How to Really Say "Sorry"

As a college student I have sometimes found myself giving, and quite often receiving, empty apologies. I’m not sure when two little words because enough to resolve any and all conflicts and wrongdoings. Two words cannot fix the world's problems, but we throw the term “ I’m sorry” into the air and expect all to be well. We say it so often that we have forgotten what it truly means to apologize….. But what does a real apology look like? It all comes down to these four simple things:


1. I’m sorry.

Yes, you still have to say the words. Your apology cannot start without you admitting you’ve done something wrong and are sorry for it.


2. I mean it.

Your apology has to explain that you know what you did and that you know that it was wrong. Reassure the other person that you’re not dismissing them with a simple word. Put effort into what you tell them.


3. What can I do to fix it?

Sometimes this isn’t possible to do, but you still need to ask. If you broke something, replace it. If you hurt someone, listen to what they need from you in order to heal. Asking someone what they need from you shows them your apology is heartfelt and true.


4. Nothing Else

No ifs, ands or buts. You should give a real apology encompassing the three things above and you hope the other person forgives you. Don’t cheapen your apology by giving excuses or blaming others. That doesn’t help anyone.


It isn’t hard to apologize, but we all have gotten a little lazy on such a simple thing. If you follow these four simple rules your apologies will be true, and so will be the forgiveness you receive as a result.