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How To Apologise
Question
What is a good example of a positive finish to an apology?
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Take time to consider your apology. What exactly are you apologising for? What effect did your actions have on the other person? How can you make amends for what you've done?
Depending on the gravity of the situation, it's often a good idea to apologise one-on-one, rather than in a group setting. Choose a quiet moment to make your approach. Ask if you can have a word with the person, and take them to one side.
You should not be looking for an argument. Remain non-confrontational by lowering your tone of voice. Speak clearly, but gently. Avoid raised, dominant-sounding tones as these will make you seem aggressive.
It is important that the person you are apologising to knows that you are sincere. Make plenty of eye contact, particularly when you are making important points. If you look away at the key moments, or refuse to meet their gaze at all, they may think you are holding something back.
Don't beat around the bush. Get straight to the point, and be specific.Make it clear that you understand the effect your actions had on the other person, and make an effort to empathise. If necessary, be prepared to make amends for your actions. If you don't know how to do this, ask them.
The other person may still be angry with you, and in order to clear the air they might need to communicate this. If so, you need to face the music. Let them express their anger, and don't fight back. This will make things worse.
Close the conversation by looking to the future.Finish with a handshake, a hug, or whatever seems appropriate. Then walk away. Don't let the conversation linger as this could provide an opportunity for old wounds to resurface. Move on cleanly, and accept that you have been forgiven.In more serious circumstances it may be appropriate to write a note. This should always be handwritten on quality paper, and addressed to the person you are apologising to. It must be a considered, individual apology, demonstrating a personal effort on your part. Again, you should be specific about what you are apologising for, and show that you understand the consequences of your actions.
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