How to Apologise in 5 Simple Steps

Apologise From the Heart

Apologising from the heart is the way to go. Tune in to what your heart is telling you and be guided by what feels right.

A genuine apology is the best approach and is more likely to be accepted gracefully.

Apologise Like You Mean it!

Apologise with substance. Follow the five steps; commit to your apology and communicate your sincerity with genuine care and remorse.

If you have backed out or messed up an apology in the past, then you will love the simple five step process.

5 step apology diagram
Click to view large size

Great Apologies Lead to Close Relationships

Let’s see a quick example to help the 5 steps sink in. I want you to be ready to apologise in advance and know the 5 steps. It’s a key communication skill for couples. A heartfelt apology with real substance will help lead your partner to find forgiveness, understanding, and build a closer connection.


“Hi darling, can I have a moment of your time please. I want you to know that I’m sorry. I really am.

I’m sorry that I missed our anniversary and I know I let you down. It’s my fault and I shouldn’t have forgot, but I did! It’s my mistake, and I’m sorry.

I will make it up to you. I’d like to take you out to dinner in the city this Saturday night. I have reservations at a secret restaurant and I can’t wait to see the look on your face when you find out where!

What do you say? Will you forgive me? Say yes to Saturday night and let me make it up to you?”

Well done. You’re doing great…

Over the next few days be compassionate by listening and being there for your partner. Ask what they need. Tune in to their world. Show you’re trust worthy by doing what you say you will. Be reliable and let your actions become your apology.

Assuming you don’t forget to make reservations – Chances are good you’ll have a wonderful Saturday night!

Top Tips to Remember for an Apology that Sticks

  • Own the apology – let it come from you and not someone else
  • Be present, say it in person is best
  • Avoid distractions and look at each other
  • Remember your body language – be congruent with what you’re saying
  • Use soft tonality in your voice
  • Avoid blaming, making excuses, ducking responsibility
  • Take your time
  • Choose your timing
  • Provide space as needed
  • Be ready to listen
  • Stay calm – be grounded in the moment, accepting of the response
  • Your apology has no conditions or strings attached
  • Your apology stands even if you aren’t forgiven
  • Forgive yourself – You’re only human. Release guilt and shame
  • Enjoy and grow from the experience

Stay Calm with Smooth Conversations

Getting your apology right, can be tricky! And as you can see, there are alot of tips to remember! So use your Smooth Conversation Cards to guide you, and ask the right questions at the right time. Physical cards are great, as you can lay them out on the table as you say them, give your ‘question’ substance.

Check out some of the example conversations using Smooth Conversations or learn from Lee in his free Smooth Conversation video series here. to hear more examples of Smooth Conversations.

Share this on your social channels…


Join Our Newsletter

Helpful relationship resources & more delivered straight to your inbox.