Were human， and its not always easy to get along with everyone all the time. Sometimes we hurt peoples feelings without meaning to. Sometimes， we feel bad afterward. So we apologize.
An apology tells someone that were sorry for the hurt we caused — even if we didnt do it on purpose. Its a way of saying were aware of what we did and well try to do better in future.
Apologies are one of the tools we use to build good friendships and relationships. When you say “Im sorry”（and really mean it）， its because you probably feel bad that something you did or said hurt another person. Saying youre sorry is more than just words. Youre also saying that you respect the other person and you care about his or her feelings. Apologizing shows you have empathy.
After apologizing， you might feel a little better. The other person probably will， too. When you apologize in a caring way， you can feel good because you are trying to make things right again.
What does an apology sound like？
There are many ways to apologize. Here are some examples：
“Im sorry about the mean thing I said to you.”
“Im sorry I lost your book.”
“I was mad， but I shouldnt have called you a name. Im sorry.”
“Im sorry I hurt your feelings.”
“Im sorry I yelled at you.”
“Im really sorry I pushed you when I was mad. That was wrong. I wont do it anymore.”
When should you apologize？
If someone is upset because of something you did， youll want to set things right. Here are some times when an apology can make the difference：
If you hurt or make fun of someone， even if you didnt mean it.
If you lose or break something that belonged to someone else.
If you did something you knew was wrong — like telling a lie or breaking a rule on purpose.
If you didnt do something you were supposed to do — like keeping a promise.
Everyone needs to apologize （even adults） when they do something wrong. By doing the right thing and saying “Im sorry”， parents and other adults set an example. This is how kids learn to apologize when they need to.
Does apologizing fix everything？
Sometimes a heartfelt “Im sorry” fixes everything right away. Other times， it might take a while for someone to get past feeling upset. You may need to give the other person some time. Even after you say youre sorry， you might still feel bad about what you said or did — but you can feel good about apologizing， fixing the mistake， or making up your mind to do better.
What if youve been hurt？
When someone apologizes to you， you may welcome it and be ready to forgive whatever happened and move on. Or you might not feel like being friendly again right away. If a person keeps hurting you and apologizing without making an effort to change， you might not want to hang out with that person anymore.
Just because someone apologizes， it doesnt mean you have to be friends. Its polite to accept an apology， but anything more is up to you！
empathy n. 同情
forgive v. 原諒，宽恕