7 Ways to Say "I'm Sorry" ...

We all make mistakes and as a result, we all find it necessary from time to time to extend an apology. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the perfect words to express how truly sorry we are. There are many ways to make a heartfelt apology other than simply saying “I’m sorry." Here are 7 ways to say "I'm sorry."

1. Write It out

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Compose an "I am sorry" letter. For some of us it is easier to commit our feelings to paper rather than expressing ourselves verbally. If you are more comfortable writing the apology or if the person to whom you owe the apology is not speaking to you, writing a letter of apology is a good option. It's also a good way to say exactly what you mean, with lots of time on your side.

2. Undo

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If our actions have caused damage to another, perhaps fixing the damage is the apology you can offer. Our actions generally speak louder than our words; undoing the damage we have caused shows the other person we are genuinely remorseful for our damaging action. Did you break their favorite lamp, or ruin their shoes? Then replace them, add a heart-felt apology, and hopefully, move on.

3. Dinner

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Take the person you are apologizing to out to dinner at your expense. A nice dinner can be a real icebreaker and go a long ways towards soothing hurt feelings. Just make sure it's the dinner they want, not the dinner YOU want.

4. Lights

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If you have hurt someone badly enough that they are no longer taking your calls and refuse to see you; get their attention with lights. Who could resist your approach when you go to all the effort to spell out “I am sorry” in bright lights for all to see?

5. Direct

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Many prefer the direct approach to apologizing. This is the simplest, yet perhaps the hardest method of apologizing. Admit straight out that you were wrong and say “I am sorry” ... there is no mistaking the intent of this approach. Just make sure it's sincere, or really, it's not an apology at all.

6. Communication

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Apologies only work when they are given and received, in other words when they are communicated to the injured party. When you need to make an apology, regard your own discomfort or embarrassment and communicate your sincere regret.

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7. Flowers

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Flowers may seem a bit cliche' but most of us still melt when presented with flowers and a note of apology. Flowers are especially meaningful when they are the recipient’s favorites... and if they're hand-delivered, and not sent by an anonymous florist.

We all say and do things that we wish we could take back. Learning how to make a sincere, effective apology is crucial to maintaining relationships. Do whatever it takes to repair the damage and move on from that point. Put yourself in the position of the “wronged” party; what type of apology would you like to receive? What's the most effective apology you've given?

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