“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. Remember that aphorism? Well, it’s open for debate. Is it true? Does love really mean that you never have to say you’re sorry? Or is love about admitting your mistakes, working things out openly and apologizing?
Yes, saying sorry can be hard, but it’s way better than suffering your partner’s icy stares from across the kitchen table for three days.
Most people are not good at apologizing, especially after a fight. But as you mature, you begin to realize that it’s never you versus your partner, it’s you and your partner versus a problem. No matter how good you get at communicating maturely, disagreements will happen.
Here’s how to apologize.
First, should you apologize? Absolutely. Apologizing isn’t always about being wrong, sometimes it’s just the way it came out. It sounded wrong. It can also be about how you made the other person feel or how he or she was affected by your words or actions. The key is to match the size of the sorry to the size of the conflict. If you were just in a grumpy mood because of work, you can just acknowledge that you were horrible to be around.A simply acknowledgement is very effective. But when you have been truly nasty, you need to apologize well!
If you believe it’s not your fault, apologize for what you’re sorry for. Take some time to think about what you could have done better in the situation. Be as specific as possible. You can only apologize for what you did; you cannot apologize for someone else’s reaction, which is why “I’m sorry you’re hurt”, doesn’t count.
The sorry formula.
Just suck it up! Own up to what you did wrong. If you truly don’t know why your partner is upset, Talk it out first. Ask them what they’re upset about tactfully, if need be! You can literally say, ‘Hey, I want to make sure I don’t upset you like that again. What is it that bothered you about what I did?” Which brings us to the last step of a good apology. At least make a concerted effort not to make the same mistake again. Don’t be the person who has to be reminded about the same thing every three months.