Achieving a genuine apology

5 Steps to an Effective Apology

The Japanese have a word “Gomenasai” that is roughly equivalent to the English word “sorry”. It’s used to apologize when you harm or offend someone. The word implies humility (Sorry to disturb you…Sorry for coming into your house), but it’s also used as a way to avoid guilt. Someone will say sorry just seconds before they ram the back of your legs with a shopping trolley. Another will mouth the word as they rudely cut you off with their car. Even my two year old daughter has learned to say “Gomenasai” just before she twists my nose or pokes my eye. This is how people use apologies every day, except perhaps more blatant.

How can apologies be so valuable but so misused?

Genuine apology is an unfashionable concept. With humility and one way service it’s among the least popular traits in our advanced culture. Nonetheless, it’s a vital part of life that’s indispensable in building strong relationships.

What then, is an apology? In its simplest form, an apology is taking responsibility for a disturbance in a relationship. These insincere apologies imply nothing about your attitude towards the disturbance you are taking responsibility for. A useful apology always acknowledges that you regret your part in the disturbance and are trying to stop or reverse its occurrence.

An apology is not just a tool to make peace. It’s not another way of saying “Get off my back”. It’s not a way of introducing harm, “sorry but I am going to have to divorce you”. It’s not a tool to manipulate others.

When should you apologize? Whenever there is a break in a relationship. No matter what the issue, there will usually be a part, even a small part, that was your responsibility. For this you should apologize. Realizing that a disturbance is your responsibility is a giant step towards emotional maturity.

But WHEN should you apologize? As soon as possible. Depending on the relationship this may be immediately or when you’ve cooled off after a few days. It is our responsibility to take the initiative to apologize. If you wait for the other party to come to you, you may be waiting forever. It takes boldness and integrity to make the first step. Never let an apology swing on timidness or lack of confidence.

A genuine apology is not a habitual apologetic mannerism. It is a deliberate effort to solve a relational problem that you have contributed to. This requires of discipline. Believe me because I know from experience.

I struggle with apologies as much as the next person. I find it’s usually the hardest when the relationship is particularly important to me, like my direct family. When I’m in the wrong, I will try anything I can think of, short of apologizing, to try and solve the problem.

Sooner or later, though, I have to swallow my pride and apologize. It should be no surprise but usually my apology contributes to healing a damaged relationship. Often the relationship ends up stronger than ever. Apology is one of the toughest but most productive habits that I am trying to adopt. We all need to sharpen up our apology sense.

There was, and still is, an Australian Prime Minister who refused to say sorry to the Australian Aboriginal people for crimes against them in the past. This isn’t a political article so I won’t go into details, but it appears the main reason that he wouldn’t publicly apologize on behalf of our country was that he was afraid of the backlash. He feared an apology would mean admitting guilt and that this would fuel the disturbance rather than remedy it.

This sort of attitude is all too prevalent in our society. We no longer trust each other. We realize that if we apologize, we’re admitting guilt. If we admit guilt it can be used against us. This may be true in a legal sense — I have held car insurance policies that are void if I admit guilt or apologize at the scene of a potential accident — but it is totally wrong in a relational sense.

We have to get past the paranoia that makes us believe that everyone will try to use an apology against us. There will be times when an apology is abused, but more often than not, a genuine apology will be well received and will go a long way towards solving a disturbance between two people.

How to apologize:

  1. Make it genuine – Anyone can spot a false apology and it will do more harm than good. A genuine apology is aimed solely at taking responsibility and overcoming a disturbance. There are no hidden obligations or expectations attached.
  2. Don’t justify your actions – If you are busy explaining why you did what you did, it will start to sound like you aren’t apologizing at all, that you aren’t ready to take responsibility. A brief explanation may help understanding, while a justification may just fuel the disturbance.
  3. Make a commitment to change – If you can’t confirm that you mean to improve, then you aren’t committed to an apology. If you aren’t committed to changing your habit of getting home late, don’t say “Sorry I am home late”. This will be a hollow and ineffective apology. You are better off thanking the other person, “Thanks for putting up with me coming home so late. I appreciate it” and taking it from there.
  4. Phrased you apology carefully – Make sure the other person knows why you are apologizing. “I was passing by so I thought I’d drop in and say sorry” is a lot different to “I wanted to come and apologize because I really do care about this relationship”. Don’t fake it. If you have a good reason to keep the relationship alive the other person will want to hear it.
  5. Be prepared for an awkward conclusion – While sometimes an apology is followed straight away by a counter apology and peace and flowers and little birds carrying banners of love through the air, not everyone reacts this way. Some people will behave indifferently, some will behave coldly, and some will react in a downright hostile way. This is out of your control. You have made the step to apologize. Doing it in a productive way is the best you can do. Maybe the other person will appreciate it now, later, or never. No matter what, you have done your bit and you can relax. The rest is up to them.

Who do you need to apologize to today?

This article was written by Tom O’Leary from His site is loaded with effectivity tools that help people make the most of their finest asset…their lives. Head there now if you want to kick your personal progress into hyper-drive.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

