There are occasions when an honest apology is called for. It can mend relationships, dissolve anger and heal a broken heart. Research suggests it can even have health benefits such as lowering stress levels. So it's important you get it right. The next time you need to say 'I'm sorry', try the following steps.
Mention the details of the offence so you’re sure you’re both talking about the same thing. For example, if you missed
an important event, don’t apologise for your general absentmindedness – instead apologise for missing their birthday party.
Acknowledge the hurt
Let the recipient know you understand how they feel. For example, say something like, 'You must have felt really let down when I didn't show?'.
Don’t offer excuses about whether it was intentional
or not, this is about them and their feelings.
If you missed a show, offer to pay for the tickets. If you couldn’t make a dinner, offer to take them out and pay for it.
Saying 'I'm sorry and it won't happen again' are the key ingredients to preserving your relationships.
Ask for forgiveness
At the end of an apology give the 'power' back to the recipient. You have done all you can to fix the situation, so let them know that the next move is up to them.