When you are in a fight with your partner, and you are the one in the wrong… it can be hard to man up and say sorry*. Never fear, a recent study conducted by Ohio State University has uncovered the perfect way to apologize – showcasing six different components to make amends as quickly as possible.
In two different tests conducted with over 755 people, lead author of the study Roy Lewicki and colleagues considered how people reacted to apologies containing the below six elements. As it turned out, they are the recipe for the perfect apology!
1. EXPRESSION OF REGRET
This one is pretty simple: Bite the bullet and say sorry.
2. EXPLANATION OF WHAT WENT WRONG
Explain why you acted the way you did, and why that was wrong. Ensure that your partner knows that you are aware of where you went wrong.
3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY
The study’s findings found this element the most important: Acknowledge it is your fault, you are in the wrong, and that you made a mistake.
4. DECLARATION OF REPENTANCE
Tell your partner how you are going to make it up to them, and why you won’t behave the same way in the future.
5. OFFER OF REPAIR
If you offer to fix what is wrong, you’re committing to take action to undo the damage done. This shows that you are truly sorry.
6. REQUEST FOR FORGIVENESS
Ask your partner for their forgiveness! Don’t assume you have it as soon as you apologize. Let them in on how much they mean to you.
*Understatement of the century.