We’ve all hurt others, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. We’ve all screwed up before, whether it was at work, at home or with friends. Nobody is perfect. It’s part of being human. We’ve also all apologized when we’ve done something wrong. Part of living in a civilized society is admitting you were wrong.
There are two ways to apologize. One type of apology makes you feel better about yourself and is really just a token apology. For instance “I’m sorry you feel that way” is a fake apology. The other type of apology is where you take responsibility for your actions, let the person know you were in the wrong and attempt to make it right. The latter is a true apology. It’s “I’m sorry for insulting you, I should never have called you that. I lost my temper and it won’t happen again” instead of “I’m sorry you took my comment that way.”
It seems to me that there are too many apologies these days that aren’t really apologies. People apologize to feel better about themselves and refuse to take any real responsibility. I’d like to see that change. When you screw up, I urge you to apologize for real, to make the other person feel better and make the situation right, rather than use a lame, cop out apology to make yourself feel better. People will respect you more if you are willing to admit when you were wrong and then take responsibility for your actions.
Although it’s best to apologize as soon as you know you’ve hurt someone else, it’s never too late to apologize or change your fake apology for a real one. Take a look in the mirror and see if there is anyone who you owe an apology. If there is, call or email them tomorrow and start to make things right.