That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach: Oof. You screwed up — perhaps in a big way, perhaps just a graceless social moment — and the realization brings that unpleasant hollow feeling, a red face and the obligation to atone. The secret to an apology is that it be executed thoughtfully and decisively, whether it’s the result of an error or indiscretion; you’ve negatively impacted another person’s life or property and as a result they may be sad, furious or, perhaps worst of all, deeply disappointed. But steel yourself. We all screw up sometimes, and no matter how bad it is life marches on inexorably. Sure, you may end up divorced, on uncertain terms with friends or even a fugitive from justice, but knowing how to apologize may lessen the damage. Here’s a cheat sheet on saying sorry.
Additional contribution by Nick Caruso, Chris Wright, Henry Phillips and Eric Yang