Can you forgive me? It’s a question many have had to ask after intentionally or unintentionally hurting a loved one. The process of seeking forgiveness is essential to repairing the relationship you broke. But the way how ask for forgiveness is also important.
How to apologize to a person
ask someone to forgive you it is not a natural process. To learn how to make an apology work, you need to know what forgiveness is and what it isn’t.
Forgiveness is “stop feeling resentment against those who offended you”. Psychologists similarly define forgiveness as a conscious decision to release vengeful or resentful feelings toward the one who wronged you.
Note that neither definition implies that the action that caused pain should be forgotten. Nor do they imply that those who are forgiving you should excuse or agree with your actions.
Contrary to what society tries to consolidate in us through phrases like “forgive and forget”, true forgiveness does not imply releasing you from responsibility for your actions.
It is the process of admitting your mistake in an attempt to help the person you hurt release their negative feelings.
Forgiveness leads to a more positive life
Asking “can you forgive me?” It is very beneficial for both you and the person you hurt. A good apology not only helps to repair the damaged relationship between you and the one who is forgiving you, but it also changes the way that person sees you.
Research has shown that people view those who have harmed them more positively when they take responsibility for their actions and apologize.
Not only that, but forgiveness between married couples increases marital well-being in couples and strengthens the parental bond. It also helps forgivers experience less anxiety, feelings of depression and anger, and greater resilience.
These latter benefits derive from the fact that accepting an apology releases negative emotions that are associated with various health problems.
There are also numerous other studies that have shown the positive health benefits of forgiveness. These range from increased self-esteem among people who have forgiven their childhood abusers, to the psychological benefits of forgiveness therapy for elderly patients.
the science of forgiveness
Despite the benefits of forgiveness, not all apologies are well received. This reception is due to many reasons. The forgiver may find it difficult to forgive the one who has harmed him, for example. Or maybe you made a false excuse or didn’t recognize the impact of your actions or words.
While you can’t control the other person’s decision to forgive you or not, you can make sure you’re seeking forgiveness correctly. So how can you effectively ask: Can you forgive me?
Accept that you caused the other person pain
The process begins with admitting that you are guilty of causing pain. Therefore, you must be more humble and acknowledge how your words and actions affected the person you seek forgiveness from. This can be difficult, and admitting this guilt is painful. But if you don’t have a broken heart, you won’t be willing to repair the damage. Also, you won’t seem totally remorseful for your actions.
How to build an effective apology
A couple of studies have shown that there are between five and six steps involved in creating a proper apology. An article from the ohio university described six steps, while another published in the Journal of Psycholinguistic Research He listed five. Both share very similar actions.
1. Express remorse for your actions
The beginning of any good apology involves saying, “I’m sorry” or “I apologize.” Next, briefly summarize your feelings of remorse for what you did wrong. In your summary, be very specific about what you did to cause the other person pain.
Don’t just say something very general, like “I’m sorry I bothered you.” Instead, say things like, “I’m sorry I hurt you by breaking your favorite mug.”
2. Empathize with the person you hurt
Explain to the person you hurt how things happened that ultimately caused them pain. This does not mean that you should excuse your behavior. However, this gives you the opportunity to briefly explain your thought processes.
For example, if you stood someone up on a date, try to explain that you mistakenly thought not going was better than being late.
Once you do that, take the time to empathize with how the person you hurt felt. Acknowledge that you were wrong in your reasoning because of how you made the other person feel.
Doing this makes your apology more sincere. Not only do you have to mention your mistake in question again, but you also have to acknowledge how and why the person felt a particular way.
3. Take responsibility
Express clearly and openly that you were wrong to behave in a certain way. This shows the person you’re apologizing to that you acknowledge your responsibility for the pain you caused.
Under no circumstances should you say things like, “I’m sorry you felt this…”, as you would be taking the blame off yourself.
If the problem was not your fault, you should still not blame the other person. In this situation, try to empathize with how the other person felt. Focus on finding the root of the problem instead of blaming them for causing the problem in the first place.
Let’s say you have a client who is angry because a project is taking longer than planned.
However, they did not give you the materials you needed for the job. Instead of complaining about this, apologize for the miscommunication that caused them to feel frustrated.
Then ask questions about how you might handle such situations in the future.
4. Amend your mistakes
Many people have the misconception that a good apology only requires empathizing with the other person, expressing remorse, and taking responsibility. This is not the case.
After the first three steps, you should continue to apologize and remain willing to correct the situation. Promise the one who is forgiving you that you will make it up to them.
You can promise something specific or ask them what might fix the situation. Either way, make sure your efforts are proportional to the error.
5. Promise you will change
Any apology, regardless of how much intention you put into it, means nothing if you don’t change. Let the forgiver know precisely how your behavior will change in the future where you will avoid the same problem.
Then do your personal best to keep this promise. If you don’t, any future apology will seem less than sincere to the other person.
6. Say sorry
Can you forgive me? Do you think we can move forward? Would you forgive my mistake? However you express it, you must ask for forgiveness after giving an elaborate apology.
With the apology you make sure that the other person knows that you recognize your responsibility. On the other hand, asking for forgiveness makes the process a two-way street. You alone are not responsible for rebuilding the relationship. Both you and the person you hurt should work to rebuild trust.
7. Listen to their response
Now that you’ve adequately apologized, you need to let the other person respond. He may be very happy that you apologized. I might even forgive you right away. But, this is not always the case.
After asking, “can you forgive me?” you should let them sort out their feelings. Don’t get defensive or try to pressure them into forgiving you.
If they decide they can’t forgive you, you’ve still shown that you’re willing to change. Show that you are different and truly sorry for what happened. Over time, they may be more open to forgiveness.
Once someone forgives youMake sure they put into words that they have forgiven you. This step may seem unimportant, but the verbal acknowledgment that you have been forgiven is essential. This shows that they will not continue to mention the incident.