Expressing regret -This language appeals to the emotions. It indicates that we are aware that we caused pain. “I’m sorry I spoke harshly. I know I’ve hurt your feelings and I’m so sorry for that.
Accepting responsibility – This language spells out what was done wrong. “I was wrong to speak to you in that tone. I shouldn’t have reacted like that.”
Making restitution – This one is all about how to make up. Usually the request will fall in line with that person’s love language. “I can’t believe I reacted that way. Please tell me what I can do to make it up to you.”
Expressing the desire to change behavior – This one is pretty self-explanatory. “I keep losing my temper and I know that’s not right. I don’t want to repeat this. Can you think of anything that could help make sure this doesn’t happen?”
Requesting forgiveness – This is where forgiveness has to be requested before the apology is seen as being sincere. “I’m so sorry I spoke harshly and reacted the way I did. I know this hurts you. Will you please forgive me?”
credit: Andrea Shair