Evelyn Erives

Evelyn Erives

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Do You Use These Words When You Apologize?


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Do you know how to give a proper apology? I'm talking about a real genuine 100% sincere apology?

Co-authors Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy of the new book Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies, drew from a range of research to find out what makes a good apology.  

There are six steps to a great apology:

  • Say you're sorry. Not that you "regret," not that you are "devastated." Say you're "sorry."
  • Say what it is that you're apologizing for. Be specific.
  • Show you understand why it was bad, take ownership, and show that you understand why you caused hurt.
  • Don't make excuses.
  • Say why it won't happen again. What steps are you taking?
  • If it's relevant, make reparations: "I'm going to pay for the dry cleaning. Just send the bill to me. I'm going to do my best to fix what I did."

And if you're trying to give a sincere apology, avoid using these words:

  • "obviously" ("If it was obvious, you wouldn't have to say it")
  •  "already" ("'I've already apologized' is a thing we hear a lot"), 
  •  qualifiers like "sorry if..." and "sorry but..." and "I didn't meant to."  

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