Upsetting someone you love is the worst, whether it is intentional or otherwise. Sometimes just saying, "I'm sorry" isn't enough, so you may need a selection of non-verbal ways to say sorry if the situation arises. Sure, you probably want to tell the person how sorry you are in words, but it could be better to show them how remorseful you feel because actions really do speak louder than words.
As women, we have been programmed to use the "S" word inappropriately, but as one Bustle writer summarized, "Apologizing isn't inherently bad — it can sometimes be a sign of empathy and caring. It's just not always necessary to do it." So before you go offering up any grand gestures, make sure you have something to be sorry for.
It doesn't matter whether you had a squabble over something silly or you had a big blow out with your loved one, friend, or colleague, it's always a great idea to really show them how sorry you are and make them feel special and appreciated. For huge fights, a heartfelt, apologetic action will also cement the fact that you still want your relationship to continue and carry on as normal. So here are some ideas of how you can apologize without saying, "I'm sorry."
1. Write Them A Letter
In my opinion, handwriting someone a letter is a great way to apologize with a personal touch. Your recipient will know that you spent time picking out your stationery, thinking about what you wanted to say, and writing it neatly by hand. A handwritten letter of apology wins an apologetic email or text message hands down because electronic communication doesn't take as much time, energy, or possibly thought to compose. With a letter, you think about the mark you're going to make on the page and the exact words you wish to say before writing them down in your best handwriting. You could even put some cute confetti (not glitter) or stickers in your letter to make them feel even more appreciated.
2. Bake Them A Treat
If you don't already know their favorite baked treat, make it your mission to find out. If you can't find out without ruining the surprise, bake them something seasonally appropriate like a batch of yummy holiday and Christmas cookies. You could go the extra mile and make a literal apology cake which says, "I'm sorry" in delicious frosting because indulgent, tasty food is the way to anyone's heart.
3. Do Them A Favor
Your SO, mom, or BFF may lead hectic lives (who doesn't?) so you could take the pressure off them a little by doing them a favor. Make it something that they wouldn't expect like taking their dog for a walk, buying their favorite magazine or newspaper so they don't have to, or fixing their wobbly coffee table. Whatever it is, make sure the favor is something they will really appreciate and don't always go for the easy option because going totally out of your way in order to make their life easier makes for a great apology.
4. Take Them Out For Dinner
Taking someone out for dinner to apologize is a great gesture because you're sacrificing both your time and your money to say sorry. You could let them pick whatever they fancy, take them to their all time favorite place, or take them somewhere they've always wanted to try. This is a great option if your loved one is a foodie and they'll most likely really appreciate it. It goes without saying that you're picking up the tab, regardless of whether they order a salad or a sirloin steak.
5. Do Their Chores
Do their chores without a word. If you live with them, let them come home to a sparkling home where all they need to do is put their feet up and relax. If you don't lived with your loved one, find a way to sneak in – legally, of course! You could let their roommate in on the plan and ask them to let you in so you can make their apartment spotless. However, if this proves tricky, call them and tell them you're going to come round on a day which suits them and do all of their chores — I'm sure I don't know anyone who would turn that offer down. On the other hand, if you had a really big fight and they're screening your calls, you could always try cleaning their car or tending to their garden.
6. Compose A Silly Song Or A Heartfelt Poem
Technically, this is a verbal method but it goes far beyond just plainly saying, "I'm sorry." Lighten the mood with a comedic, silly song which says you're sorry but don't forget the sincere conclusion at the end. This is sure to break the ice between you and hopefully get your relationship or friendship back on track again. For the times when you really screwed up, write a song or poem from the bottom of your heart to put into words (and possibly rhyme) how sorry you are. There may be tears but hopefully these will be tears of joy, laughter, or love and not of sadness or anger. This is one of the most creative and possibly emotive ways of saying you're sorry but make sure your audience knows it's not a joke, otherwise you could be in the doghouse for even longer.
7. Stock Their Fridge With All Their Favorite Foods
Imagine coming home to a fridge full of all your favorite foods; it would be heaven, right? This is the hat trick of ways to say you're sorry without words because you saved your loved one the effort of going grocery shopping, you saved them money, and you saved them time. This is my personal favorite non-verbal apology. Don't worry if you don't live together, just turn up at their house with the grocery bags or meet them from work with your offering.
If your chosen tip doesn't work, try a combination of these non-verbal ways to say "I'm sorry" and your kindness, effort, and thoughtfulness is sure to pay off eventually!