- should start by apologizing to your sibling in a sincere, genuine way. Find a place that is quiet and private to make the apology and do it in person. Apologizing in person will show your sibling that you want to speak to them face to face and have a real discussion about what went wrong.
- You may choose to apologize in your sibling’s room or you may apologize in a common area in your home, such as the living room or the kitchen. Ask your sibling, "Can we talk in private for a second?", or, "I'd like to chat with you in here."
- If you and your sibling do not live together, you should choose a neutral place to apologize, such as a nearby coffee shop or a park bench. Try to find somewhere that is private enough for a conversation.
- If you find talking to your sibling in person too difficult initially, try writing them a letter to open up communication between the two of you.
- Maintain open body language. You should set the tone for the apology by displaying open body language, which will make the conversation feel less threatening and stressful for your sibling. You should maintain eye contact when you talk to your sibling and keep your voice even and calm. Avoid raising your voice, shouting, waving your arms, or making quick gestures. You want to stay calm and collected during the apology.
- You should also position your body so it faces your sibling, and lean towards them. This will show your sibling that you are engaged in the conversation.
- Apologize using “I" statements.
When you do apologize, you should always use “I” statements. This will show your sibling that you are able to stand by your statements and take accountability for your actions. Do not use “you,” as this shows you are making assumptions about your sibling’s behavior. Instead, try to speak only for yourself using “I.”
- You may start your apology by identifying what you think the conflict was about and admitting you made a mistake. You may say, “I was wrong to say mean things about you to your friends. I realize now it was unkind of me. I’m sorry for what I did.”
- Sometimes conflict arises and there's no clear fault, such when you disagree on a topic. In this case you can say something like, "I know we still don't see eye-to-eye about this, but I'm sorry that I became defensive over it, and I'm sorry we fought about it."
- Empathize with their feelings. You should also show empathy towards your sibling and let them know that you can understand why they may be upset. Acknowledging their feelings will show your sibling that you care about how they feel and do not want to hurt their feelings again.
- For example, you may say, “I understand why you are mad at me for what I did. I know now what I did was not very nice. I’m sorry and I hope you accept my apology.”