You may not like it, but offering up a sincere apology to your boyfriend after an argument is an important step in building bridges between you and your partner. Apologies can be hard to give and downright uncomfortable, especially for those of us who haven’t yet had the chance to build up mature, healthy approaches to admitting we were wrong.
In this article, we will be discussing exactly why it can be so hard to say “sorry” to the ones we love. We’ll also give you several steps to keep in mind the next time you need to apologize to your boyfriend. They will allow you to give a sincere, heartfelt apology and smooth things over in no time.
- Why Is It so Hard to Say “I’m Sorry”?
- Steps to a Sincere Apology
- Achieving a Happy Resolution
Why Is It so Hard to Say “I’m Sorry”?
If you ever had your doubts, research shows that the uncomfortable feeling you get when it’s time to apologize is something universal. Apologies, namely apologies that are necessary due to an issue that reflects on your personal character or morality, tend to trigger both guilt and shame in our minds. This means that even if you know you need to apologize for something you said or something you failed to do, you may find it difficult because of the unpleasant and often intense emotions it brings along.
Additionally, apologies are likely to force you to come face to face with your errors and to admit to yourself that you may have made a mistake. Most humans can’t easily admit that they might be wrong for fear of damage to their own self-worth or ego. In fact, failing to apologize can raise your self-esteem by giving you a sense of power, which just goes to show how hard apologizing truly is.
Keeping all this in mind, it is important to learn how to apologize when you are truly in the wrong and to understand what to say in order to smooth things over after an argument. A proper apology will go miles to repairing your relationship, and even though it may hurt to say at the time, uttering necessary apologies can build you up to be a more mature, responsible, and compassionate person.
Steps to a Sincere Apology
Keep the below steps in mind when you find yourself having to apologize to your boyfriend, as they can help you collect your thoughts and deliver a mature, sincere apology.
1. Take a Moment to Cool Down
In the moments after an argument, you are likely still riled up and burning with the anger that made you say something you regret or lash out in an attempt to make your boyfriend feel bad. This isn’t surprising, as anger is an emotion that often causes us to want to get even, or retaliate, with others.
The first step of your apology should be to take a moment and separate yourself from your partner. Take a few deep breaths and begin to calm yourself down. It may help for you to go out on a walk or leave to a different room to process your thoughts. However, you shouldn’t make any rash decisions, such as driving off angrily, as this may lead to oversights and accidents. Instead, choose a safe, quiet space to relax yourself.
Once the rush of anger has passed, you will be able to think rationally about the events that just happened, moving onto the next step in the apology process.
2. Think About What You Said and Why You Said It
After you have successfully calmed yourself down, you should begin reflecting on both your actions and your partner’s. Think about what you said and the events that lead up to your argument. Then, think about the events and argument again from your partner’s point of view, attempting to look in on your actions objectively.
This will give you a good insight into why you behaved the way you did and what you could have done differently. This self-reflection is a necessary part of making your apology sincere and honest, so you should be sure to take enough time that you understand the source of your behaviors and actions.
3. Admit to Your Partner That You Were in the Wrong
Your time cooling down and self-reflecting should have left you with a better idea of what caused the argument and what led up to you saying something hurtful to your partner. After considering the impact of your words, you should take care to understand how what you said may have hurt or upset your partner.
As you begin your apology in the next step, you should keep in mind the impact that your words may have had in order to be as sincere and honest about your actions as possible.
4. Explain Yourself Clearly Without Excuses
When it is time to apologize, there are several things you should keep in mind, the most important of which is to explain yourself and your motivations clearly. Don’t offer up any excuses or attempt to push the blame on your partner or on something else.
You should work hard to think about the proper wording ahead of time (writing down your apology may help you keep your thoughts straight), and make an effort to keep your tone sincere and free of snark. You may also want to make your body language apologetic and non-threatening, a technique you can read about here.
While delivering your apology to your boyfriend, watch for signs that they are receiving your words well; this could be in a softening of their expression, a relaxing of shoulders, or a small smile.
You can also make an effort to use “I” statements, as these help to give you ownership over an issue without the often defensive words that follow “if” and “but” statements. Below, we have a few samples of “I” statements that you can use when crafting your apology.
- I misunderstood you and…
- I realize I hurt you by…
- I understand that…
5. Make Plans for Change Together
As you finish up your apology, it is important to make plans for solid change and to demonstrate to your partner a willingness to adhere to these agreements. It may be that both of you have some work to do to avoid future arguments and to put your relationships back on track. Or maybe it will be a personal issue that you need to understand and deal with by yourself in order to improve your relationship. Individual therapy can help with this a lot, especially if the problem is an ongoing issue you have identified and need help with.
Above all else, you should be sure to act on your plans. Actions speak louder than words. The best way to demonstrate to your boyfriend that your apology was sincere is to follow up on your statements and promises, actively working to create a healthier environment for the both of you.
6. Tell Your Partner You Appreciate Them
The last thing you should do in your apology is to let your partner know you appreciate them. End your conversation on a happier note and be sure to express your feelings about your partner; you could tell them you love them, give them a hug, or cook them a meal – whichever heartfelt gesture that you two communicate well in (it would be a good idea to know your partner’s love language to make this even more effective).
Additionally, you should remember to be patient with your partner. Even though you have apologized, it may take them a little longer to let go of the negative feelings that your actions or angry words brought up – it can take time for trust between you to repair itself.
That being said, if you have apologized and they continually bring up the argument and try to start it all over again, you may have a more serious, unhealthy relationship on your hands that takes a different approach to fix.
Achieving a Happy Resolution
Apologizing is a hard, and often uncomfortable, necessity of being in a relationship. There is not a couple out there that doesn’t get into arguments from time to time and finds themselves needing to cool off and smooth things over.
Armed with the healthy steps we listed in this article, the next time you find yourself having to apologize to your boyfriend, you will be able to get to the heart of the matter quickly and resolve the issue. This will allow you and your partner to get back to being your happy selves with each other in no time.