All illustrations by Esme.

How to Say You’re Sorry

  1. Think about the situation, why it happened, and what you did wrong. When you’re apologizing to another human being, it’s not about you—it’s about them, and how you’ve hurt them.

  2. Approach the person when they’re alone, and ask if it’s a good time to talk. If they say no, ask politely when you can check back in, and respect their answer even if they don’t want to see you for a while. It might be hard for you wait, but part of apologizing is respecting boundaries.
  3. If you do meet up, look the person in the eye and say, “I’m sorry.” You can be more specific and add, “It was wrong of me to do _______,” but do not get defensive and say “I only did _____ because you did ______.” An apology is not the appetizer to the meal of blaming the other person.
  4. Shake hands or hug, and then walk away, giving the other person space. Look how classy you are!