Friendship Summer GirlfriendsI apologize, Girlfriend.

I’m sorry.  I’m really, really sorry.  I am sorry all the way down to the bottom of my toes.

And I truly hope you will forgive me and give me another chance.

That’s the thing about girlfriends. We don’t mess up on purpose. But we’re human, and our best intentions don’t always line up with our reality. When we mess up too often, we threaten friendships. But in general, when we goof, we apologize, and our girlfriends forgive us.

Is there a right way to apologize?

Someone once told me that for an apology to be accepted you have to put your hand on someone, look deep into the person’s eyes, and say something like, “I sincerely apologize.” Of course, he was a twit about a lot of other things too, so I don’t believe that is the only way to say “I’m sorry.”

I think the key is to stop and think (many people have suggested that is a good strategy for me in a variety of situations). I try to imagine how deeply I’ve hurt the other person. Am I thirty seconds late for a three-hour shopping spree? Did I just call a business contact the wrong name in front of the boss? Did I completely miss a get-together? Did I just back up into a friends’ prized azaleas? Did I accidentally deeply wound a girlfriend?

Saying “I’m sorry.”

I try to match the apology not only to the severity of the situation, but also to the person I’m apologizing to. For some friends a written apology is more meaningful than a spoken one. To others, time together is important to mending the relationship.

It seems to me, that in every circumstance, the keys are to respond as quickly as possible after the offense, and to offer the apology sincerely and directly. As long as you are honest about the goof and how much you regret it, you can call, email, text, send flowers, write a short note, or send a carrier pigeon.

The other option of course is to write a blog about how sorry you are—and send your girlfriend the link to the public apology.

So, girlfriend, how do you apologize? Are there different apologies for different situations or different people?

Judi is the Chief Apologist for Like all of us, she’s had lots of practice messing up and apologizing for it. Right now she is busy apologizing to girlfriend Peg for mixing up Saturday and Sunday.

Similar blog posts …

* Five simple ways to mend a broken friendship – great girlfriend Advice!

* Two little words that make a friendship better – can you guess?

* Lesson on Forgiveness – what we learn from our girlfriends

Photo from Flickr