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Learn How to Make a Genuine Apology

Learn How to Make a Genuine Apology

So you know you messed up. You hurt someone else, whether it’s a friend, family member, or significant other. You may have spoken harshly, teased someone insensitively, failed to follow through on a promise, or in some other way disappointed or let down someone close to you.

In the best-case scenario, you say “I’m sorry,” and that’s about it. But often we’re embarrassed and want to move on so quickly that we don’t make sort of apology that is going to help repair your relationship. A sincere, genuine, and deeply felt apology can not only a fix the situation, it can make your relationship even stronger and closer than it was before.

So how do you make a genuine apology and show that you really mean it? Let’s go through the steps. For our purposes, we’ll use the example of forgetting plans to have dinner with your girlfriend and went out with your friends instead.

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1. Use specifics when you say you’re sorry

Just saying “Sorry” doesn’t cut it. “I’m really sorry you had to eat alone” is much better.  It shows you’re not trying to avoid a discussion of what you did wrong.

2. Ask how the other person feels

Yeah, you think you know why she’s mad, but maybe you don’t have the full story. Asking her to share more of her feelings will make her realize that you genuinely want to connect and understand her perspective. This will make her feel loved and close, in spite of your mistake. Also, it gives you a chance to correct any assumptions that your action may have led the other party to make.

Example:

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You: “What were you feeling when I didn’t text?”

Girlfriend: “I was sad. I was like, he doesn’t care enough to even contact me. Is that true?”

You: “No, I love you.  I genuinely forgot we were eating together tonight. But I should have texted to check, since I forget stuff a lot.”

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3. You openly acknowledge the other person’s feelings

This is called empathy, and it means that you are trying to understand exactly how the other person’s perspective. Try to remember a time when you felt the same way.

Example: “I really get how upset you are that I didn’t remember to text you and that I keep forgetting plans. You feel like I was thoughtless and selfish. I actually felt the same way when I was waiting around for my brother to call me last week to hang out, and then he never did.”

Remember, this is not the time to bring up anything negative about the person to whom you’re apologizing. Definitely don’t say, “I know how you feel because you didn’t text me yesterday all day so I had no idea if we had plans later.”

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4. Show that you’re committed to change

Come up with a plan to address this situation in the future so it doesn’t happen again. You want to show that this episode has taught you something. You’re going to try to behave differently in the future, so you’re less likely to hurt the other person again.

Example: “I don’t want this to happen again, I hate seeing you so upset. How about we sit down on Sunday nights and decide which nights we are definitely eating together and then I can put them in my calendar?”

These four steps will help you express your regret and sadness for having hurt another person, as well as convey that you understand their perspective and are committed to not messing up in the same way again. Instead of a quick “I’m sorry”—which can easily turn into a huge fight, as you may have experienced—these steps will ensure that your apology ends up making the relationship more trusting, solid, and close.

Happy apologizing!

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Last Updated on February 13, 2019

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

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2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

“There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

happiness surrounding

    One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

    6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

    People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

    7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

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    smile

      This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

      8. Happy people are passionate.

      Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

      9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

      Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

      10. Happy people live in the present.

      While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

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      There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

      So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

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