Apologizing After an Argument

After an argument, apologizing can be tough. Many people have a hard time swallowing their pride or are confused about how to begin, which leads to more relationship problems. Apologizing takes time and thought: You have to be sure you mean it before you express remorse.

First off, make sure you take some time to cool off. If the argument was heated and you left it angry, you'll need time to process the events. If you are angry, you won't see the full picture.

Once you've calmed down, think about what led up to this argument and the reasons behind your reaction. If you think you did or said something wrong, make sure to pinpoint your specific mistakes. The more specific an apology, the more authentic it will seem.

If you are apologizing, make sure to take responsibility for what you did wrong. But be careful of your wording. If you say "I'm sorry you did what you did" or "I'm sorry you feel hurt," this makes it seem as if you are not sorry at all and as if you are placing the blame on the other person. Saying you are sorry but then immediately blaming the other person will make your apology seem shallow or false.

Timing is everything with an apologizing. Sometimes it's best to apologize as soon as you make a mistake, and there are times when you need to wait until you and the other person are no longer angry or in the middle of the argument. Only you can evaluate the situation. However, the sooner you can apologize, the better. Try to remedy the situation as soon as you've calmed down or given the other person time to calm down.

Be sure to ask the other person how they are feeling. If they are still angry, ask what you can do to make it up to them. If they need space, make sure to honor this request. If the other person is still angry, be patient and allow them to feel this way. Don't beg or argue with the other person. Instead, repeat your apology, and try your best to validate his or her feelings.

After apologizing, follow through on your words. If you apologize for an action, try your best never to do it again.

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