This is an email from The Forge Daily Tip, a newsletter by Forge.

Are you really sorry though?

🙏 Today’s tip: Before you apologize to someone, ask yourself why you’re doing it.

It’s much easier to screw up an apology than it is to apologize well.

So before you start, check in with yourself: Are you just looking to feel better, or for reassurance that someone isn’t mad at you? Or are you truly expressing remorse? An apology that’s an attempt to brush over a conflict will feel empty.

To really land, an apology should signal that you’re ready to engage with the other person’s hurt feelings, in all their messiness. It requires you to own your own actions, and acknowledge what was wrong with them.

From there, it’s simple: Say “I’m sorry,” no qualifiers, and explain why that’s true. If it’s not, maybe don’t apologize.

📚 More from Forge on making amends:

A Thorough Guide to Apologizing

What to Do If You Get Caught in a Lie at Work

Some People Don’t Like You and That’s Okay

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