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128 Apology Quotes That Convey Its Power to Mend Relationships

Karabo Baloyi
May 26, 2022
04:35 P.M.
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Apologies are sometimes overlooked, but they are a valuable part of any healthy relationship. To remember the value of an apology in an age of what can seem like relentless self-defense, here are 130 quotes about it.

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Apologies have never appealed to the defensive part of our human nature, and they have become even less valued over time in the social media age.

The need for people to apologize only to save face and not apologize sincerely has contributed to a slight erosion of vulnerability and apologies in many kinds of relationships.

But apologies remain more important than ever. The act of apologizing shows that we are not perfect beings and we accept our flaws enough to admit them when they hurt other people. It is a show of strength and not weakness.

If you find yourself hovering over the thought of apologizing to someone, here are 130 quotes to remind you that there is great power in apologizing.

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Paul Boese: “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” |Image: AmoDays

Paul Boese: “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” |Image: AmoDays

FAMOUS APOLOGIES

“I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.” — Erwin Schrodinger

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“I am sorry for what has happened and I know that I need some help.” — Susan Smith

“I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people that I cared about the most, and I am terribly sorry. I am deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment and my actions.” — Anthony Weiner

“I felt ashamed for what I had done. I don’t have any excuses. I did what I did. I take full responsibility for myself and my actions. I wouldn’t pawn this off on anybody. I’m sorry it happened. And I hurt people.” — Louie Anderson

“I want to say to each of you, simply, and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.” — Tiger Woods

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Erwin Schrodinger's quote: “I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.” | Image: AmoDays

Erwin Schrodinger's quote: “I don’t like it, and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.” | Image: AmoDays

“I am sorry for the pain I caused you, I feel so bad.” — Gabor Timis

“It’s very hard for me to say I’m sorry… but I do.” — Joe Nichols

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“I’m sorry my existence is not very noble or sublime.” — Keanu Reeves

“So many things that we never will undo I know you’re sorry, I’m sorry too.” — Bob Dylan

“You must tell me who I might have hurt. I have to write them an apology.” — Vivien Leigh

Donald L. Hicks's quote: “When you forgive, you free your soul. But when you say I’m sorry, you free two souls.“ | Image: AmoDays

Donald L. Hicks's quote: “When you forgive, you free your soul. But when you say I’m sorry, you free two souls.“ | Image: AmoDays

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“I am immensely contrite. And I’m sorry for the damage I’ve done.” — Jayson Blair

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” — Barack Obama

“Sorry, mom. Sorry, God.” — Chuck Palahniuk

“You’re my backbone. You’re a blessing. You’re a piece of my heart. You’re the air I breathe. And you’re the strongest person I know, and I’m so sorry for having to put you through this and having to put our family through this.” — Kobe Bryant

“I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain.” — Price and the Revolution

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Margaret Lee Runbeck: “An apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.” | Image: AmoDays

Margaret Lee Runbeck: “An apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.” | Image: AmoDays

“Everything is my fault, I’ll take all the blame.” — Nirvana

“I love my children. That will never change. I have prayed to them for forgiveness and hope that they will forgive me. I never meant to hurt them!!” — Susan Smith

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“I’m not perfect. Remember that, and try to forgive me when I fail you.” — Elizabeth Lowell

“God forgive me if I do wrong in following with ardor the strongest instincts of my nature.” — Julia Ward Howe

“Please forgive me for laughing when you fall. I’m so sorry but I never cared at all.” — Five Finger Death Punch

 Kevin Hancock's quote: “Apologies aren’t meant to change the past, they are meant to change the future.“ | Image: AmoDays

Kevin Hancock's quote: “Apologies aren’t meant to change the past, they are meant to change the future.“ | Image: AmoDays

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“I hope that people learn from my mistake and I hope that the fans forgive me.” — Rafael Palmeiro

