again.

You could tell the babysitter that the next time you will not head to her house during the rush hour when there is a lot of traffic. In fact, you will not hang around the office after work when you know you have to pick up your children.

After you apologize, do not commit the same offense again.

After you apologize, do not commit the same offense again.

Step 4: State the Regret

It is only at this step that you should say you are sorry and show remorse. Just say, "I am sorry" and truly mean it. Your babysitter will sense if you are telling the truth.

Step 5: Ask for Forgiveness

Some experts add this step after the last one, and others combine it with Step 4. Whether you combine it or add it, you should ask for forgiveness. You simply ask the person to pardon you for your action concerning the matter.

Step 6: Offer to Make Restitution

It would be a good gesture to offer something for the person's inconvenience. It might be a good suggestion to offer to pay the babysitter extra for arriving two hours late. Ask if there is anything else you can do to make up for inconveniencing her.


4 Steps to a Sincere Apology

6 Component of an Apology

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