I’m Sorry

Apologies help heal conflict. There are different levels of apologies and each level described below becomes more effective.

Level 1:  “I’m sorry.” This is the start of an apology. The tone of voice indicates the level of remorse.

Level 2:  “I’m sorry for hurting you.” or “I’m sorry for upsetting you.” This level of apology demonstrates the awareness of negatively impacting one’s partner.

Level 3:  “I’m sorry for saying . . .  to you.” or “I’m sorry for doing. . . to you.” This response takes ownership for behaving poorly by specifying one’s problematic behavior,.

Level 4:  “I’ll work on not saying/doing that in the future.” demonstrates a commitment to changing one’s behavior going forward.

More important than saying “I’m sorry.” is taking responsibility for one’s behavior. The most effective apologies take responsibility and include a commitment to not doing it again (Levels 3 & 4).