Avoiding 5 Common Apology Mistakes

It’s one of the hardest things to do.


There is a right way and a wrong way to apologize.

So, I’m sharing 5 apology mistakes as outlined by the experts. 

1.  Apologizing by Text or Email – In person or over the phone apologies are the most effective.  They can see your body language or hear your tone over the phone.  You also have a chance to listen to their side of the dealio.  The only exception would be if the person simply won’t see you or answer the phone.  If that is the case, write all the details of the issue and why you want to apologize. 

2.  Making excuses to justify your mistake – “I’m sorry that I did/said_______, BUT, you really made me upset when you did/said______.”  Eliminate the words “but” and “however” from the apology.

3.  You Don’t Really Mean It – If you apologize for something that you truly believe in or can’t be sincere about it, don’t do it.  Consider apologizing for your part in the issue by saying something like …. “I was way out of line when I said/did this”.

4.  Saying “I’m sorry you feel/think that way” – It’s backhanded and it’s like telling that person that they are way too sensitive, or the way they “feel” or “think” is not being considered. 

5.  Expecting them to accept your apology – It may take some time for the other person to process your apology.  If they think it’s sincere.  If they can forgive you.  After you apologize, you may want to go one step further by asking how they feel about your apology and if they will accept it.

Don’t assume that the past is the past. 

Don’t assume that they will forget about it.

And, take a deep breath (or two) before you decide to say something or do something that will hurt someone else’s feelings.