Practicing Self-Affirmation: Begin with acknowledging that it was a mistake and that you have many more positive qualities. The mistake doesn’t define who you are. Recognise your positive qualities as well.
Clearly State Your Reason: Identify exactly what you did wrong. Before even you speak out, in your own mind and as well as in words, express clearly why you want to apologise.
Admit You Were Wrong: Take responsibility for your actions, acknowledge your mistake and make sure that the person you are apologising to knows that you are aware of your mistake as well.
Feel for the Other: Acknowledge what the other person might have gone through. Express your concern or anguish about how you made them feel.
Do Not Justify With a Clause: ‘I am sorry but…’ is a half-hearted way of justifying one’s actions. It does not sound convincing to the person who receives the apology. It sounds like an excuse.
Ask for Forgiveness: Just as you say sorry, make sure that you also clear any bad air by asking if they will accept your apology. Forgiveness is a two-way street, remember.
Never Repeat the Mistake: The soundness of a sorry is in the actions that follow the apology. If it is possible to undo the mistake, take corrective action. If not, ensure that you have their faith by never repeating the mistake again.