How to Say You’re Sorry

There always comes a point where we recognize we’ve made a mistake and we have to say those three simple words — “I am sorry.” Before we say that, however, we must also recognize our role in the situation. Then, we need to think of an actionable way to change for the future so we don’t have to say those words in the future..“Sorry” is a word that comes with responsibility. It is not only recognition of our mistake, but also a promise to try for self-improvement.

Recognize Your Role in the Situation

Whether you are saying sorry for something you said in an argument or a decision you made in the past, figuring out your role in the situation is crucial to your understanding of how to move forward. Once you’ve understood how you contributed to the other person getting hurt, you can expand your knowledge of how you typically respond to adversity. Developing a recognition of the patterns you typically resort to will help you as you create a plan for change.

Create a Plan for Change

Once you know your patterns that may hurt others and you feel ready to apologize, it can be helpful to create a plan for change. You want your sorry to be actionable. When the people in your life who were hurt by your past actions see you improving your communication and your decision-making, they will not only feel grateful but more deeply understood.

Saying you’re sorry is never easy, but it will likely come more naturally if it follows deep reflection and a genuine understanding of where you made a mistake. It is never too late to try to change.


To say sorry and make it count, we recommend that you 1) take the time to recognize your role in the situation and 2) create a plan for change. “Sorry” carries a lot more weight when it is actionable. It is never too late to decide to change. At Valiant Living, we can help you with your communication techniques so that you may say sorry when appropriate. At our inpatient and outpatient facility in Denver, CO, we treat not only addiction but also co-occurring mental illnesses. Our trained staff can help you learn the skills to more appropriately communicate your needs. We have therapists on staff that understand addiction and how to mend relationships once you’ve made your commitment to sobriety. To learn more, reach out today at (303) 952-5035.