1. You need to get clear about your intentions and how you feel about the disconnect.
Ex. “I can tell I’m not feeling good about how that last conversation went and I want to try to repair the connection between us.”
2. You have to acknowledge your specific actions. You can’t just say sorry. The other person needs to hear that you understand exactly what you did.
Ex. “I acknowledge that I raised my voice and told you that you don’t care about anyone but yourself.”
3. You need to do some work to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what that experience was like for them. This is called empathy.
Ex. “I imagine you felt misunderstood, blamed, angry, and sad when I said that.”
4. You will need to get vulnerable about your emotional experience during the apology.
Ex. “I’m noticing I’m feeling embarrassed and guilty that I acted that way.”
Less is More – Don’t ramble on if things feel tense. People can feel easily overwhelmed when they are feeling threatened and sensitive.
No Excuses – Be mindful that you don’t slip in any excuses or accusations. They will probably be noticed and defended immediately.
Eye Contact – Look at the other person eyes when you speak. This shows your authenticity and it allows you to attune to their reaction.
Breathe – Stay present with yourself by taking deep breaths to relax your nervous system. This will help you work with any residual tension as it comes up.
Good luck out there! If you are like me, I have to do this multiple times per week!!!!