What process can I use if I need to apologize?
Apologizing is a process of negotiating for and earning forgiveness from
someone who feels that your behavior caused them pain. Successfully apologizing
means the other person accepts your apology or lets you know what you have
to do to earn their forgiveness. Apologizing can help to restore relationships
damaged by values violations.
What to do:
- 1. Recognize Pain - Express recognition of the pain you may
have caused others with full empathy for those hurt.
- 2. Review Actions - Describe what you did and how these actions
caused others pain.
- 3. Express Sorrow - Feel genuine sorrow, guilt and remorse for
what you did and for the pain you caused. Express that you are sorry. Explain
why you are sorry. (If you don't really feel sorrow, go develop your empathy for those you hurt.)
- 4. Accept Penalty (If applicable) - Accept reasonable and appropriate
penalties that may be required to achieve restitution and/or fulfill the
- 5. Make A Promise - Promise to do your best not to repeat the
behavior that caused the pain.
- 6. Ask For Forgiveness -"Will you accept my apology and
forgive me?" "How can I earn your forgiveness."
- 7. Keep Promise- Follow up with actions consistent with your
(From here, to move forward in the relationship, use the Requesting steps
consistent with fulfilling your role.)
For more details about apologizing, see the article: Apologizing as a Path of Forgiveness.
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