Being Sorry for Disappointing
So you’re sorry for disappointing your partner. As a follow up of sorts to my last post, Dealing with Disappointment, I’d like to share a few quick thoughts on how to respond when we find ourselves in this unenviable position. Two prevailing principles are at play here: say what you mean & mean what you say; and actions speak louder than words.
Step one: Be sorry.
In order to make a successful repair attempt it is imperative that you genuinely feel sorry for whatever led to the disappointment. Do some soul searching here. Your partner doesn’t want to hear that you’re sorry for being caught, or for having an argument, or for having to deal with this mess. They want to hear remorse over the source of the disappointment.
Step two: Say you’re sorry, once.
Once the introspection is complete you then need to put words to your feelings of regret. Your partner needs to hear, in your own words, that you can connect in part to the source of their pain. Important emphasis here: your apology is about them, not about you. What they don’t want to hear is you wallowing in self-pity. Make your apology once, maybe once again later for emphasis, and then let your actions speak for you.
Step three: Change.
You want your partner to put stock in your words of reassurance that it won’t happen again? Then don’t let it happen again, at least not in this way. If your remorse is genuine and your intention authentic, then make any necessary adjustments, within your power, to guard against a similar sort of disappointment in the future. Chances are good that you will both let each other down in some way, at some time; you are both human after all. Regardless of that reality, effort and attention to make changes will hopefully be noticed and appreciated.