How to ApologizeA sincere, convincing apology is a key part of the process of recovering from making a mistake. Thanks to research by Barry R. Schlenker & Bruce W. Darby1, it is clear what elements an apology needs to include in order to serve its purpose:
- Saying "I'm sorry."
- Expressing remorse.
- Offering to make up for the damage, i.e., offering restitution.
- Castigating oneself. ("I was an idiot" is the example Schlenker and Darby give.)
- Asking for forgiveness.
1 Barry R. Schlenker & Bruce W. Darby, "The use of apologies in social predicaments," Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 44, pp. 271-278.
Labels: Conflict management