How to Apologize for Hurting Someone You Love

It’s never an easy feeling when you know you’ve hurt someone. Even worse when it’s someone you love and care about. The fact that you’re considering ways to apologize for the hurt means that you want to keep things right in the relationship.

A sincere apology should express regret for the hurtful things you’ve done to your loved one.

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These are ways you can make your apology and say sorry for hurting someone you love.

framed sorry quote on table beside half-filled mug
Photo by Toa Heftiba

Tell them how sorry you are

The best way you can apologize to someone sincerely is by telling them how sorry you are in words. You can’t automatically assume that they know you’re sorry.

Even if they do know, it’s more sincere if you tell them directly to their face. Even if they potentially don’t accept your apology, you need to still do everything you can to at least try.

Take accountability for your actions

If you want to apologize for hurting them, you need to own up to your mistake.

Accountability is not the easiest thing in the world. It’s always hard to face what we’ve done, especially if it caused us to hurt someone we love. But, and admitting where you went wrong is crucial if you want to fix things.

Taking responsibility for the pain you caused is an essential step if you want your apology to be accepted.

Give them time and space

Giving them space may sound counterproductive, but some people need time and space to process what you did. It’s a journey they need to take before deciding whether they want to forgive you or not.

They may want to weigh things and decide how much they value your relationship over what you’ve done. If they already know you’re sorry and you took accountability, but they still haven’t forgiven you, space is all they need.

The more you push them to forgive you, the more likely they won’t do it.

Show them you’ve changed

Actions will always speak louder than words. So if you want to ensure that your sincerity comes across, changing your ways is the best thing to do. Make a genuine effort to become better and learn from your mistakes.

Show the person you love that you’re trying your best not to repeat your mistake. Let them know from your actions that you never want to hurt them again.

Keep reassuring them

If the person you hurt keep bringing up your mistake, it generally means it still bothers them, and they’re still hurt about it.

So whenever they feel uncertain, keep assuring them how sorry you are and that you’ll do your best not to hurt them again. Give them words of encouragement to hold on to and make sure that you’re sincere with your comments.

Assure them to ease their concerns but let your assurances be what you can follow through on.

Make honest gestures

Speak from your heart and be sincere in showing how sorry you are for hurting them. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to make someone forgive you, but it’s all about making a gesture that matters.

Apologies only work when you speak from your heart. So don’t hesitate to be vulnerable and honest when apologizing. Then they can hear and see what you’re trying to imply.

Don’t play the blame game

When apologizing, we often don’t like feeling our weakest, so we play the victim. We try to blame someone or something else – anything but ourselves.

Sometimes we even go as far as blaming the victim, even when we know it’s our fault. The fact that you hurt them, even when it’s unintentional, should be concrete enough to apologize.

Accept the blame and say sorry – it’s as simple as that.

Don’t lash out your guilt on them

The person you have hurt may never accept your apology. Or forgiveness may not come as quickly as you expect. It’s easy to feel frustrated when someone doesn’t accept your apology.

Understand that forgiveness can be difficult for people sometimes. Especially if what you did is extremely painful. You can’t get them to forgive you by releasing your guilt and anger on them. Instead, understand their feelings and acknowledge them.