How to Apologize to a Girl

Every relationship, no matter how strong it may be, will see its share of problems and arguments. Studies in gender communication have observed there is often undue strain in apologizing, even if the man otherwise acknowledges he has erred.[1] In the majority of cases, an apology is and should be regarded as a positive way to reopen dialogue after following a fight. An apology demonstrates a willingness to be vulnerable with one another. While it can sometimes involve biting your tongue at first, a sincere and well-delivered apology can mean the difference between lasting pain or growing closer together.


Preparing Psychologically

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    Acknowledge apologizing as a way to move forward. No matter why you are apologizing, remember that the goal is to make up with the girl and improve your relationship.[2] At its core, an apology is an emotional concession that can have great returns if properly and sincerely delivered.

    • It has been found consistently in studies that men have a far more difficult time of apologizing than women. If you count yourself among those who find difficulty in apologizing, approaching the act as a purely practical manoeuvre (at least at first) can help you get over that first hump.
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    Give yourself time to relax.[3] If you need to make an apology to a girl, then you are probably dealing with some pain as well. If you recognize that you’re not feeling good at the moment, you should see first things first and give yourself time to heal. Depending on how bad the situation is, this could mean minutes, hours or days.

    • Don’t let yourself put the apology off too long, however. Being silent long enough will be interpreted as a non-apology; that you aren’t sorry and don’t want to have anything to do with her. Again, interpretation of what is considered ‘too long’ will depend on the severity of the situation, and the strength of the relationship.[4]
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    Understand why she is upset. Apologizing without meaning it or knowing why can make things worse than if you simply kept your mouth shut. If you rush into an apology, the woman will detect you’re not being honest. Before you apologize, it’s important you take a moment to stop and reflect. Why is she upset? Are the possibly other factors that are playing into her mood? How serious is the problem?[5]

    • Put yourself in the woman’s shoes for a moment. While you should be considering the way she is feeling, you should also imagine the way your actions have been interpreted by her in turn. If your apology is because of a certain thing that happened, try playing it out in your head. From there, regardless of who is to blame, you should have a better grasp why she is upset.
    • Keep in mind that empathizing with why she is upset is distinct from necessarily admitting guilt. Even if you don’t think you have done anything wrong per se, a healthy relationship involves recognizing where the other person is coming from. Even if you think at first her reasons for feeling this way are unjustified or even irrational, it’s important to recognize that the pain is real.[6]
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    Be sincere with your apology. If the problem in question is severe enough, a woman will be analyzing your delivery for any possible signs of fakeness. The best way to ensure your apology is received as you want it is to make sure you actually mean it. If you think you’ll need to grit your teeth as you apologize, it’s a good idea to hold off and reflect upon the apology some more, or do without one altogether. [7]

    • You may be very angry for the same reasons as the girl. This will make it hard to open yourself up to her. If this is the case, give yourself some more time to relax and breathe.


Apologizing Verbally

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    Wait for the right time to apologize.[8] The art of apologizing has partly to do with the right timing. You would never want someone to apologize to you if you were in the middle of watching a movie, much less cramming the night before a big exam. Rather, you should bide your time (within reason, mind you) and wait for an opportunity where the girl is free and relatively relaxed.

    • Again, you won’t want to wait too long before going in for your apology. If you wait too long, it may be considered by the girl as a conscious decision on your part not to apologize.
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    Approach her solemnly. The way you approach a girl to apologize in person will have a big influence on whether or not the apology is accepted. Approach her quietly and calmly. Don’t let yourself be distracted by anything else; your apology should have your whole attention. As you approach, make sure to make steady eye contact. Don’t smile too much or act too loosely; you want to tell her with your body language that you acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.

    • The question of approach is easier if you are apologizing over a text message or the phone, though you should keep in mind that an apology will only be at its most effective and affirmative if it’s done in person.
    • If you’re not in a position where you’ll be able to run into her easily, ask her to meet up. Keep your invitation simple and to the point, but give her reason to believe the reason you’re meeting is to give you a chance to apologize. If she’s too angry at the moment, give her some time; hopefully she’ll come around and give you an opportunity to fess up.
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    Tell her you’re sorry. Before you go into anything else, you should let her know from the start that you’re sorry. If you try to explain why you’re sorry before she actually knows you’re apologizing, she may interpret it as an invitation to argue. Once you’ve approached her, take no time to let her know you’re sorry. Any explaining can wait until after you’ve made the basic point. Being straightforward sounds easy on paper, but when there are emotions flaring up from both sides, it can be hard to see it through all the way. Don’t let yourself get too worked up over it; if need be, remind yourself that this is a step in a process towards reclaiming your connection.