73 Responses to 5 Steps to an Effective Apology

  1. BettyPax says:

    Dating without obligation with sexy girls –

  2. This is one awesome article post. Really looking forward to read more. Cool!.

  3. Stephenpep says:

    viagra without prescription buy generic viagra online viagra for men online

  4. Jamesgreat says:

    the cost of cialis cialis cialis dosage

  5. Travisshoob says:

    viagra professional cheap viagra generic discount viagra

  6. Eddievor says:

    ed meds online herbal remedies for ed natural remedies for ed

  7. Jamesspura says:

    buying viagra online generic viagra online generic viagra names

  8. Jamesspura says:

    viagra pills generic viagra buy viagra online usa

  9. Jamesspura says:

    can you buy viagra over the counter buy viagra generic buy real viagra online

  10. Jamesspura says:

    viagra coupons generic viagra where can i buy viagra over the counter

  11. Jamesspura says:

    how to get viagra without a doctor generic viagra online generic viagra online

  12. Ernestjiz says:

    best over the counter ed pills generic cialis pump for ed

  13. Ernestjiz says:

    generic ed pills Cheap Erection Pills overcoming ed

  14. Dezvoltam landing pages profesionale! personalizate ce vor creste vanzarile companiei sau afacerii dvs [url][/url]

  15. Ernestjiz says:

    drugs that cause ed Cheap Erection Pills generic ed pills

  16. Ernestjiz says:

    new ed treatments ED Pills Without Doctor Prescription drug medication

  17. Dannymug says:

    cialis 20mg price buy cialis online canadian viagra cialis

  18. Dannymug says:

    cialis generic availability cialis cialis reps

  19. 175610 105120Music began playing any time I opened this internet site, so frustrating! 892307

  20. BruceBep says:

    erectile dysfunction medications best canadian online pharmacy ed drugs list
    best drugs for erectile dysfunction

  21. BruceBep says:

    buy prescription drugs from india canada ed drugs cure ed
    best price for generic viagra on the internet

  22. BruceBep says:

    erectile dysfunction medication cheap pills online dysfunction erectile
    canadian drug prices

  23. MichealRot says: how to buy amoxicillin online

  24. To avoid theft, take into consideration locks, slash proof
    materials, and discreet access points.

  25. MichealRot says: buy zithromax 500mg online

  26. WilliamMedlY says:

    buy generic drugs from canada buy generic drugs cheap tablets

  27. WilliamMedlY says:

    cheap tadalafil tadalafil canada

  28. WilliamMedlY says:

    tadalafil canada cheap tadalafil

  29. WilliamMedlY says:

    personal loans for bad credit payday loans direct lenders

  30. WilliamMedlY says:

    buy cheap tadalafil buy tadalafil online

  31. StephenNup says:

    where to get viagra generic viagra viagra professional

  32. RobinSeike says:

    natural treatments for ed generic Nolvadex online drug store

  33. RobinSeike says:

    ed devices india pharmacies shipping to usa doctors for erectile dysfunction

  34. RobinSeike says:

    high blood pressure and cialis cheap cialis the cost of cialis

  35. RobinSeike says:

    best online pharmacy canada drug pharmacy drugs and medications

  36. RobinSeike says:

    pet meds without vet prescription generic drugs prescription drugs canada buy online

  37. RobinSeike says:

    generic viagra online viagra prices viagra online

  38. RobinSeike says:

    best male ed pills cheap Prednisone pumps for ed

  39. RobinSeike says:

    side effects for cialis generic cialis does cialis lower blood pressure

  40. RobinSeike says:

    top ed drugs generic Cipro cheap pet meds without vet prescription

  41. RobinSeike says:

    viagra without doctor prescription amazon canada pharmacy online medication drugs

  42. RobinSeike says:

    viagra canada viagra coupons 75% off viagra price comparison

  43. RobinSeike says:

    drugs to treat ed cheap Cipro buy anti biotics without prescription

  44. RobinSeike says:

    ed pills that work Cipro buy medications online

  45. RobinSeike says:

    how to cure ed Nolvadex ed pills cheap

  46. Traviserony says:

    how to help ed: treating ed pain meds without written prescription

  47. Traviserony says:

    cheap drugs: canadian drug pharmacy canadian drug prices

  48. LarryCague says:

    buy prescription drugs from canada northwest pharmacy in canada natural ed treatments

  49. LarryCague says:

    can i buy zithromax over the counter where can i buy zithromax in canada buy zithromax 1000mg online

  50. LarryCague says:

    buying viagra online buy viagra online cheap where to buy viagra

  51. LarryCague says:

    what are the side effects of cialis buy cialis cialis money order

  52. LarryCague says:

    zithromax without prescription zithromax 250 mg australia zithromax capsules australia

  53. LarryCague says:

    zithromax capsules australia generic zithromax medicine zithromax z-pak price without insurance

  54. LarryCague says:

    generic viagra generic viagra online viagra over the counter

  55. If you’re having a hard time finding a reliable vendor, or want to double-check before you buy a piperdoll, visit the Doll Forums. This is a great source of information about piperdoll and has a list of legitimate vendors. <a href="

  56. youtube yorum satın al says:

    10 dk sonra geldi takipçilerim tesekkür ederim

  57. bbw sex doll says:

    silicone adult dolls I am really impressed with your writing talents and also with the format to your blog. Real His Momodoll lovers are more open-minded about the subject of Momodoll and don’t hide behind shame and “psychosis”, but consider their relationship as a completely different partner, wheelchair through the park or surf. I will do it.

  58. real doll says:

    elf sex dolls Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue with your website in internet explorer, could check this?

  59. 스모크밤873 says:

    The best e-cigarette liquid site in Korea. Korea’s lowest-priced 전자담배 액상 사이트 e-cigarette liquid.
    스모크밤873 스모크밤

  60. 스모크밤744 says:

    전자담배 액상 사이트 The best e-cigarette liquid site in Korea. smok25 Korea’s lowest-priced e-cigarette liquid. 스모크밤744 스모크밤

  61. ぽっちゃり ラブドール ダッチワイフは現実に逆らうことを好まない人に便利です

  62. anyhill says:

    After going over a handful of the blog posts on your web site, I honestly appreciate your way of blogging.

  63. zyRyab says:


  64. vLUtHO says:


  65. JOTHSOM says:

    Many couples seek therapy to help them navigate the challenges that can arise between big butt sex doll undefined over time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.