Don’t Just SAY You’re Sorry? Prove It!

The words, 'I'm sorry' can get us out of trouble when we've done something wrong or hurt someone we care about but the key to a good apology is really meaning it and convincing the other person that you are truly remorseful.  Apologizing just for the sake of keeping the peace is not an effective way to apologize.  In doing so the recipient of the apology will most likely see through you and realize that your apology is insincere.  A sincere and well timed apology, however, will help to mend the relationship that was harmed by your words or actions.

The most important way to prove that you are truly sorry for hurting someone is to ensure that the hurtful action is not repeated.  Apologizing over and over while continuing to make the same mistake shows that your apology is not really sincere.  On the other hand if you really mean that you are sorry for an action you will take careful steps not to repeat this action.  Apologizing for your actions is one thing but being cautious not to repeat your actions really proves that you are indeed sorry.

Being specific regarding the reason for your apology also really proves that you are sorry.  Many people are quick to offer an apology when they realize someone is upset with them but often they don't take the time to figure out why the other person is upset.  Apologizing without stating the reason for the apology shows that you don't understand the problem and that you aren't sincere in your apology.  This is not an effective way to make an apology.  However, if you offer a specific reason for your apology you are proving that you understand what you did to hurt the other person and that do not want to repeat that action.

Another way to prove that your apology is authentic is to be sure to offer the apology in person.  Having a third party speak to the person you have offended or apologizing via email or voice mail conveys a lack of caring.  This kind of apology shows that you aren't truly sorry for your actions.  Meeting with the person face to face to have a sincere conversation and offer your apology is one way to really prove that you are sorry.  It shows that you care enough about the other person to meet with them directly to try to make amends for your contributions to the disagreement.

In apologizing, if you want to prove that you really mean it, be careful not to place blame on the person you are apologizing to.  Your apology is about telling the other person why you believe that you did something wrong.  While they may have contributed to the situation, now is not the time to point out their faults.  Instead take full responsibility for what you have done wrong.  Accepting full responsibility for your actions and apologizing for them without placing blame on the other person will prove that your apology is sincere.

A genuine apology will also include telling the other person why your actions were wrong and how you intend to avoid hurting them in the future.  Doing this proves to them not only that you understand you were wrong but that you understand why you were wrong.  It also lets them know that you have already formulated a plan of action to ensure that this situation does not arise in the future.

The timing of your apology can also help to prove that you really are sorry.  Waiting too long to apologize may show that you don't really care and that you are simply apologizing as an afterthought.  An apology that is made too early may risk being ignored because the recipient of the apology is still too upset to listen to what you are saying.  It's important to give the other person a chance to vent their anger and calm down before rushing to apologize.  After a reasonable amount of time approach them and let them know that you understand their anger and believe that it is justified and that you wanted to give them a chance to calm down before apologizing.
Sometimes it is not enough to simply apologize for your words or actions.  It is often necessary to not only apologize but to also prove that your apology is sincere.  A truly sincere apology proves that you are sorry by addressing the issue and acknowledging what you have done wrong while validating the other person's right to be angry and addressing how you will avoid similar actions in the future.

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  1. Shelly tabner says:

    Example? Like what should i do? What if saying how deeply sorry u are isnt enough and u neeed to do something? What shouldi do?

  2. MERCEDES says:

    I like this boy name Michael I was playing hard to get, and i was sending a message to me friend Miracle but i DON’T i made a huge mistake and sent it to Micheal. The text said (Me and Michael are back to talking, at first he was acting like he didnt know why i was mad at him. Then he found out why. I was playing hard to get and now he is trying to get mt back) He told me never speak to him again. i could’nt just brush it off i had to do something. i said sorry over and over again NOTHING

  3. Reggie says:

    @ Shelly, while nothing substitutes for not repeating the mistake you must understand that some people can get over the transgression in a few days but for others it can take much longer so patience is the key.

  4. Trinton Kahland says:

    I told my girlfriend i loved her, and now where fighting, I don’t know why.

  5. Brit Zef says:

    Okay. So my friend, Davie said something that really hurt my feelings. I told him to prove that he was sorry but he said that he didn’t know how. (Which made me mad.) I told him that I can’t tell him how to prove himself that he has to think if he really means it. I don’t expect him to change who he is but just to prove himself tht he can be what he says what he is.

