Knowing how to apologize is very important, but knowing how to ask for forgiveness is simply essential. But how to do it effectively and sincerely? We offer you some tips to help you take the plunge.

There is no doubt that there are actually many benefits to asking for forgiveness. Understanding, yes, forgiveness as the remission of the deserved penalty, the offense received or any pending debt or obligation (according to the definition of it made by the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy).

Thus, forgiving is finally understood as saying of the person who has been harmed by it: remit the debt, offense, fault, crime or something else.

But forgiving is not the same as asking for forgiveness. They are two very different situations, which require two different approaches for the person who faces them. On the one hand, we are faced with the offended individual, who receives the apology request. On the other hand, we are faced with the “guilty” individual, who has theoretically confused or offended the other.

In this article we are talking about sincere apologies, not those that are made out of commitment, since we warn you that if you really do not feel it, there may be two reasons: that it is not your responsibility or that you do not see your mistake.

It is important that you analyze the situation well and that you try to put yourself in the shoes of others before making the determination to ask for forgiveness superficially. This will not help you and much less those around you because there will be no learning and the error will be repeated.

How do you apologize? We help you with these steps

We know that, in most cases, it is not entirely easy to ask for forgiveness, or to venture out and make the decision to apologize. In reality, the truth is that what it costs us (more or less) will depend directly on our own personality, and more specifically on whether or not we are proud people.

Therefore, below we list the 3 steps that we consider most effective to apologize:

  1. To say I’m sorry”. Recognize the error in front of those who have been offended or damaged.
  2. Offer compensation for the damage caused. It is true that there is not always a fair compensation for the damage done but you can always offer something that helps improve the situation of the injured party.
  3. “Accept your responsibility.” By saying sorry you are exposing yourself to the opinions and judgments of the people around you (this fact is why we sometimes avoid saying “I’m sorry”). But this step is the first phase of the forgiveness process. If you do not go through this step, you will probably never find forgiveness from the victim, you may forget or bury the situation, but you will not be forgiven.

The error is part of our life and we cannot avoid it, what we must remember is that “To err is human but to ask for forgiveness is to be human.”

And it is that as we mentioned to you at the time in a previous note, there is no doubt that sincerely asking for forgiveness is something extremely healthy and beneficial. Why? Mainly because apologizing means that we have stopped to think about how the other person might have felt (that is, we are being empathetic). And, in addition, you realize that perhaps your performance was not correct, and you may even feel ashamed for it.

What’s more, it may be that both the relationship itself and the communication between the two of you improve, since it tends to be very common that when you apologize to someone, the hurt or offended person realizes that you have also realized what you have done, and will accept them.

The key, as we can see, is clear: knowing when to apologize, how to do it, and above all, knowing how to always choose the best moment, given that sometimes it is better to wait and –for example- be patient for the other person to say “ get back ”and don’t feel so hurt. In these cases there is nothing better than time, which calmly tends to cure everything (or almost everything).


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