“And throughout all eternity, I forgive you and you forgive me.” — William Blake

“When I say, ‘I’m sorry,’ it’s because I regret something.” — Luis Suarez

“We are deeply sorry for the loss of anything — from your luggage to, of course, a loved pet.” — Oscar Munoz

“Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God.” — Jim Elliot

 Lynn Johnston's quote: “An apology is the superglue of life! It can repair just about anything!!” | Image: AmolDays

Lynn Johnston's quote: “An apology is the superglue of life! It can repair just about anything!!” | Image: AmolDays

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“I am much chastened and profoundly remorseful. I can only hope that the Almighty and those whom I have wronged will forgive me my trespasses.” — Jack Abramoff

“I hope when I’m on my deathbed, people forgive me because there is a lot to forgive.” — Christopher Buckley

“Because you’ll always be special to me. Because I should have apologized years ago. Because I want you to be happy.“ — Lex Martin

“I write how sorry I am for not contacting her sooner, but I was afraid, a coward, and I am trying to be braver now. I try and try and try every day, all day long.” — Nick White

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“Hope you’ll forgive me, never meant wrong. Tried to be patient, but waited too long. But I would’ve came back. But I would’ve came back for you.” — Drake

Nick Smith's quote: “Apologies bring people together.” | Image: AmoDays

Nick Smith's quote: “Apologies bring people together.” | Image: AmoDays

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“Please understand. Please forgive me. I prayed every day for you to be alive, until hope became painful. Don’t hate me. I still love you. ” — Lauren Oliver

“I’m so sorry. I never wanted to hurt You.“ — Kiera Cass

“I made a big mistake. It is indefensible and I am sorry.” — William J. Clinton

“I ask for your forgiveness. I feel so miserable that it’s difficult even to say sorry.” — Hwang Woo Suk

“I don’t know why I made you cry I’m sorry sweetheart and yet, Though you shouldn’t be lenient with me I hope you’ll forgive and forget.” — Frank Sinatra

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 Matshona Dhliwayo's quote: “It is incredible how many hurts can be healed by the two words, ‘I’m sorry.” | Image: AmoDays

Matshona Dhliwayo's quote: “It is incredible how many hurts can be healed by the two words, ‘I’m sorry.” | Image: AmoDays

“And I felt sorry, and I have felt bad about what happened.” — Monica Lewinsky

APOLOGY QUOTES FOR WHEN YOU’VE BEEN HURT

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“But you know all about that, being sorry and having no words to say something when you know you should but you just can’t.” — Heather Gudenkauf

“I’m not very good at saying sorry, but I apologize.“ — Chris Kurtz

“I’m sorry.” Once again, those were the words. And now, anytime someone says I’m sorry, I’m going to think of her.” — Jay Asher

“I have learned that sometimes “sorry” is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change.” — Claire London

“A sincere apology is analogous to authentic repentance.“ | Image: AmoDays

“A sincere apology is analogous to authentic repentance.“ | Image: AmoDays

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“You must forgive me, for I struggled only for you.” — Emily Jane Bronte

THE BENEFITS OF APOLOGIES

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” — Paul Boese

“When you forgive, you free your soul. But when you say I’m sorry, you free two souls.“ — Donald L. Hicks

“An apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.” — Margaret Lee Runbeck

“Apologies aren’t meant to change the past, they are meant to change the future.“ — Kevin Hancock

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 Katerina Stoykova Klemer's quote:  “Being safe doesn’t mean you won’t be sorry.“ | Image: AmoDays

Katerina Stoykova Klemer's quote: “Being safe doesn’t mean you won’t be sorry.“ | Image: AmoDays

“An apology is the superglue of life! It can repair just about anything!!” — Lynn Johnston

“Apologies bring people together.” — Nick Smith

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“It is incredible how many hurts can be healed by the two words, ‘I’m sorry.” — Matshona Dhliwayo

