How to Apologize to a Guy
Everyone can benefit from improving their apology skills. Apologizing for a wrong-doing is a tricky thing that requires much social and emotional sensitivity. Whether it's due to nature or nurture, or a mixture of both, guys and girls tend to have different needs when it comes to receiving an apology. The recipe for a good apology to a man will include sincerity, brevity, remorse and a commitment to moving on.
Preparing for Good Apology
Wait until you have time off after a fight.If you have adrenaline pumping through you, you are less likely to express yourself adequately when you apologize. Most men will understand if you need to take a moment for yourself, even if you are in the wrong.
- For example, say something like "I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, so I need a little bit of time by myself to cool off, but we can talk about this when I come back."
Empathize.Try to think of what he’s feeling. If you did something wrong, determine how you’d feel if it were done to you. Empathizing with the one you hurt is an essential part of the recovery process.
Don’t be passive aggressive.A common mistake some women and men in relationships make is having an ulterior motive to your apology. If you plan on saying “I’m sorry, but…” it is not a real apology.
- Passive aggression can come in many forms, like sarcasm, such as "I'm sorry I'm such an awful girlfriend," or trying to shift the blame, such as "I'm sorry your feelings got hurt."
Broach the subject.After you've collected your thoughts and you're prepared to apologize, you need to think about how to start the conversation. Wait for moment when nothing distracting is going on, when the two of you are alone, and not pressed for time. Long car rides can be good for this, or at night when the two of you are eating dinner. Say something along the lines of "If now is a good time, I'd like to apologize for what I did." Get straight to the point.
- If he says now isn't a good time, don't press the issue, just wait for a better opportunity. If the reason it isn't a good time is because he's still really angry about the issue, let him know briefly that you understand why he's angry and you are there to talk about it when ever he's ready and wants to.
Expressing Your Regret
Express regret and remorse.Look him in the eyes and say “I’m sorry,” and paraphrase what you are sorry for. It's important that you make clear that you understand exactly how you've hurt him. Including what happened will let him know you listened and considered his thoughts.
- For example, if you're apologizing for yelling at your boyfriend for something you knew wasn't his fault, you might say, "I'm sorry I lashed out at you last night over something you had no responsibility for. I understand how this made you feel like I didn't care about your feelings and was just using you to selfishly take out my anger."
Take full responsibility for your actions.Instead of including a reason that you would have behaved this way, you should refrain from giving your feelings on the situation immediately. Giving excuses for your behavior will make it sound like you're not really sorry.
- For example, instead of saying, "I'm sorry I acted the way I did. I was just really frustrated with things at work and I had a headache that was making me cranky," you should just say, "I'm sorry I acted the way I did. I had no right to be like that to you."
- If he wants to know why you acted the way you did, he can ask you. Then, you can explain your behavior.
- Insincere apologies often express a regret for being caught, rather than actual remorse.
Acknowledge repercussions, if there are any.For example, saying “I understand it will be hard to trust me” will help him to understand that you have considered how your actions affect him. It's wise to let him know you don't expect immediate and total forgiveness.
Keep it short.Cut down everything you want to say to short, straightforward statements. Get your remorse, understanding, and acknowledgment across without going on to much. This will both give him more time to let out what he needs to say, and avoid any sort of miscommunication
Suggest reparations.While this does not apply to all small offenses, it can help in more serious situations. The best way to suggest reparations is to suggest how you are going to change bad behavior or habits in the future.
- Another way to suggest reparations is to ask “What can I do to make this better?” Then let him know you'll take his comments to heart.
Allow him a chance to speak.Try to keep the apology short and sweet. It will be less muddled and allow for a better conversation. A good apology should be a dialogue, not a monologue.
Try not to get defensive.There's a good chance that he is still angry. It's important that you keep your cool during the apology. Listen and express additional regret, if you feel it is necessary, but don't turn the apology into an argument.
Move on.Stop talking about it once he has accepted the apology. Men often find it easier to accept an apology at face value and move on without resentment; so don’t bring it up unless it becomes an issue again.
QuestionMy guy friend is upset with me, but I don't even know why. Whenever I try to approach him he ignores me or completely avoids me. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would recommend giving him time to cool off from what happened. Try talking to him again in a few days and see if he'll tell you why he's upset.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I say "I'm sorry" to my crush?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can write them a letter, or try to write it out over a text message.Thanks!
Do I still have to apologize face to face if I apologize on the phone and he agrees to forgive me?
What can I do if the guy won't accept my apology?
It's been a month already and he is still mad at me is there a chance he'll forgive?
Can I write an apology note instead of saying it if I am shy?
How do I apologize to a guy who won't forgive me?
- Asking for forgiveness can sometimes be substituted in place of reparations. However, asking someone to move on before they are ready indicates that you are not apologizing for their benefit. Try a statement like “I hope you will be able to forgive me in time” if you are unsure how to ask.
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