    • Your apology need not be elaborate; in fact, it’s probably best that you keep it in as simple terms as possible. No need to be poetic or calculated here; just say “I’m sorry.” The more complicated you get, the higher chance there will be that the apology will be misconstrued as something else.
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    Express empathy. Something as simple as “I’m sorry” will go a farther ways than you think, but it won’t be enough for the more serious things. Once you’ve opened up the conversation like that, it’s time to go into greater details as to why you are sorry and how you understand the way she’s feeling. If it develops into a more balanced conversation and the blame wasn’t one-sided, you might take the opportunity to express some of your own feelings as part of the healing process, but only once you know the apology’s been accepted.[9]

    • For example, as a general template, you might say: “I’m really sorry for what I did. I was being really selfish at the time, and the way I see it’s affected you has made me realize just how bad it was. I know I can’t undo what happened, but I want you to know that I wish I could take it back, and I won’t let it happen again.”
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    Allow her a chance to respond. Petty grievances probably aren’t worth fussing over too much but more serious issues will probably beget a response to your apology. Once you’ve laid your cards all on the table, it may come time for her to tell you how she feels. Look her in the eyes, remain calm whatever you do, and process everything she says. Even if what she says makes you angry, try to empathize with her; she may still be feeling angry from what happened, and this may colour the way she reacts towards you in a less-than-pleasant manner.[10]
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    Hug her.[11] A verbal apology is often best accompanied by some sort of physical affirmation. Regardless of the specific type of relationship you’re in, a hug is almost always appropriate. Hugging at the end of your apology will give the woman a physical show of how you feel, and her acceptance of your hug will offer some closure to the both of you.
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    Take steps to prevent future incidents. An apology is just words if it isn’t taken to heart. If you are apologizing for something you did, work on preventing it in the future. Doing things to fix the problem at hand has two benefits; first, it will practically reduce the chances of the situation happening again, and second, she will see you putting your apology into tangible actions. If you make a habit of rinsing yourself of apologies once you make them, you’ll have a much harder time getting your apologies accepted in the future.[12]

    • For instance, if you are apologizing for being late all the time, set your alarm ten minutes earlier than you usually do. This will make your actions more prompt, thus reducing the risk of being late again. Letting the girl know the steps you’ve taken will prove to her that your apology was sincere.[13]


Apologizing Non-Verbally

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    Write an apology letter. Handwritten apologies are the best non-verbal way to apologize. The length and tone of your message will depend largely on the severity and cause of the message. Forgetting a birthday is a far different matter than abuse or infidelity, for example. What is important, however, is that you write from the heart. Do away with the pretence of formal letter writing; write what you’re feeling, and let the girl know you are sorry within the first two sentences.

    • Including a heart at the bottom denotes warmth and may be appropriate if you’re in a romantic relationship with the girl.
    • Writing it by hand is important in this case. An apology letter is nothing if it isn’t backed by a personal touch and vulnerability. It’s much easier to mask emotions over a computer. However, for small matters a quick email or instant message can work as well.
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    Make amends through positive action. If you’ve done something to hurt the girl’s feelings, doing something to make her feel good in consequence is a good way to make up for past faults.[14] The way you go about making up to her is as potentially diverse and unique as the relationship itself. If you can think of some things the girl is interested in, you should think of those as potential opportunities to set things right. If you can’t think of anything specific, there are few women out there who don’t appreciate having back massages or dinner being made for them. It doesn’t need to be anything too elaborate; a simple gesture can say a lot about the way someone is feeling.
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    Make a donation in her name.[15] A more formal way of apologizing to a woman could take the shape of a donation in their name. Although this probably only suits less severe or personal issues, an apology can in fact have greater weight when a dollar sign is attached to it. Of course, giving someone money would make it feel like a dirty bribe, so making a donation to a charity will carry the good intention without any of the foul undertones.

    • Donations, however small, should be accompanied with a specific statement why you’re making it. Explain to the girl that you’re making this donation as a way to affect positive change in the world from your apology, giving the fight you had an altruistic benefit for the world. Charity helps the world and is near-impossible to argue with. is your news, entertainment, music & fashion website. We provide you with the latest news and videos straight from the entertainment industry.

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