“A sincere apology is analogous to authentic repentance.“ — R. Alan Woods

Corrie Ten Boom's quote: “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” | Image: Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie Ten Boom's quote: “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” | Image: Corrie Ten Boom

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“Your right actions might hurt someone, so if required apologize for your right actions, but don’t stop taking right actions.“ — Amit Kalantri

“Being safe doesn’t mean you won’t be sorry.“ — Katerina Stoykova Klemer

“When you make a mistake, give an apology without an excuse attached to it. The longer an apology, the less authentic it is.“ — Steve Maraboli

“The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death.“ — Plato

“A conscience without regrets — to live life without having to say you’re sorry.“ — E.A. Bucchianeri

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 Amit Kalant's quote: “Your right actions might hurt someone, so if required apologize for your right actions, but don’t stop taking right actions.“| Image: AmoDaysri

Amit Kalant's quote: “Your right actions might hurt someone, so if required apologize for your right actions, but don’t stop taking right actions.“| Image: AmoDaysri

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” — Corrie Ten Boom

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WHAT MAKES A GOOD APOLOGY

“Proper apologies have three parts: 1) What I did was wrong. 2) I feel bad that I hurt you. 3) How do I make this better?” — Randy Pausch

“Not admitting a mistake is a bigger mistake.” — Robert Half

“A sincere and warmly-expressed apology can produce the same effects as morphine on a suffering soul.” — Richelle E. Goodrich

“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” — Bruce Lee

Steve Maraboli's quote: “When you make a mistake, give an apology without an excuse attached to it. The longer an apology, the less authentic it is.“ | Image: AmoDays

Steve Maraboli's quote: “When you make a mistake, give an apology without an excuse attached to it. The longer an apology, the less authentic it is.“ | Image: AmoDays

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“Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past.” — Tyron Edwards

“I believe that when you’re wrong, own it and apologize, and so I do and put it on the equivalent of my front page.” — Peter Coyote

“Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.” — Rachel Vincent

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.“ — Benjamin Franklin

“A genuine apology is like an eleventh-hour rain on a dusty crop. Grossly overdue, but miraculously just in time.” — Jacqueline A Bussie

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Plato's quote: “The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death.“ | Image: AmoDays

Plato's quote: “The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death.“ | Image: AmoDays

“In order for there to be peace it may mean that a person needs to apologize for a wrong spirit, or attitude.” — Stanford Murrell

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“An apology is a good way to have the last word.” — Jose

“Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down-dirty way. Some of our characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it.“ — Joss Whedon

“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.” — Paul Bear Bryant

INSPIRATIONAL APOLOGY QUOTES

“Be the hero of hearts; learn to say I’m sorry.” — Richelle E. Goodrich

Robert Half's quote: “Not admitting a mistake is a bigger mistake.” | Image: AmoDays

Robert Half's quote: “Not admitting a mistake is a bigger mistake.” | Image: AmoDays

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“What is past is past, there is a future left to all men, who have the virtue to repent and the energy to atone.” — Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

“The hero isn’t the one who is right, but the one who steps forward to take the blame — deserved or not — and apologize to save a relationship.” — Richelle E. Goodrich

“He who is sorry for having sinned is almost innocent.” — Seneca

“Apologies are great, but they don’t really change anything. You know what does? Action.” — Stella Young

“Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.” — Isaac Friedmann

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“Your right actions might hurt someone, so if required apologize for your right actions, but don’t stop taking right actions.“ | Image: AmoDays

“Your right actions might hurt someone, so if required apologize for your right actions, but don’t stop taking right actions.“ | Image: AmoDays

“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry for everything.” — Clint Eastwood, ‘The Mule’

“Apology reminds us that each person, including ourselves, deserves to be respected and treated fairly.” — Beverly Engel

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THE DIFFICULTY IN APOLOGIES

“Saying sorry to someone is hard… but putting your pride down for someone is the hardest.” — Cristina Orante

