If it's really better to apologize

Than get permission, then you better be doing it right.  Here's advice from Heidi Grant Halvorson, writing in Lifehacker.

The Best Ways to Apologize When You Screw Up At Work or At Home
Apologies are tricky. Done right, they can resolve conflict, repair hurt feelings, foster forgiveness, and improve relationships. An apology can even keep you out of the courtroom. Despite the fact that lawyers often caution their clients to avoid apologies, fearing that they are tantamount to an admission of guilt, studies show that when potential plaintiffs receive an apology, they are more likely to settle out of court for less money. 
However, as anyone can tell you, most apologies don't go so well. Ask John Galliano, for instance. Or John Edwards, or Todd Aiken, or Kanye West. (I could go on and on.) An apology is no guarantee that you'll find yourself out of hot water. This is usually either because the person or persons from whom you are seeking forgiveness really aren't interested in forgiving, or because the transgression itself is deemed unforgivable. But more often than not, your apology falls flat because you're apologizing the wrong way. 
In a nutshell, the problem is that most people tend to make their apologies about themselves—about their intentions, thoughts, and feelings.


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