The Art of an Apology

What do you do if you've hurt someone, intentionally or unintentionally?

Difficult as it may be, your first step is to acknowledge your mistake.

You might say something like, "I'm sorry I didn't follow through on what I told you I would do." 

Or you might say something like, "I apologize for not listening to you and respecting your point of view."

Doing this requires humility. But it is an essential first step to rebuilding trust and confidence in any relationship. The second step is to prove, by your actions, that you are sincere. Words without actions are meaningless.

What if someone is hurting you? 

You must gently confront the issue and tell the person in a non-accusing way, what hurt you. Begin your statement with "I" not "You."

For example, "I was hurt when you were critical of me last week. I need to know that you support me and believe that I'm doing my best."

This give-and-take is what healthy relationships are all about. Whether you have hurt someone else or someone has hurt you, taking these steps will leave you with greater peace of mind. Do this, and you will have the kind of relationships that can handle disagreements and move forward when they occur.