If you’re like me, you’ve often wondered why some apologies seem, well, insincere. Turns out, there’s real science behind the art of apologies, and researchers at The University of Miami think they’ve cracked the code, according to an article in Yahoo Health.

In the study, 356 young men and women completed questionnaires and took part in interviews about a conflict and their feelings about the person involved in the conflict. They also prepared a speech, which was filmed, and completed a 21-day online survey to measure their forgiveness levels.untitled

Turns out, the “right” way to apologize include saying, “I’m sorry,” offering to compensate in some way, and taking responsibility.

Apparently, “the apologies make the transgressor seem more valuable as a relationship partner, and also help the victim feel less at risk of getting hurt again.”

The researchers even point to evolution, saying that humans need relationship partners, so natural selection probably gave us the tools to restore important relationships.

What’s more–humans behave similarly to other animals who live in groups.

It’s all very fascinating, but what it really means is this: It DOES matter how you apologize. Not any ‘ole apology will do. So, do it “right” the first time.


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