The Power Of A Real Apology

Everyone will have bad arguments with friends and family in their lives, whether it is something serious, about money, dorm room rights, or just the plain old silly and irrational. Many of these times apologies are needed – especially when one is obviously wrong – to be tactful and to finally ease the room and to avoid further damage. For many this is a very difficult if not one of the hardest things to do.


A real apology must have the feeling behind while looking the one you are apologizing to in the eye. Most importantly, it must not

contain any ifs ands or buts; you must utterly and humble give up yourself without trying to direct blame with a “but”. For example a good apology “I’m sorry for making you feel bad and messing up your day”, and then the not so good apology (which by the way is not an apology but almost sounds like an excuse for doing something) “I’m sorry for making you feel bad and messing up your day, but you were being irrational and making stupid arguments, and dad was making ridiculous assumptions”. Notice how the bad 2nd ‘apology’ sounds like you’re making excuses and is obviously much longer.

I remember when I first heard the story about the power of a real apology, I was in 9th grade in my freshmen year at Roy C. Ketcham listening to another one of my Teacher’s fantastic stories – he would reward our good work with his incredible story telling abilities – about how he would always get the good side of his parents. He was more obedient compared to his older sister, so he had more opportunities to take the family car out. He gained his parents extra trust and wiggle room because he had learned to apologize correctly whenever necessary, while his sister had not earning her a darker spot in the family. From this 9th grade earth science teacher I learned probably the single best life’s advice (that I got from high

school at least) that would help me along the road greatly.

The ‘real apology’ has saved me twice over just a few years – before, I didn’t know how powerful it was, otherwise I probably would have done it more often – as well as getting me through a tough situation with my mother just a little less than a mere week ago. I had recently made my mother upset – utterly unintentionally of course, I thought I was just buying a movie ticket for a friend – and had gotten into a ridiculous argument that made little sense to me. Later that day I was clouded with mixed messages and I was sent on an emotional and intellectual rollercoaster as I thought about all the irrational and insensible arguments that have just passed by. However, I knew what I must do regardless of the fact that I thought I was right. I had a duty as a son, to do the mature thing and apologize to at least clear up my clouded mind. Lo and behold I got what I thought I deserved an apology from my own mother afterwards of how irrational and ridiculous she had been; the apology even stretched into the next morning on her end. All of this because I was able to execute a clean and hearty “sorry”, because although I thought I was right I had still hurt her feelings even if it were unintentional by a longshot.


After that event I was reassured of how power a simply “sorry” can be, and how far it could stretch. How many hearts and minds it could save. Everyone should learn to say sorry when needed, it is a great ability to have.


Article Written By GDop26

RIT student

Last updated on 22-07-2016 104 0

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