Even if you have a pretty good relationship with your sibling or siblings, you probably still fight sometimes. Sibling bickering happens all the time, but sometimes arguments get too heated, which results in hurt feelings and even falling-outs. How to apologize if you hurt your sibling?
Take a little time. While you should apologize before your sibling's resentment starts to grow, we recommend that you take a little time before you approach your sibling. You need this time to calm down and analyze your relationship with your sibling and the events that led to the falling-out. To make a sincere apology, you need to understand what exactly caused your fight and how to prevent such fights in the future. Sorting out your emotions before trying to make up with your sibling will help, too.
Choose the right time and place. When it comes to apologies, big gestures are rarely appreciated, so don't make it a public spectacle. Choose a private setting out of respect for your sibling's feelings. They might need space to deal with their feelings. And don't insist on apologizing if your sibling doesn't have time right now. It's not about you, it's about them, so it is important that the time is convenient for your sibling.
Do it in person. Sibling relationships are special. Your sibling probably is one of your closest people, so they deserve a heartfelt and sincere apology. Apologizing in person may be hard, but you have to do it because an apology letter or email is too impersonal. Although there is an exception. If your sibling refuses to talk to you under any circumstances, you should consider writing them a letter because it might be your only chance to apologize.
Take responsibility for your actions. Your aim is to apologize to your sibling without starting another fight, so don't even try to mention your sibling's role in the conflict. Focus only on your behavior and apologize for hurting your sibling. A sincere apology shouldn't contain any “but” or “if” statements. We understand that your probably want your sibling to apologize to you, too, but you shouldn't manipulate them into doing it.
Give them an opportunity to talk. Once you've said what you wanted to say, listen to what your sibling has to say in return. Maybe they will say they are sorry, too, maybe they will just express their feelings and thoughts. Whatever they say, try not to get defensive and judgmental even if you don't like what you hear.
Give them a little time. Even if your apology is heartfelt and sincere, your sibling may need some time to sort out their feelings and forgive you. Give them time and space to process their feelings. When feelings of hurt and anger dissipate, they will come to you, because that's what siblings do.
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