If you did something wrong and you hurt your friend in some way, this article will guide you on the best way to apologize to your hurt friend.
How Badly Did You Mess Up?
The approach you should take to apologize may have to be altered slightly depending on how badly you messed up.
Did you spill a soda on your friend’s favorite shirt?
Did you leave your friend hanging while you agreed to go somewhere together?
Did you kiss your friend’s partner?
Did you crash your friend’s car?
There are a million things that you could do to hurt your friend, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally.
You are going to have a harder time apologizing if you hurt your friend intentionally and an easier time if it was unintentional.
The more badly you messed up, the stronger your apology needs to be.
Understand Why Your Friend Is Hurt
Usually a friend only gets hurt if you let them down and broke their trust in some way. Trust is the very foundation of friendship and when that trust becomes less (or even gets broken completely), your friendship will start to crumble.
While I personally think that almost every situation is fixable, and even if you did something so bad, there’s still a small chance that you can rebuild your trust and your friendship if you try, so give it everything you’ve got.
There are a few essential points that play a strong role in a genuine apology. In order to apologize to a hurt friend and rebuild their trust and friendship, these are what need to be part of your apology.
Essential Things You Need To Include In Your Apology
Admit Your Were Wrong
Your apology always needs to include the admission of your mistake(s). Often the damage that you caused is not the real issue that causes the hurt with your friend. The real issue is that you made a mistake, and even this is usually not an issue when you are man enough (or woman enough) to admit your mistake.
It takes guts to admit you were wrong, and that is why it is such a powerful part of a successful apology. Simply saying something like, “I was totally wrong, I screwed up” can do wonders.
After admitting you were wrong, it usually helps to be honest and explain what you were thinking at the time.
For example, “I’m sorry I bailed on you the other night, I just met this really hot girl who wanted to come to my place and I know I should have just told you but I was scared you wouldn’t understand. The primal instincts just took over.”
Make A Gesture
After admitting your mistake and being honest about it, completing the apology with some sort of gesture usually seals the deal.
If you broke or damaged something, offer to fix it or replace it at your expense.
If you ruined your friend’s day in some way, offer to make it better. For example if you stood your friend up for a night out, offer to take your friend out for the night, totally on you.
Final Words About Apologizing
To end off there is one final thing that you should know about apologizing to a hurt friend.
Minor incidents usually don’t require much more of an apology than the outlined steps in this article. However, if you severely broke the trust with your friend, then it can take a lot more persistance and gestures from your side to rebuild that trust and get your friend to forgive you.
If you really value your friendship with the person you hurt, then you need to commit to doing whatever it takes to apologize (within the rules of the law of course). Maybe you need to sit on your friend’s doorstep for 5 days in a row to show that you are sorry. Maybe you even need to apologize over the course of days or weeks.
Making mistakes is human and it’s not something that you should be ashamed to admit. Just keep in mind that you only get given a certain number of chances, so if you keep making the same mistake after apologizing and being forgiven, then it shouldn’t be a surprise if your friend no longer wants to be friends with you.
Your friendship is really in your hands and I truly hope that this article will help you save or rebuild your friendship that you damaged.