It’s hard to say, especially without an “if.”
The best apology is like an egg: simple, bald, fragile. If I fumble it, I’ll really make a mess.
“Forgive me,” is a start.
The next step is the real kicker. ”For” — for failing to acknowledge you, for failing to remember your name, for failing to think, for failing. Or for doing: for saying cruel words, for acting out, for lying, for stealing, for betraying.
A good apology takes responsibility. It says, “I did it.” It does not shift blame, it says, “I’m sorry” and “I did it.”
Then sit back. Wait. See what happens.
There may be anger. There may be sorrow. There may be fake forgiveness or self-serving forgiveness, as the Gingeet Rabbi has described in her blog. Or there may be a really good conversation in which you will learn something. This is the thing about a good apology: no matter how predictable you think the other person is, you can’t know for sure what comes after the apology. The better the apology, the more unpredictable the response.
Whatever it is, accept what comes.
This post is part of #BlogElul 5773 / 2013, a month-long themed blogburst orchestrated by imabima. I can’t promise that I’ll post every day, but I hope to share at least a few posts on these themes over the month to come. For other people’s posts on these themes, search using the #BlogElul hashtag.