“Truly saying sorry is never easy to do, and when you are, you just hope it’s not too late.” — Justin Tranter

“Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is saying ‘I love you’ with a wounded heart in one hand and your smothered pride in the other.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

Peter Coyote's quote: “I believe that when you’re wrong, own it and apologize, and so I do and put it on the equivalent of my front page.” | Image; AmoDays

Peter Coyote's quote: “I believe that when you’re wrong, own it and apologize, and so I do and put it on the equivalent of my front page.” | Image; AmoDays

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“I’m sorry.’ The two most inadequate words in the English language.” — Beth Revis

“The art of a sincere and heartfelt apology is one of the greatest skills you will ever learn.” — Jeanette LeBlanc

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” — Robert Brault

“Apologies require vulnerability.” — Jennifer Thomas

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.” | Image: AmoDays

“Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.” | Image: AmoDays

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“An apology is only good if the person who receives does so in understanding and forgiveness.” — Byron Pulsifer

“If an apology is followed by an excuse or a reason, it means they are going to commit the same mistake again they just apologized for.“ — Amit Kalantri

“It does not [cost]a penny to say “am sorry”, “I won’t do that again”! It does not take away your integrity to appreciate the very little that you have obtained from someone, even if it’s not much! True humility speaks “little is enough if God is in it.“ — Israelmore Ayivor

“People who know that they are wrong and still don’t feel sorry are those who never learn.“ — Shreya Gupta

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“Sometimes we learn the most about forgiveness when we realize how desperately we need it ourselves.“ — Glad Munaiseche

 “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.“ | Image: AmoDays

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.“ | Image: AmoDays

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“I feel sorry for anyone who is in a place where he feels strange and stupid.“ — Lois Lowry

“By the day’s end I realized that there were a zillion ways to apologize to someone, but none of them mattered if you never opened your mouth.“ — Jennifer Jabaley

“Sorry’s not good enough. When something’s broken, sorry can never bring it back.“ — Kenneth Eade

“You broke her heart in person — you fix it in person!“ — R.J. Gonzales

“Everybody was sorry. Sorry was easy.“ — Gretchen McNeil

Brad Goreski's quote: "I believe that things should be let go once they are discussed. Apology accepted. End of story.” | Image: AmoDays

Brad Goreski's quote: "I believe that things should be let go once they are discussed. Apology accepted. End of story.” | Image: AmoDays

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“You can make up a quarrel, but it will always show where it was patched.” — Edgar Watson Howe

“A stiff apology is a second insult… The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.” — G.K. Chesterton

“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” — Emily Kimbrough

“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” — Louis C.K.

Paul Bear Bryan's quote: “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.” | Image: AmoDayst

Paul Bear Bryan's quote: “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.” | Image: AmoDayst

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“Sorry, I’m still a dialectical materialist.” — Fidel Castro

“We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.” — Aesop

“Saying, ‘I’m sorry’ is the same as saying, ‘ I apologize.’ Except at a funeral.” — Demetri Martin

“It is always so simple, and so complicating, to accept an apology.” — Michael Chabon

“An apology given just to appease one’s conscience is self-serving and better left unspoken!” — Evinda Lepins

Joss Whedon's quote: “Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down-dirty way. Some of our characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it.“ | Image: AmoDays

Joss Whedon's quote: “Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down-dirty way. Some of our characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it.“ | Image: AmoDays

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THE IMPORTANCE OF APOLOGIES

“It isn’t always to apologize for your mistakes but doing so shows a person with a strong sense of self.” — Byron Pulsifer

“In this life, when you deny someone an apology, you will remember it at time you beg forgiveness.” — Toba Beta

“Never believe you’re so great or important, so right or proud, that you cannot kneel at the feet of someone you hurt and offer a humble, sincere apology.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich

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“True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive.” — Mignon McLaughlin

Stanford Murrell's quote: “In order for there to be peace it may mean that a person needs to apologize for a wrong spirit, or attitude.” | Image: AmoDays

