By Alysia Stern for BounceBack.com
Not every apology will be created or received equally. "I am sorry" is an in-depth, three word phrase that obtains numerous meanings. The majority of the time when one person accidentally or mistakenly hurts another person causing emotional or physical pain, the natural response is to say "I'm sorry!" As a child we are trained to apologize to others when we have hurt them. This is a universal term known in every language. The term is also used to express condolences to another person. It is a way of extending feelings of remorse and sorrow to another.
Related: Need to Apologize? Creative Ways to Say "I'm Sorry"
"I am sorry" is said everyday in many ways. The most important thing to remember is that it is supposed to be used in a realistic, remorseful way; not in a "fly by night" sort of way! When you are truly sorry and have made a commitment to yourself and another to never perform the act you did AGAIN or speak the words you have spoken AGAIN…this is when you should say "I'm sorry!" The words themselves should be powerful, sincere and create a trusting realm for whomever you hurt, so they may begin their own forgiveness process and hopefully learn to trust you again. If these words are said quite frequently, they do not come across as truthful and it may appear you are only saying sorry to appease the other person for your own benefit. So how do you know when you mean it and when you do not?
Outside of sharing your condolences with someone, there is an appropriate time when you should say you are sorry. Only you will know in your heart if you mean what you say. Try reading the following tips before you say "I am sorry" to anyone:
Related: Saying What You Mean: Why It's Important
1) It must be a true statement of regret from a place or remorse deep within your soul. When you can truly acknowledge the hurt or damage you have caused someone and you are ready to deal with the consequences as an adult, you may be ready to say "I am sorry!"
2) You must be able to deal with someone possibly walking away from you and accept the outcome!
3) When you are asking for forgiveness, you must be willing and able to take full responsibility for the situation and promise it will never happen again. Then never let it happen again!
Related: Taking Personal Responsibility in a Relationship
4) You must recognize your part in the event and learn a life lesson from this. You must not say "I am sorry I did this but … I only did this because you did that!" A true apology is one for only your own actions. No excuse. Apologize for YOUR actions; do not throw the blame on your partner.
5) Actions and words both speak volumes. Utilize your words to create an aura of love and concern for another's well being when apologizing. Utilize your actions to learn from your mistake and move forward as a person who has learned a lesson to share with others. We all make mistakes in life. Forgive yourself, and then ask to be forgiven.
Now that you read this, are you ready to say "your sorry"....the right way?
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Alysia Stern is an author. Her website is www.alysiastern.com