    Now we are friends. I love him with all my heart. He just makes mistakes sometimes. :)

  6. sara aziz says:

    I hurt my ex very much.. i lied a lot to him, about my life.. about my parents knowing we were together and them being okay with it. but they didn’t really know anything and one night when i was out with him (and he thought my parents knew.. but i had actually snuck out) my parents realised i was out and they got really angry.. the whole time i didn’t admit to my ex that they didn’t know i kept reassuring him that they were okay with everything.. long story short, he found out all about my lies and he was very hurt. i have never loved anyone as much as i love him but my biggest mistake was all the lies.. i wish i knew why i told so many lies.. its not like he was my first relationship and i had never lied before in those relationships.. but when i met my ex he was just so perfect his looks his personality his life everything was perfect. i think i lied so i can have a perfect life like him so i could be perfect for him.. but i don’t think thats a proper reason.. to me its an excuse because.. i still don’t know why i lied. but i know that i am definitely without a doubt sorry for hurting him.. I’m sorry for loosing him I’m sorry for lying I’m sorry for everything. i truly loved and still love him . i would give up my life for him . i would leave everything for him . his the sweetest most caring loving amazing person i have ever met.

    I’ve tried to say sorry countless times. through messages and calls but he wants nothing to do with me. he hates me. i just want him to know that i am genuinely sorry and that I’ve changed . i want him to know that although i lied about so many things i never ever lied about how much i loved him.

    how do i do this?

    help its

  7. Brandy A. says:

    My boyfriend(Austin) and I had a huge fight yesterday. He said a lot of things that hurt my feelings, which eventually made me crack. I said some very mean things, like how I could do so much better than him and that my one guy friend (which Austin knows that he wants to be with me) would have a field day after ehearing about how mean he was to me. I also insulted him intelligence and maturity level. Mind you I am 17 and he is 16. I don’t want to lose him, so I need to really show him how sorry I truely am. Normally I am the kind of person who cooks for a apology and makes a whole lot of crafts to convey the message. I have never had to do this for him yet and this fight, I just don’t know if this is enough to prove to him how much I care and love him and that I am so very sorry that I put him through this.

  8. Betrayer says:

    I love my boyfriend, i betrayed him – so he says, and yes i accepted and apologised mar – he just dont take it, how do i prove dat m sori? how do i tell dat m sori, except sayin sori cos iv said it several times and is not hapenning . He keeps saying i betrayed him – it hurts. It is said dat wat goes around comes around but this is worse… How do i say that im sorry? Pls help

  9. Erika says:

    i hurt my ex boyfriend real bad. because while we were dating he got suspended from school for nearly the remainder of the school year 76 days. and through out the first couple weeks of his suspension we kept fighting and it got real bad and it was stupid stuff that we fought over, at the time my ex boyfriend David came back into my life being my friend one night i kissed david and felt bad about it but then Quin and i fought again and again and one night i asked him if i could hang out at David’s house because all my friends would be their but he picked a fight with me over it and i broke up with him because of the fighting and plus i had a feeling that i might kiss David again and more. and we did (not sex though) don’t get that picture, David and i had something going for the whole month but something happened and he turned into an absolute asshole and broke my heart. Quin heared about it and called me it has now been weeks that i have told Quin i’m sorry over and over again, i’ve stated y i was sorry and that it never should have heppened and that i should have listened to him. Quin is in a relationship now and it breaks my heart because i gave that up for an asshole that didn’t deserve my time. i don’t no how else to proove to Quin that im sorry and that i really really do love him.

  10. Aniyah says:

    My friend he is mad at me bc I keep forgetting to give him this money tht I owe him
    N he said tht he is so freaking mad and I kinda like him but idk still….
    So I told him that k was sorry like a thousand times and he said that I have to prove it
    But I didn’t kno how to so he stopped tlkin to me. Oh n I never had the moey so
    I lied to him and said that I did. Idk y I lie to him it just happen
    So I need a reason y I’m so srry cuz he is my bestfriend n I love him so much
    Somebody help me!!!

