0030 – The Secret to Crafting a Perfect Apology

“In this episode…”

we’re talking all about apologies, what they are, what they aren’t, and how you can apologize if you mess up

Teaser Bullets

by the end of this episode you’ll learn:

  • what an apology is
  • what it isn’t
  • the science behind apologies
  • and how to apologize

Describe the problem

…We all mess up from time to time, whether we mean to or not. It’s not easy to admit when you have hurt someone, and sometimes a messed up apology can make things even worse. So what’s the proper way to apologize? And how can we get past meaningless “sorries?”


Do men and women apologize differently?


Sam Margulies | Psychology Today


How to Apologize to a Woman


…a woman apologizes to maintain healthy relationships and feels no sense of loss. But a man apologizes and feels a sense of loss if not humiliation. The result of this difference is that men are reluctant to apologize and in many cases, do not know how to craft a sincere apology.”


Is there a difference between saying sorry and being sorry? Is there a difference between “sorry” and “I apologize”?


The case for less “sorries”…


Andre Cross | AskMen.com


Don’t Apologize for Everything


If you’re simply saying sorry to smooth things over, then it’s not appropriate.”


Janet Paskin | BusinessWeek


Don’t Apologize: Expressing Regret, Reconsidered


For two weeks I didn’t apologize…even if I was wrong.

A 2012 study by a trio of Australian scholars, helps explain why, after a few days, I felt fantastic. In academic terms, apologies act as a transfer of power from the offender to the victim. By refusing to apologize, the researchers say, the harm-doer—the technical term for “jerk”—retains a sense of control and power. Neglecting to apologize means we don’t have to admit we’ve done anything wrong. From there it’s a short hop to believing the transgression wasn’t so bad, which means we don’t have to do anything different to avoid doing it again. As I recently heard a mother tell her 8-year-old, “If you were really sorry for throwing your hat, you wouldn’t have done it a third time.”

The Case for Better Sorries

Guy Winch, PhD | Psychology Today

The Science of Effective Apologies

“Most of us conceive of apologies as including three basic ingredients: (1) a statement of regret for what happened; (2) a clear ‘I’m sorry’ statement; and (3) a request for forgiveness. These ingredients must be delivered with sincerity for an apology to be effective.

Beyond the inclusion of the three basic ingredients, what is the difference between a successful apology and one that fails to elicit forgiveness from the offended party?

Apologies come in all shapes and sizes. Apologies made to a spouse are obviously very different than those made to a work colleague or a friend. Studies have found that in addition to the three basic ingredients, three additional apology components play an important role in determining whether an apology will be effective: (A) Expressions of empathy; (B) Offers of compensation; and (C) Acknowledgments that certain rules or social norms were violated.”

Call or text 508 444 2003 to tell us about the best, worst or hardest apologies you’ve ever had to give.

Segment #2

Note: What an Apology ISN’T


Tom O’Leary | Pickthebrain.com


5 Steps to an Effective Apology


An apology is not just a tool to make peace. It’s not another way of saying “Get off my back”. It’s not a way of introducing harm, “sorry but I am going to have to divorce you”. It’s not a tool to manipulate others.

A genuine apology is not a habitual apologetic mannerism. It is a deliberate effort to solve a relational problem that you have contributed to.

When should you apologize? Whenever there is a break in a relationship. No matter what the issue, there will usually be a part, even a small part, that was your responsibility. For this you should apologize.Realizing that a disturbance is your responsibility is a giant step towards emotional maturity.”


Guy Winch, PhD | Psychology Today

The Science of Effective Apologies

The Science of Apologies


A series of studies examined the three apology components (expressions of empathy, offers of compensation, acknowledgement of the violation of social norms) and their impact on apology effectiveness for different apology recipients. They found that people responded to apology components which best reflected their general view of relationships.



  1. Know your audience

“Someone who defined themselves by their connections to others responded more strongly to expressions of empathy. Those who tended to keep track of what each person brought to a relationship and what they got out of it found apologies with offers of compensation to be most effective. And those who saw their relationships as being part of a larger group or community responded best to apologies which acknowledged the violation of social norms.

  1. Listen well to their stated offense, tailor your response

“When apologizing to a spouse, emphasize the empathy component; when apologizing to a work-colleague, emphasize the offer of compensation component; and when apologizing to a friend, emphasize the violation of social norms component.”

  1. Mean it

Remember “best advice” episode…you should at least be sorry for the hurt caused, whether you intended to hurt or not.

Other tips?

We want to hear from you! Call or text 508 444 2003 to tell us about your apology stories.



…if you want more GOOD advice like this for free, keep listening to this podcast and also visit to grab “How to Get the Guy” or “How to Get the Girl.” It’s a five day course, packed full of great stuff for you to improve your dating life.


iTunes Review

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Segment #3

  • Listener Tips

In Closing

In closing, on behalf of myself, Elijah R. Young, and everyone involved in bringing this show to your ears, we hope we’ve made your relationship better today than it was yesterday. Now go forth and relate to one another…we’ll talk soon.


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