Once you know that you owe someone an apology, you’ve got to know how to apologize. Nothing is worse than being on the receiving end of an apology that sounds more like it’s a backhanded wave of secondary attacks, and the last thing that you want to do is turn your apologetic conversation into a battlefield; so before you apologize, keep these in mind:

  1. Know why you’re apologizing. Know what you did or said, know why it was wrong, and know what you could have done or said differently.
  2. Understand before you apologize that an apology doesn’t equate automatic forgiveness.  We all hope that our apologies are accepted—especially when those apologies are sincere—but understand that an apology might not make someone feel better right away. Consider your impending apology the start of making things better.
  3. Approach the person when you’re both in a better mindset. You need to be able to think clearly and rationally, and they need to be able to concentrate on what you’re saying. Give both of you the respect of being in a calm environment and in a situation where you can both dedicate time and concentration to the conversation.
  4.   Forget about your personal motivations. The conversation where you apologize for your actions is not the conversation where you should be offering excuses for why the person you’re apologizing to shouldn’t be mad at you. If you’re apologizing, it doesn’t matter why you said or did what you said or did, and it’s bad form to push a justification onto the person you’re apologizing to. Don’t allude to whether you had a reason or not, and don’t offer the reason unless the person that you’re apologizing to wants to know.

Because of how intimate an apology can be, I think that when it comes to apologizing to your partner, you need to make the executive decision as to whether or not you’re apologizing as an equal or as his/her submissive.

Apologizing as Equals

If the problem is something that extends past the D/s dynamic and into the “foundation” of your relationship, then you need to approach your partner as their partner. Examples of this might include: if you’ve forgotten an important date; if you’ve said or done something that implies you don’t appreciate your partner’s involvement in your life; if you’ve hurt your partner on an emotional or (goodness forbid) a physical level. These are situations that exist outside of the power-exchange of your relationship, and conflicts that can arise from these mistakes need to be addressed without the trimmings of ceremony or ritual.

Apologizing as a submissive

If you’ve done a chore incorrectly, despite being told how to do it; if you’ve slipped up and broken a rule; if you’ve unlocked your inner brat, or thrown a bit of a tantrum, then the apology that you owe your partner is the sort of apology that can and should be regulated by the confinements of your D/s dynamic. These are the sorts of situations where it’s appropriate to get on your knees in front of your Dom and to beg for forgiveness, and these are the sorts of slights that you should expect the dolling out of a punishment as compensation or recompense for your mistake.

On the same vein, but in a slightly different path, it’s important that we as subs don’t get into the habit of apologizing for every slightly incorrect thing that we do. The next article is going to talk about how to reconstruct our language so that we aren’t constantly saying, “Sorry!” to the people around us. In the meantime, take a few minutes to consider the questions below:

-          Do you think there’s a difference between being sorry for what you’ve done/said and being sorry for the results of what you’ve done/said?

-          How do you express the difference if there is one?