How To Ask For Forgiveness

Life is full of hurdles. There are incredible ups and, unfortunately, some deep lows. While good and bad days are a part and parcel of life, mistakes are, too. It can be a challenge to learn how to ask for forgiveness.

Whether you’re 100 years old or just a kid, you would have made some mistakes along the way. If these mistakes have impacted another person’s life, you may be seeking forgiveness.

When it comes to forgiveness, it can be easier to accept it rather than ask for it. Many of us struggle with asking for forgiveness. Instead, we look for ways to justify our actions. We search for excuses for our behavior.

We sometimes try to blame another person. But, if you know, in the depths of your heart, that you are guilty of something, you will need to ask for forgiveness.

Unfortunately, when looking for excuses, we typically make ourselves look worse than before. This is our ego taking charge. Well, it’s time to swallow your ego if you want to ask for forgiveness. Yes, we understand that it can be very difficult.

But, when asking for forgiveness, you can lift a burden off your shoulders and hopefully mend a damaged relationship or friendship. Of course, asking for forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean you will be forgiven. Even if this occurs, asking for forgiveness helps to liberate yourself from that feeling of guilt, or at least part of it.

If you are struggling to ask for forgiveness, we are here to help guide you. Below are some suggestions on how to successfully seek forgiveness for something you have done wrong.

How To Ask For Forgiveness

Ways To Ask For Forgiveness

Asking for forgiveness often equates to an apology.

To be sincere in your quest for forgiveness, your apology needs to have two fundamental elements:

  • It must show regret over certain actions or words.
  • The apology needs to acknowledge these actions that have caused pain to the person you’re asking for forgiveness from. This is whether you intended to hurt them or not.

By admitting your wrongdoings, you can show the person affected that you understand your actions have had consequences and that you blame yourself and no one else for any pain caused.

By taking responsibility, your reputation can grow stronger and you can become a fairer and more honest individual.

As for the future, asking for forgiveness can help you become more confident if you need to apologize for certain actions. And, although your main aim is to be forgiven, you will feel a tremendous sense of relief after discussing things with the offended person. 

Let’s go through the steps of seeking forgiveness.

Acknowledge Your Failure

How To Ask For Forgiveness

The first step is to understand that you cannot demand forgiveness. Even if you think the other person involved is overreacting and should accept your apology, it’s their choice to forgive you or not.

The way you apologize can make the biggest difference. Begin by acknowledging your mistake or failure. This shows the other person that you will not make the same mistake in the future. Recognize your mistake to show that you understand what you have done wrong. 

Take Responsibility And Explain What You Did Wrong 

Just acknowledging your mistake is not enough. You need to have reasons behind your actions. Think about why you acted in the way you did and explain this to the person affected.

There is usually some motivation behind something that requires forgiveness, so you need to reveal this. Be honest. Do not explain and then make excuses. Accept that what you did has had a negative consequence on someone else. 

Take full responsibility for what you did and explain why you acted like this. 

Show Remorse Whilst Being Sincere And Genuine

If your actions have hurt someone else, whether it be physically or emotionally, their emotional state will be all over the place. It doesn’t matter if it’s your friend, your partner, a sibling, or your parents.

They cannot remain indifferent to something you did that has caused them pain. To seek forgiveness, you must show true regret and be wholly remorseful.

Show that you understand why they feel hurt and the way you made them feel. This demonstration of empathy can help the individual see that you care about how they feel. But, again, be honest.

Do not fake your empathy, as this will be obvious to most who see it. 

Explain That You Will Fix What You Did

Once you have shown that you understand your mistake and why you made it, you need to shift your focus to the future.

The past has gone. Yes, you have done something you regret and that cannot be changed. Now it is time to fix your actions.

Think about what you will do from now on. Ask yourself how you will prevent yourself from acting in the same manner again. You need to show the other person that you will never act in this way again. Most importantly, you need to follow through with this promise and stay true to it. 

Allow The Other Person To Be Angry

One reason many people are trepidatious about asking for forgiveness is because they worry about the other person will act. But, remember, forgiving is harder than asking for forgiveness.

If someone is very hurt, they will not be able to act like nothing has happened, even if they can see you’re truly sorry. This can be because of a loss of trust and ego taking over. If the person trusted you but you broke this trust, they may be reminded of this every time they see you. 

Therefore, you need to let them express how they feel. Accept that they may not forgive you in the given moment. Just apologize sincerely and let them decide in their own time whether they forgive you or not. 

In Summary

You need to be patient when asking for forgiveness. People may need more time to heal than others. The steps above do not guarantee forgiveness.

But, if your apology is true and sincere, you will become a better person and it will hopefully work towards building trust and communication in the future.


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