As the cliché goes, sorry seems to be the hardest word. Asking for forgiveness from someone is definitely not an easy thing to do. Sorry might just be a single word, but it entails a lot. You cannot just say sorry without saying it sincerely. The moment you say so, you have to let go of the past and make amends. You need to move on and promise not to inflict pain to someone again. In short, before you say sorry to someone, you need to go through a lot of steps. This is why it takes months or even years for some people to just say the words, “I’m sorry.” If you are troubled by the mistakes you have committed against another person, and you are planning to apologize sincerely, here are some tips that you need to follow:
• Write the exact words that you want to say. Sometimes, when you are at the peak of your emotions or you are already confronting someone, you run out of words. Worse, you say things that can make the issue even worse. To guide you during the process, you can write your thoughts out. Make sure that you stick with what you have planned to say no matter how tempted you are to say something else. You don’t need to prepare a 10-minute speech. No matter how short it is as long as it is coming from the heart, it is good enough.
• Don’t expect for instant forgiveness. When you ask for forgiveness, it has to be selfless. It is more about what you have done to solve the issue rather than expecting the issue to be instantly solved. Whether you are forgiven or not as long as you have already expressed your sincere apologies, it would suffice.
• Don’t bring the details of the problem again. For some people, forgiving is a difficult thing to do. If this is the type of person you have problems with, you can definitely expect a long conversation. The problem might be brought up again and your mistake will be highlighted over and over again. No matter how you want to defend yourself and fight back, just hold it. Nothing will happen if you become defensive. Your goal is to ask for forgiveness and start with a clean slate. Drop the past behind and promise not to commit the same mistake again.
• Make sure you have no ulterior motives. Some people just ask for forgiveness to impress someone. Others do it just to get what they want. For instance, there are businessmen who ask for forgiveness to certain clients even without meaning it just to come clean. Others reconcile with the family after knowing about the details of their parents’ will. If you really want forgiveness, then you must have no other intentions in mind.
• Promise to be better. Saying sorry might be difficult, but it is just the first step in a long process. After asking for forgiveness, you have to promise not to hurt the person again. You also have to promise that you will be a better person and express what you have learned from what happened.
It takes courage to ask for apologies. However, the moment you say it, you will feel a thousand times lighter.