Stanford Murrell's quote: “In order for there to be peace it may mean that a person needs to apologize for a wrong spirit, or attitude.” | Image: AmoDays

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“The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.” — Red Auerbach

“The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.” — Henry Boye

“More people should apologize, and more people should accept apologies when sincerely made.” — Greg LeMond

“When you realize you’ve made a mistake, make amends immediately. It’s easier to eat crow while it’s still warm.— Dan Heist

“To err is human, but contrition felt for the crime distinguishes the virtuous from the wicked.” — Vittorio Alfieri

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Jacqueline A Bussie's quote: “A genuine apology is like an eleventh-hour rain on a dusty crop. Grossly overdue, but miraculously just in time.” | Image: AmoDays

Jacqueline A Bussie's quote: “A genuine apology is like an eleventh-hour rain on a dusty crop. Grossly overdue, but miraculously just in time.” | Image: AmoDays

“Never forget the nine most important words of any family — I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me.” — H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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“Apology doesn’t mean that you were wrong, or another person was right. It means that your relationship is more valuable than your ego.” — Ain Eineziz

“Apology is not about saying I’m sorry, but it is about the meaning you put behind the apology and admitting that you are the wrong part.” — Unarine Ramaru

“Let us forgive each other — only then will we live in peace.” — Leo Tolstoy

“An apology is saying the right thing after doing the wrong thing.” — Vikrant Parsai

 “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.“ | Image: AmoDays

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.“ | Image: AmoDays

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“I believe forgiveness is the best form of love in any relationship. It takes a strong person to say they’re sorry and an even stronger person to forgive.” Yolanda Hadid

“Apologize quickly when you wrong someone, because I’m sorry has no value in the grave.” — Lakesha Ruise

“Your sins are great? Just tell the Lord: Forgive me, help me to get up again, change my heart!” — Pope Francis

“An apology is a statement of regret. As important as that is, apologizing differs from asking for forgiveness.” Marianne Clyde

ruce Lee's quote: “Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” | Image: AmoDays

ruce Lee's quote: “Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” | Image: AmoDays

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“Pride and ego make a mockery of an apology. Humility wins forgiveness without question… so break ‘yo’self’!“ — T.F. Hodge

“'Sorry’ isn’t a synonym for ‘guilty.’ It’s a way to say you’re listening.“ — Martina Boone

“I am the type of person who believes an apology should be sincere and from the heart.” — Camille Grammer

‘I’m sorry you’re angry’ is NOT an apology.” — Liz Lutz

 “A sincere and warmly-expressed apology can produce the same effects as morphine on a suffering soul.” | Image: Richelle E. Goodrich

“A sincere and warmly-expressed apology can produce the same effects as morphine on a suffering soul.” | Image: Richelle E. Goodrich

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“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” — Reinhold Niebuhr

“The ability of a person to atone has always been the most remarkable of human features.” — Leon Uris

“I believe that things should be let go once they are discussed. Apology accepted. End of story.” — Brad Goreski

“An apology is only egotism wrong side out.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

“Proper apologies have three parts: 1) What I did was wrong. 2) I feel bad that I hurt you. 3) How do I make this better?” | Image: AmoDays

“Proper apologies have three parts: 1) What I did was wrong. 2) I feel bad that I hurt you. 3) How do I make this better?” | Image: AmoDays

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No matter how pure our intentions are, if our actions hurt someone, we need to apologize for them, and not simply defend our intentions. Apologizing takes a lot of bravery, but doing so, sincerely, shows a strong character.

Apologizing is also a form of vulnerability, it gives people the power to decide to forgive you or not, and sometimes that can be more healing than the apology itself to the wronged party. So always consider stepping into your bravery and apologize when you need to.

If these quotes helped you realize the importance of apologies, you'll love these wise quotes from Uncle Iroh from “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

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