Patti's Blog

How to apologize when you don’t mean it

2219131207_49b91cb86eA big part of a successful relationship is apologizing the right way. And a bigger part of a successful relationship is apologizing the right way even when you’re not 100% sorry. Every single person in a happy, long-term relationship will tell you that. I’m confident there are no exceptions. So, how do go about faking an apology to the person you try to be the most honest with? Well, let me educate you.

It’s not lying

The first thing to realize when it comes to saying “I’m sorry,” when you’re not feeling that sorry is that you’re not lying or deceiving your significant other. This isn’t a betrayal at all. In fact, it’s doing something that will strengthen your relationship and bring you two closer. So, change your mindset about this. It’s not lying to your boo. It’s doing something you don’t automatically want to do because it’ll make your honey happier. Anyone who’s sat through a sports game they couldn’t care less about, watched their love try on 17 different outfits for an event or listened to Free Bird for the billionth time even though they hate classic rock can tell you that this isn’t lying. It’s just being in a relationship.

What could you be sorry about?

Think about the incident that has your relationship in this tumultuous situation. Is there an element of the event that you could be sorry about? Even if it’s not exactly what your man thinks is the problem, it counts. And it can simply be that you’re sorry your honey feels like crap. That’s fair enough! Never say, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” because that’s flat out annoying. But, think about what small thing you could be truly sorry about when you apologize for what your guy needs closure on. It’ll make the words easier to spit out.

Figure out what’s important

Weigh the pros and cons of the situation you’re in. You could not apologize and know that you’re right, but what does that get you? A prolonged fight! Or, you could apologize even if it means you can’t gloat in your rightness, but you get to put this issue behind you and work on spending peaceful, quality time with the person you love most. What feels like the bigger win to you? (Pro tip: If being right is what feels better to you, you might not be ready to be in a serious relationship. Abort mission and work on yourself until you can value and respect someone else’s needs. #toughlove)

Move on

Once the apology deed is done, move the eff on and never think about it again. You did the right thing and now it’s time to get back to your relationship as usual. Don’t hold this less that genuine apology in your back pocket to throw out and your man the next time you’re in a fight. “I wasn’t even really sorry about our last fight, FYI!” Not a good look on anyone. Know that you did the right thing in the moment and just never relive that moment again.

So, go forth and apologize! Good luck, my loves. You can do this!

Photo credit: Dave Keeshan / CC BY