Every relationship, no matter how strong, will have its share of issues and disagreements. According to gender communication research, apologising often causes undue strain, even if the man otherwise admits he erred. An apology is and should be regarded as a positive way to reopen dialogue after a fight in the majority of cases. An apology shows that you are willing to be vulnerable with one another. While it may be necessary to bite your tongue at first, a genuine and well-delivered apology can mean the difference between long-term pain and growing closer together.
Method 1: Psychological Preparation
1. Accept that apologising is a necessary step in moving forward. Whatever the reason for your apology, keep in mind that the goal is to reconcile with the girl and improve your relationship. At its core, an apology is an emotional concession that, when delivered properly and sincerely, can yield significant benefits.
Several studies have found that men have a much more difficult time apologising than women. If you find it difficult to apologise, approaching the act as a purely practical manoeuvre (at least at first) can help you get over that first hump.
2. Allow yourself time to unwind. If you need to apologise to a girl, you’re probably in a lot of pain as well. If you recognise that you are not feeling well at the moment, you should prioritise your needs and give yourself time to heal. Depending on the severity of the situation, this could be minutes, hours, or days.
However, don’t put off the apology for too long. Being silent for an extended period of time will be interpreted as a non-apology; that you aren’t sorry and don’t want anything to do with her. Again, the severity of the situation and the strength of the relationship will determine what is considered ‘too long.’
3. You can see why she’s upset. Apologizing without meaning it or understanding why can make things worse than simply keeping your mouth shut. If you rush into an apology, the woman will notice that you are not being truthful. It is critical that you pause and reflect before apologising. What is causing her distress? Are there any other factors that could be influencing her mood? How serious is the issue?
For a moment, put yourself in the woman’s shoes. While you should consider how she is feeling, you should also consider how her actions have been interpreted by her. If you’re apologising for something specific that happened, try acting it out in your head. You should now have a better understanding of why she is upset, regardless of who is to blame.
Keep in mind that empathising with her reasons for being upset is not the same as admitting guilt. Even if you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong, a healthy relationship requires you to understand where the other person is coming from. Even if you initially believe her reasons for feeling this way are unjustified, if not irrational, it is critical to recognise that the pain is real.
4. Be sincere in your apologies. If the problem is severe enough, a woman will examine your delivery for any signs of impersonation. The best way to ensure that your apology is received as you wish is to ensure that you truly mean it. If you think you’ll have to grit your teeth as you apologise, it’s best to postpone it until you’ve had more time to think about it, or to skip it entirely.
You might be furious for the same reasons as the girl. This will make it difficult for you to open up to her. If this is the case, take some extra time to relax and breathe.
Method 2: Verbal Apology
1. Wait for the appropriate moment to apologise. The art of apologising is partly dependent on timing. If you were in the middle of watching a movie, let alone cramming the night before a big exam, you would never want someone to apologise to you. Rather, you should bide your time (within reason) and wait for an opportunity when the girl is free and relaxed.
Again, you won’t want to put off your apology for too long. If you wait too long, the girl may interpret your refusal to apologise as a deliberate decision on your part.
2. Approach her with solemnity. The manner in which you approach a girl to apologise in person has a significant impact on whether or not the apology is accepted. Approach her calmly and quietly. Allow yourself to be distracted by nothing else; your apology deserves your undivided attention. Make sure to maintain constant eye contact as you approach. Don’t smile or act too casually; you want to convey to her through your body language that you recognise the gravity of the situation.
The approach question is easier to answer if you’re apologising via text message or phone, but keep in mind that an apology is most effective and affirmative when delivered in person.
If you’re not in a position where you’ll be able to easily run into her, ask her to meet up with you. Keep your invitation brief and to the point, but give her reason to believe you’re meeting to give her an opportunity to apologise. If she’s too angry right now, give her some time; hopefully, she’ll come around and give you a chance to confess.
3. Please express your regret to her. Before you go any further, you should express your regret to her right away. If you try to explain why you’re sorry before she realises you’re sorry, she may take it as an invitation to argue. Once you’ve approached her, don’t waste time apologising. Any further explanation can come after you’ve made your main point. Being straightforward sounds simple on paper, but when emotions are running high on both sides, it can be difficult to see it through. Don’t get too worked up about it; if necessary, remind yourself that this is just the first step in reclaiming your connection.
