If you have hurt your girlfriend's feelings, you might wonder if you have permanently damaged your relationship. You are most likely dealing with strong feelings of regret, and need your girlfriend to know that you value your relationship. The chances are that she will know if your apology is sincere. While some people think that apologizing is a sign of weakness, it is merely a means of making amends when you were at fault, according to Dr. John M. Grohol in the Psych Central article "How to Make an Adept, Sincere Apology." It might not be as difficult as you think to apologize to your girlfriend in a sincere way.
Take the Blame
The most important thing you must do to demonstrate a sincere apology is to take the blame for your actions. Resist blaming your girlfriend in any way, such as by saying "I messed up was because you were getting too emotional." You are not apologizing for your girlfriend's feelings, but for your own behavior, according to Dr. Grohol. It is important to make this distinction when saying you're sorry.
Explain to your girlfriend that you are understanding of the situation you put her in. You should consider how your behavior affected her life, according to Beverly Engel in an article published by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Family Business Center. Maybe she has come to doubt your commitment to the relationship or wonder if you truly value her. Let her know that you understand the pain she is in and that you are sincerely sorry.
Hear Her Out
You may think that an apology is all about what you say, but listening to your girlfriend's perspective is actually an effective way to demonstrate regret. You must listen to the sentiments expressed by the offended party, according to Guy Winch, a licensed psychologist and author of "The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem." Your girlfriend may have something to tell you that is important to her. Listening patiently will show her that you truly value her perspective.
Make It Up to Her
While you may not be able to take back the mistake you made, you can offer to try to make it up to your girlfriend. Perhaps she would enjoy a meaningful gift from you or a special date night. Only you know what would make her truly happy, so go out of your way to bring a smile to her face. You will show her that the two of you can overcome any challenge in your relationship, and that your mistake will not be the end of your devotion to her.
Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.
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