November 04, 2022

Better Apologies

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

It’s never fun to apologize, and when you think about it, it’s never fun to receive an apology. If an apology is warranted, something went wrong. No one wants that.

But we all make mistakes. We all screw up from time to time. Sometimes the consequences are minimal. Sometimes they’re significant. Regardless, when things go wrong, we need to humble ourselves and try to repair the damage. An apology won’t set everything right, but it can help with the emotional side of things.

A good apology might help you keep a customer, save a friendship, or restore trust. On the other hand, a bad apology will push people away and destroy trust.

Here are a few tips for forming good apologies.


  • Make it sound like it was “just an accident.”
  • Say this doesn’t usually happen.
  • Imply that mistakes are inevitable.
  • Suggest that someone else shares the blame.


  • Recognize the impact.
  • Admit the mistake.
  • Acknowledge that it was preventable.
  • Take responsibility.