  11. Capri says:

    Well, I cheated on my boyfriend with his cousin. I know, horrible right. Yeah well I feel like the scum of the earth. Hes giving me a chance to prove to him how sincerely sorry I am and that I really do love him with all my heart and soul. But how? I hurt him so bad how do I comfort him and gain trust back?

  12. Niamh says:

    I Went Out With My Friends Ex The SAME Day He Dumped Her :( I Know Im A Rubbish Friend I Just Really Like Him But I Never Wanted To Fall Out Help Me Please??x

  13. jasmyn patterson says:

    Me and a friend I guess u could call it .. well , no , cuz he hates me now um we went out for almost a year. I fell in love with him and this sounds awkward cuz I never really opened up to the internet before and I never thought I would but there’s so many people doing it so why not … Well we faught all the time and I was such a bitch to him , I yelled at him constantly .. my friends were part of many break UPS cuz thwy told him I was pregnant after I lost virginity to him and he flipped and didn’t believe it was mg feiwnda and then my ex best frwind told him I was getting bruises when I sleep cuz I’m getting raped and i went with it and he believed it cuz I got molested when I was 6 and hes fhe only person I told and the intefnet knows and the guys still in jail. Well. We broke up … Then he ignored me for a few months not even replying to a single text … I was so upset and hurt I cried all the time from the thought and he was the only thing on my mind. To get over him I used a lot of his close friends to get to gim I dated some , and never did anything physical with them but we talked a lot and then one day I was staying after school for a basketball game Cameron was there with all his friends and they were calling me a slut and I started crying and I was half way out the door when I turned around and Cameron was staring at me and it was just us two alone in the school on the other end from where the game was and he told me he was sorry and that night he held me at the game all night but I guess he told a girl the night before that he liked her and she was at the game so chaios happened over that and we faught over that … Then he started txting me … and we started talking about old times and we were friends with benefits I guess but then he randomly stopped talking to me he started ignoring me again after he told me he would never leave me and he promised me we would get married. So the biggest dance of the year was coming up and since I had no one to go with I said yes to one of his friends I dated before but i said we can go as friends and that’s it. So it got cancelled I was happy cuz Cameron got soo mad … He woudnt txt me so I called his house and he Hung up on me and I was pissed so i changed my phone signature to I<3jordan which is a diff guy who asked me and I said no and i told him I was going with. Jordan to fuck off and his phone is broke so he can read them but not respond (at least I think its broke) then yesterday I talked to him in school and said i was sorry nut I did make that mistake 3 times going to his friends and he called me a fuxking slut and walked away then today I walked by him and he was looking at me and I was looking at him and he was like fucking retard and I didn't even say any thing … :,( I've been crying all day

  14. jasmyn patterson says:

    Cameron said he might have to work the day of the dance then he quit talking to me and said he was mad at me and I didn’t even Do any thing and he always accuses me of listening to other people and rumors but how can he get mad unless he was the one believing absurd rumors ?_

  15. megan says:

    Well a few days ago i said some horrible things to my boyfriend but the thing that got me was that his friend was with him. He was so angry he just walked away from me and a few hours later he said dont talk to him for a while. Its been almost two dayz what should i do?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have a girl friend. I love her too much. We are in love about almost 3 years. Now she is in kerala n m in mumbai. Before 2 years i were in kerala, now i shifted mumbai for my higher studies. We talk through cell every day. We loves each other a lot. One

    Pls help me

  17. James says:

    Well yesterday I have a huge fright with my girlfriend. It was about something that I said… I said sorry 10000 of times but she just ignored me… What can i do?

  18. LoveAddict says:

    The only reason why you’ll find it hard to say sorry is because you are not really sorry to begin with. Put yourself in the shoes of the person you hurt. How do they feel? Do they feel inadequate or scared? They feel sad right now, does that matter to you? Show them that they matter. Spend time with them and show that you care. Go over what is needed and do more than what you are expected. That is the key.

