What does this look like in action? Let’s say Esa is an accountant with a big filing deadline. Earlier this week, her wife, Davey, promised to babysit the kids on Saturday mornings so Esa could work. Saturday morning is coming. Running to Costco, Davey loses track of time, and Esa’s day is quickly swallowed up by the food, cleaning, and entertainment their two young children and our rambunctious chocolate lab require. A basic apology would be if Davey just said, “I’m sorry I was late.” A toxic apology would be if she said, “Well, I had things to do too. I’m sorry if you missed your deadlines, but that’s the way it goes.”

Neither baseline nor toxic apologies convey empathy. Stay in a relationship long enough and you’ll likely end up on the give and receive side of both. Before I learned this information, my apologies were more of a hasty attempt to avoid guilt rather than an attempt at genuine relationship recovery. Can you relate?

Instead of apologizing, if Davey offered Esa compensation, it would sound like this:

This post 4 Steps To Make Amends After A Fight In A Relationship was original published at “https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-make-amends-to-your-partner”


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