The Elements to an Apology

                                                                                                     Photo Credit: LaShauna Bell

Since the wake of sexual allegations and misconduct emerging, and the #metoo campaign we have seen and heard from the accused such as long-time "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer, actor and comedian Louis C.K., and actor Kevin Spacey. Throughout these accusations, we have seen these men take different routes of “apologizing” to their victims, and to their disappointed fans. Some are even opting to get straight to the point and admitting that there was wrong doing on their part, showing their remorse by saying the words “I am sorry.” Some on the other hand, have chosen to release statements  where the “sorry” or “apology” seem to  missing. With this in mind, it is important that that we realize what a real apology should typically consist of. Here are the three core elements to an apology according to  Psychologist Karina Schumann’s 2014 Experimental Social Psychology study.  

1. Express  Remorse

Don’t start off with an excuse for why you did what you did. Don’t start off by blaming the accuser. Start off with an “I’m sorry.” A sincere apology can go a long way in repairing the damage that has been done by the accused.

2. Take Full Responsibility

Understand that what you did was wrong and own up to it. Don’t hide behind things that have happened to you from your past, or even the things that may be happening to you now. What these men and women have been through is not okay.

3. Own Up to the Problem

The accuser may not be up for your apology. Knowing that you understand what you did was wrong or inappropriate may bring some peace to the victim that your same wrongdoing will not hurt another person.


What is left to be done now is to try to repair what  has been broken for a long time now.  An apology from these men and others who have committed unwanted sexual acts toward women or men could be the first step.

                                                                                                         Photo source: