How To Accept An Apology Gracefully​


Your Position is Lively, not Passive

In your evaluation of what it takes to be good at receiving apologies from others, place your self again within the footwear of giving one. Bear in mind precisely the way you felt the final time you mentioned, “I’m sorry.” The most effective feeling for somebody who’s apologizing is to have their apology accepted with none stipulations added on. Because the particular person receiving an apology, you need to make it a precedence to just accept the apology with out mentioning anything in regards to the topic at hand.

The apology needs to be a finale to any dialog in regards to the matter, and you need to do your greatest to maneuver on from the happenings that led to the apology happening.


Chorus from Giving Half-Baked Apologies

There’s little question that it’s troublesome to apologize to our partner. It takes humility and it’s uncomfortable. That’s one of many explanation why many spouses don’t give apologies which might be acceptable. It’s exhausting! However you offend your partner even additional once you don’t apologize and absolutely categorical sorrow. Kevin B. Bullard makes a fantastic level to think about in his article, titled, “Half Baked Apologies are Offensive”:

“Once we offend our partner by our phrases, actions, or perspective, it’s widespread to need to take the straightforward method out by providing a easy, ‘Sorry’ or ‘I apologize.’ Nevertheless, simply saying these phrases with out correct context is simply as hurtful as our first offense. It’s way more efficient and significant if we lengthen the ‘apology’ by admitting our incorrect. We have to acknowledge our partner’s harm, intending to not do it once more; and we’d like apologize. Doing this turns into simpler after we acknowledge we harm our partner.

“Right here’s the total apology: ‘I’m sorry for (the offense). I do know it (the impact it had in your partner). I used to be incorrect. And I intend to not do it once more. Will you forgive me?’

“Instance: ‘Cetelia, I’m sorry for embarrassing you in entrance of our visitors. I do know it harm your esteem. I used to be incorrect. And I intend to not do it once more. Will you forgive me?’

“Whereas these phrases could also be troublesome to utter, they will make a world of distinction when provided from a honest coronary heart.”


Instantly you develop into conscious that you’ve got wronged somebody, you might want to begin fascinated about making an apology. You shouldn’t permit the state of affairs to worsen by remaining silent.

You could have been concerned in an argument, in all probability a really heated one. This might have resulted in you saying the incorrect phrases. You might need additionally acted out your anger in a violent method thus bodily hurting the opposite particular person.

It is also that the argument didn’t get that far however nonetheless the affect was evident.

As you put together to do the perfect factor for the connection, there are two important issues to think about.

Sincerity is a should

You can not express regret in case you are not honest. Hiding your anger in order to get previous the state of affairs is a deception first to your self then to the particular person you’re apologizing to. That is fairly the other of what’s wanted in rebuilding a damaged relationship.

At any time when sincerity lacks, belief can’t develop. And with out belief, there can by no means be any actual and significant relations. Watch the beneath video for tactics to domesticate honesty.

Sincerity is a type of issues which could be communicated each verbally and non-verbally. As you would possibly nevertheless know, non-verbal communication is stronger than verbal. Keep in mind that actions communicate louder than phrases?

Though you would possibly have the ability to use all the correct phrases, somebody can certainly ‘sense’ when you find yourself mendacity. This could positively be the worst mistake you ever made. Remember that the particular person you’re apologizing to already feels cheated as a result of he by no means anticipated you to do what you probably did.

No excuses or blaming

Whether or not it’s the aggrieved celebration that began the argument or not, this isn’t the time to start out blaming them. When making an apology, you’re speaking a stage of maturity. You’ve gotten acknowledged that issues went incorrect and need to make them proper.

You’re due to this fact taking accountability of your actions. Regardless of the different particular person did or didn’t do, thus ensuing within the present state of affairs, is definitely irrelevant at this time limit.

Since you’re the one who drove the ultimate nail into the coffin, the opposite particular person is most probably feeling deeply wounded. And in the event that they haven’t provided an apology to you but, it’s doable that they haven’t seen their incorrect. All they know and bear in mind is that you simply harm them.

Since you’ve determined to cope with the state of affairs for the good thing about each of you, put within the effort wanted to avoid blaming.

Blaming can occur in two methods:

1. Blame shifting – that is once you go on the offensive and begin blaming the damaged relationship on the opposite particular person. That is an aggressive strategy and can’t probably deliver you the specified outcomes.

While you blame shift, you’re telling the particular person you harm, that they’re squarely chargeable for the harm they bought from you. You’re proudly telling them that what you probably did was proper they usually deserved the remedy they acquired from you.

This clearly makes issues worse because it simply aggravates the state of affairs. The harm particular person continues hurting and is made to really feel the additional burden of carrying the accountability.

2. Blame sharing – that is the place you suppose you’re being “truthful” and taking your part of the blame. On this case, you’re doubtless to make use of an announcement like “I’m sorry for what I did to contribute to this example.”

Though you might suppose you’re being reasonable, you aren’t going to attain your objective when you take this strategy. It is because your communication says that it isn’t totally your fault that you simply did what you probably did. You’re merely justifying your actions or phrases.

Gracefully Settle for Apologies

As well as, right here’s some recommendation from Counselor, Pamela Lipe:

“While you’re within the place of accepting an apology, give your self a ‘Psychological Pause’ to determine the perfect plan of action for you, your partner, your state of affairs, and the actual wrongdoing. Take into account the long-term penalties to the connection. Your objective is to return to emotional closeness.”

We encourage you to ask the Lord that will help you to be as gracious as it’s doable. Typically it takes longer to heal. Simply know that it’s positive to provide your self the mandatory time to take action. However to the perfect of your skill, lean into the therapeutic course of. Typically we are able to draw one thing out longer than we should always. It’s tempting to carry onto harm that we needs to be releasing. And holding onto unforgiveness can poison our inside being and lengthen the ache.

“The distinction between holding on to a harm or releasing it with forgiveness is just like the distinction between laying your head down at evening on a pillow crammed with thorns or a pillow crammed with rose petals.” (Loren Fincher)

Bear in mind the grace the Lord prolonged to us “whereas we had been but sinners.” And bear in mind the forgiveness He readily offers us, after we ask for it. “Bear with one another; and forgive no matter grievances you’ll have in opposition to each other. Forgive because the Lord forgave you.(Colossians 3:13)Don’t repay anybody evil for evil. Watch out to do what is correct within the eyes of everyone. Whether it is doable, so far as it relies on you, reside at peace with everybody.(Romans 12:17-18) This consists of your partner.

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04. Accountability

Clearly, any apology that doesn’t embody the promise for change—or at the least hope for it—will ring hole. So to be sure that change truly occurs, give attention to the way you and your companion can create accountability that will help you keep away from future battle. Tackle the query: How will you get forward of comparable points sooner or later and defend the connection from conditions that will really feel dangerously acquainted? As a result of accountability is on the coronary heart of any dedicated relationship, you need to really feel some sense of accountability for being on the hook for each other.

How To Settle for An Apology With Grace However Set Boundaries At The Similar Time

Apologies normally include heavy feelings and harm emotions. It may be troublesome to place these apart and be sleek when somebody approaches you to apologize.

When you ought to all the time attempt your greatest to just accept an apology with grace (when you really feel you’re able to), you must also use it as a chance to set boundaries going ahead, or likelihood is that the identical factor would possibly find yourself taking place once more.

You possibly can settle for an apology with grace and set boundaries on the similar time, and right here is how.

Pay attention

Give the particular person the respect of you listening to them apologizing. Even when you aren’t utterly prepared to listen to them say the phrases “I’m sorry”, recognize that it’s in all probability troublesome for them to apologize, and allow them to communicate their peace.

Keep away from interrupting or correcting them as they apologize. If there may be something you need to say, reserve it for when they’re completed talking. You’ll have time to say your bit as soon as they’re accomplished and giving them the respect of listening to what they are saying exhibits maturity.

Resolve How To Transfer Ahead

You will want to determine whether or not or not you may be accepting their apology. You don’t even need to make this resolution there.

Take your time to determine whether or not or not you forgive them. You’re by no means obligated to just accept an apology, so don’t really feel pressured to doing so.

Be sure that the particular person acknowledges the ache they could have brought on you, and that they weren’t attempting to make excuses for his or her habits of their apology.

You would all the time level out how you’re feeling to them, as they may not absolutely perceive how their actions impacted you.

Don’t Skip Again To Regular

Not all the things is fastened by an apology. They need to put within the work essential to make it as much as you, or to keep away from having the identical conditions occur once more.

Don’t be tempted to return to life the best way it was earlier than they harm you, as a result of issues don’t change if issues don’t change!

Give your self the grace and respect to not fall again into dangerous habits, and allow them to know that you’ll not be accepting earlier habits transferring on.

They should know that you’re severe about defending your self from being harm once more, and you might want to know that as effectively.

Settle for Or Do Not Settle for

As soon as you’re feeling prepared, you need to allow them to know the way you’re feeling. Accepting their apology, whether it is proper within the state of affairs, will assist each of you progress ahead, however simply ensure you are prepared to take action.

Allow them to know that you simply settle for their apology, and whether or not or not you possibly can supply some forgiveness but. You aren’t obliged to do something, and don’t allow them to stress you to take action.

Set Your Boundaries

While you allow them to know that you’ve got accepted their apology, you must also allow them to know what your boundaries are going to be transferring ahead.

Take your time to work out what you need your relationship to be like sooner or later, and what boundaries and actions could be put in place to make sure this.

They’ll both settle for these boundaries or not, that’s utterly as much as them, so long as you maintain your self in excessive sufficient regard to know that you’re price extra and that you may be transferring on in the event that they select to not hold throughout the boundaries you set.

Preserve a test on how they act, and remind them of those boundaries when you discover any detrimental habits taking place. You owe it to your self to solely hold constructive influences in your life!

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Paving The Method To Forgiveness

The one that brought on the hurt is probably going going to want to place in some work to assist facilitate forgiveness.

That work could be private development of their very own, altering habits to make sure that the hurt doesn’t occur once more, or fixing any injury that their actions might need brought on.

An apology with no motion behind it’s basically meaningless.

Phrases are the best factor on this planet, as a result of you possibly can inform anybody something for any motive in any respect with little effort.

Actions communicate louder as a result of they have an inclination to require effort and sacrifice, which somebody who’s motivated to hunt forgiveness will willingly interact in in the event that they genuinely need to mend the hurt that they brought on.

The method could be smoothed by giving your self time to evaluate the state of affairs and determine if there may be something that may be accomplished to assist together with your therapeutic.

Don’t count on the opposite particular person to only know what they did was incorrect.

They might not notice that their actions had been hurtful.

They might not discover these explicit actions hurtful if the roles had been reversed.

Everybody has completely different emotional tolerances.

Step 3: Acknowledge Their Apology

It’s all the time acceptable to acknowledge somebody for making a real effort. No matter your response, begin by thanking the opposite particular person for gathering their braveness and talking up. When you’ve got hopes of repairing your relationship, your respect and kindness are important now. 

The opposite particular person might have harm you, however you gained’t enhance something by being hurtful in return. When each of you act in good religion, you set the stage for trustworthy communication.

02. Acceptance

When you categorical your appreciation to your companion, it’s time to just accept the apology—or not. Yeah, that’s proper. Acceptance is right, however you should still have an unmet want with regard to the difficulty at hand. When you don’t suppose you possibly can settle for it but, you possibly can say, “It means lots that you simply’re apologizing, however I nonetheless want you to know slightly extra of my expertise.” Bear in mind this isn’t about making somebody pay, it’s about repairing a fracture. It’s an opportunity to ensure issues don’t fester. So both settle for the apology, or ask for what you continue to want so that you simply can settle for it. If and once you really feel like your harm has been absolutely acknowledged and understood, allow them to know their apology has been accepted.

Transferring Ahead After an Apology

Making a honest apology takes effort, and so does responding to 1. Resist the knee-jerk response to say, “It’s OK,” and contemplate a extra real reply. Responding thoughtfully to an apology helps you realize once you’re prepared for the following step. 


  1. Grabmeier, Jeff. “​The 6 Parts of an Efficient Apology, In response to Science.” Ohio State Information, April 12, 2016,
  2. Hatcher, Ida. “Evaluations of Apologies: The Results of Apology Sincerity and Acceptance Motivation.” Marshall Digital Scholar, January 1, 2010.