Your apology does not need to be elaborate; in fact, it is probably best if you keep it as simple as possible. There’s no need to be poetic or calculated here; simply say, “I’m sorry.” The more complicated you make it, the more likely it is that the apology will be misconstrued as something else.
4. Demonstrate empathy. Something as simple as “I’m sorry” will go a lot further than you think, but it won’t suffice for more serious matters. After you’ve started the conversation in this manner, it’s time to go into greater detail about why you’re sorry and how you understand how she’s feeling. If the conversation becomes more balanced and the blame isn’t one-sided, you might take advantage of the opportunity to express some of your own feelings as part of the healing process, but only after you know the apology has been accepted. Formalized paraphrase
For instance, as a general template, you could say: “I deeply regret what I did. I was being extremely selfish at the time, and seeing how it has affected you has made me realise how bad it was. I know I can’t change what happened, but I just wanted you to know that I wish I could, and I won’t let it happen again.”
5. Allow her time to respond. Petty grievances are probably not worth fussing over, but more serious issues will almost certainly elicit a response to your apology. After you’ve laid all of your cards on the table, it may be time for her to express her feelings. Look her in the eyes, stay calm no matter what, and take in everything she says. Even if what she says makes you angry, try to empathise with her; she may still be angry about what happened, and this may colour how she reacts to you in an unfavourable way.
6. Give her a big hug. A verbal apology is often best accompanied by physical affirmation. A hug is almost always appropriate, regardless of the type of relationship you’re in. Hugging at the end of your apology will give the woman a physical representation of how you feel, and her acceptance of your hug will bring you both some closure.
7. Take precautions to avoid future incidents. If an apology isn’t taken seriously, it’s just words. If you’re sorry for something you did, work on avoiding it in the future. Doing something to solve the problem has two advantages: first, it reduces the likelihood of the situation recurring, and second, she will see you putting your apology into action. If you make a habit of rinsing your apologies once you’ve made them, you’ll have a much more difficult time getting them accepted in the future.
For example, if you are constantly apologising for being late, set your alarm ten minutes earlier than usual. This will make your actions more timely, lowering your chances of being late again. Allowing the girl to know the steps you’ve taken will demonstrate to her that your apology was genuine.
Method 3: Nonverbal Apology
1. Compose an apology letter. Handwritten apologies are the most effective nonverbal means of apologising. The length and tone of your message will be heavily influenced by the seriousness and cause of the message. Forgetting a birthday is a completely different matter than, say, abuse or infidelity. What is important is that you write from your heart. Get rid of the pretence of formal letter writing and write what you’re feeling, apologising to the girl within the first two sentences.
A heart at the bottom represents warmth and may be appropriate if you are in a romantic relationship with the girl.
It is critical in this case to write it by hand. An apology letter is meaningless unless it is accompanied by a personal touch and vulnerability. It is much easier to hide emotions when using a computer. However, for minor issues, a quick email or instant message can suffice.
2. Make amends by taking positive action. If you’ve done something to hurt the girl’s feelings, doing something to make her feel better as a result is a good way to make amends. The method you use to make up with her is as varied and unique as the relationship itself. If you can think of some things the girl is interested in, consider them potential opportunities to make things right. If you can’t think of anything specific, there aren’t many women who don’t appreciate getting back massages or having dinner prepared for them. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a simple gesture can reveal a lot about how someone is feeling.
3. Make a contribution in her honour. A donation in their name could be a more formal way of apologising to a woman. Although this is probably only applicable to less serious or personal issues, an apology can carry more weight when accompanied by a dollar sign. Of course, giving someone money feels like a dirty bribe, so donating to a charity carries the good intention without the foul undertones.
Donations, no matter how small, should be accompanied by a specific statement explaining why you’re making them. Explain to her that you’re making this donation to effect positive change in the world as a result of your apology, making the fight you had an altruistic benefit for the world. Charity benefits the entire world and is nearly impossible to argue against.
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