You never feel good when you've hurt someone's feelings, especially loved ones whom you really care about. Apologizing in a sincere and genuine manner, no matter what the situation, is the first and best step in repairing that hurt and making amends. It relieves you of the anxiety you may be feeling and makes both of you feel better, according to Tamar Chansky's "Psychology Today" article, "How to Apologize." An additional cute or creative apologetic gesture can help get you back in the person's good graces in no time.
The Parent Apology
Whether you broke your parent's rules in a major way or lied about your grades in college, you've jeopardized your parents' trust in you and hurt their feelings. After you've accepted responsibility for your actions, a kind gesture can let them know you understand you were in the wrong. For example, if you broke something in the house, fork over your hard-earned money from a part-time job to get it fixed. You can apologize and mend fences by doing something for your parents without them asking you to, such as cooking dinner one night or washing your dad's car, inside and out.
The Sibling Sorry
You may argue with your siblings everyday or once in a blue moon, but you know when you've crossed the line and genuinely hurt their feelings. If you're close with your brother or sister, you may have a good idea for a creative apology that would be most appreciated. For instance, you could give your little sister that shirt she's always begging to borrow from your closet with a note that says something like, "This is how sorry I am...you can keep it." If you insulted your brother on his "lame" choice of preferred music, buy tickets to a show of one of his favorite performers and go with him, showing your eagerness to support and understand his passion, giving you an opportunity to bond.
Sorry to Your Sweetie
You may have ignored one too many of your girlfriend's phone calls or criticized your boyfriend in a particularly hurtful manner. Even if you didn't mean to, you've hurt your partner's feelings and it's up to you to make it right. A sincere apology is important, but if you want to butter up your special someone, go the extra mile with a peace offering. It could be a simple as a giant card with a sad-looking puppy on the front or your partner's favorite flavor of cupcakes with "I'm Sorry" spelled out in frosting. Surprise your boyfriend with tickets to a see a local band you know he loves. If your girlfriend is upset that you aren't spending time with her, plan a special romantic day in which the two of you can have fun together, focusing solely on each other.
Apologizing to Friends
It's never fun to know you've hurt a friend's feelings, but apologizing face-to-face is the first step to making things right. Focus next on a creative apology doing something that you know would brighten your friend's day and help restore trust in you. For example, if your friend overheard you criticizing something she wore to another friend, get both friends together, treat them to a pizza dinner and clear the air. Get your friends laughing with a little dirt about some clothing faux pas you've committed to admit you're not perfect either. If you went a little too far teasing your best pal about his favorite sports team losing, surprise him with the jersey of his favorite player or wear the jersey first and cheer on his team during the next game, no matter how much you dislike them.
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