Mar 26, 2013

How To Apologize Like A Man

How to Apologize Like A Man

Most men have an issue with apologizing.  More specifically, most men have a problem with showing anything that could be perceived as weakness.

We have internalized from a young age that if we ever feel out of control, or unsure of ourselves, we should take great pains to hide that fact from others.  Societal conditioning tells us that to be a man is to be confident and correct in all that we do.

Men live in the internal world of status and hierarchy. Women, not so much. In fact, women often take great pains to minimize perceived status in girl-world so that everyone can get along. We, however, fear the internal loss of status we experience when telling another person, “I messed up”.  So we don’t.

Sorry for throwing your phone into the ocean...

Sorry for throwing your cell into the ocean…

The Benefits Of Apologizing In Your Intimate Relationship

This could easily be it’s own article…

For starters: greater sense of integrity, character growth, emotional maturation, increased attractiveness to your partner, less reliance on ego-based thinking,  and much, much more.

Learning to show yourself to others is a good trait to have.  It will help you grow into the kind of man that you know you’re capable of becoming.

After sincerely apologizing (in the way that I’m about to get in to), I have had past girlfriends say things like “You literally just got like a hundred times hotter”, and “My past boyfriends would never say that… I love that you can admit fault while still being a man about it”.

Needless to say, apologizing doesn’t make you appear weak.  The inability to apologize makes you appear weak. It sub-communicates a tender, little boy ego that can’t handle someone looking through the cracks in your armour.

Sorry for spelling your name wrong...

Sorry for spelling your name wrong…

How To Apologize Like A Man

1. Acknowledge Your Mistake Specifically

The more specific the better. Tell her, “Hey, I have to talk to you about something. Yesterday when I (did/said X), I feel like I really messed up”.

2. Express Remorse For The Act

Show that it’s affecting you and you feel bad about it. Say, “That really isn’t the kind of guy that I’m trying to be and I feel terrible about having (done/said) it”.

3. Recognize And Validate Her Feelings

Let her know that you’re aware of her in this process and you’re not just apologizing to clear your conscience. For example, “I feel like my (actions/words) might have made you feel (hurt/excluded/offended/etc.) and I’m sorry if I made you feel that way. I know that I would feel (hurt/excluded/offended/etc.) if I were in the same situation and that couldn’t have felt very good”.

4. Tell Her Your Plans For Error Correction

This point is the first step in the one-two punch that takes this process into overdrive. Say, “I can tell that I’ve messed up and I don’t want this to happen again. I will make sure this doesn’t happen by doing (this or that) instead in the future”.

5. DO Something

This is the most important part where most guys get it wrong (aside from not apologizing in the first place). Women don’t live as much in the logical world of time and space compared to men. They are much more present minded than us simple creatures. Saying things like, “I won’t do this ever again” isn’t as powerful because you aren’t showing anything. In the moment that you are apologizing and only saying that you won’t do it again, she will still feel her trust being hurt. You have showed a lack of integrity with your thoughts, feelings, and actions and she will be mirroring that to you in the moment.

So the important thing to do after verbalizing your apology is doing something. Something tangible. Something in the real world. Something that shows her “I have learned my lesson and I am DOING something about it”.

What this tangible action is will always apply specifically to your situation. I am not simply suggesting that you buy her flowers or take her out for a nice date for any of your transgressions (not that these things would hurt necessarily).

If you offended her sister by saying something that was inadvertently offensive, then your action step would be to call her sister and apologize to her personally. If your partners trust towards you has been hurt because you said you would do something and then you forgot or chose not to do it (mow the lawn, attend the ballet with her, etc.) then do the thing that you committed to. Again, this action step will have to be calibrated to the thing that you are apologizing for.

In the end, you’ll experience more emotional freedom, you will grow as a person, and most importantly, you won’t be in shit.

Dedicated to your success,

Jordan

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