  19. nathly says:

    my friend kissed me then he gave me a hug i said ok then he said now i an blind then i slapped him and i didn’t even ask him what he meant. i have said sorry so many times but he doesn’t want to hear me or listen to me. what can i do to show him i am really sorry

  20. hope says:

    Ok so I I have a some what boyfrined and we’ve been together for about 5 months. I love him and he sayshe loves me. But he won’t let me call him my boyfriend and says we aren’t even we had an arguement about the matter and he just said he didn’t want to talk about it.I told him I was tired of being a friend with benifits(not sex though). We stopped talking for awhile. and I was feeling as if it was all my I was being selfish because I wanted to mean more to him. We’re talking again be but I still feel so bad. He siad he was sorry about the arguement but somethiing about his apology didn’t feelright.I love him but I don’t know what to do or say anymore.

  21. Tsuneni Aisuru says:

    I’m in a complicated relationship. I love him and he says he loves me. But his actions and the way he treats me says otherwise. He treats me like a close friend and I apperciate that but I wish I could tell him how I truly feel. Then we had a fight I tried to tell him how I felt. But due to the situation it made things worse.I started to assume everything was my fault and I appolygised. But he won’t talk to me please help me .

  22. ryan says:

    I don’t normaly open up on the web but I ran out ideas, basicly their was a girl who I really liked at collage, I’ve known her for nearly 8 months, but the after the second month we became close mates and when on a date and to this day I wish I made a move but at the time, timing was bad for me so I left it as friends and it hurt having to just walk away when I want to be with her, we didn’t talk for a while then about 3 months late timing was better for me and I one night I just gave it a shot at trying to fix things, and explained timing for me was bad and everything, and she understood, then about 1 month on we were back to being close friends flirting all the time and just ways having a laugh, I want to be more than good mates but it still felt awkward I never really knew how she felt about me, she said she wanted to be more than mates aswell, I asked her out a couple of days before I went away and she said yes, but when I got back everything was fine then someone at my collage ask if were going out because they heard we was so I said yes because she told one person and well ofcourse they told everyone and then about 1 hour after I said to the person we were she text me saying it to commited and she can’t be dealing with it atm,she said she’s sorry for pushing me way but can we still be good mates, this hurt me loads as I never asked her to commit to anything, but I didn’t want to loose her completetly so I said yer we can, then she carried on flirting with me even when we broke up, the whole time from when we started talking to breaking up to becoming friends everyone at collage said there was sexaully tension between us but I never paid any attention to it until some that didn’t even know us said it, this was after we broke up, then on day she started getting pissed off at me for over small things and we were argueing over nothing, I just brushed it off at first but then it happened again a few days later she tweeted something that didn’t really piss me off but I used it to start an argument because she also said which caused me to snap and start the arguement was ‘ I think I might get back with me Ex (the ex before me) because he might have changed’ this pissed me off so much because she said to me she didn’t want a commited relationship, so I made a massive arguement over nothing and well she told me to never speak to her again, I left it for a few day then relised I shouldn’t of started an arguement and should just talk about everything sor said sorry, she accept it but still wouldn’t talk to me, so I wait about a month and spilt my heart out saying sorry she said the real reason she broke up with me was because she saw a side she didn’t like, I felt like I was making progress then all of sudden she just said it not going to work so I just said fine looks like it best we go are separt ways then, as this was what she wanted and I respect that but I don’t want it to be like that, how can I prove to her I am truly sorry and that I want to fix things, it seems sayin sorry not enough what do I do to prove it, help please

  23. George says:

    I hurt my girlfriend. she told me she loves me for the first time. this was all in text. i got the text and immediatley began to overthink things like “did she really mean to send this to me?”. finally i replied with “I love you :D ” she replied “You love me!?” my heart sank because i read it as “what do you mean you love me we barely know each other?!?!” so i replied without thinking “you said it to me first…so i said it back” STUPIDEST THING I HAVE EVER SAID! it took a while but she talks to me again but still hasnt forgiven me. I apologized sincerley and all I told her i knew what i did wrong and how im upset that i hurt her. then i asked her what i can do to make things better. and she told me thats up to me to figure out. I have no clue what to do know. :,( things were going so well between us and now i mess it up with one sentence.

  24. Noah says:

    I loved this girl her name is triniti and I got put in foster care and we changed and I became a dick and she still liked me and I liked her but because I changed I was mean to her and I can never take it back and I lost her forever and don’t know what to do

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