In every relationship there will be occasional misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Sometimes we are the one who hurt another person we care about; sometimes we are the one who has been hurt.

Hurt feelings will occur in friendships, in intimate relationships, and even between two acquaintances that barely know each other.

Sometimes both people have become very angry at each other, or both feel hurt.

Hurt feelings can be the result of a slip of the tongue, a misunderstanding, or a deed committed in bad judgment. Sometimes feelings are hurt deliberately in the heat of anger and regretted later.

If we were the guilty party, we might regret what we said the instant we let the hurtful remark out of our mouths. We might want to apologize right away, but some of us find apologizing about anything extremely difficult, almost impossible.

Sometimes the reason we don’t apologize is because we are convinced that the other person totally deserved our angry outburst. Sometimes the reason we don’t apologize is because we have absolutely no idea that we hurt the other person. And sometimes we apologize very profusely, but we don’t really mean it.

Many of us are not good at handling hurt feelings. Some of us try to pretend nothing ever happened and keep on going without acknowledging there was ever a problem. Some people find it almost impossible to say those magic words, “I’m sorry” while others throw out their apologies so easily, that there is no truth behind them.

When you sincerely apologize to a friend or loved one, it means that you sincerely regret causing the other person emotional pain, and you want to work on repairing the relationship.

If you have said or done something that hurt your friend or partner, it is important to acknowledge your loved one’s painful emotions. You can say something like, “I’m so sorry you feel hurt because of what I said. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Let’s talk about what happened.”

In some relationships, hurt feelings and problems are never dealt with. Instead, they get “swept under the rug”. These relationships may look polite on the surface and they may even be long-lived, but they are not really very intimate. There is no deep sharing between the two people and there is no ability to be honest.

If one, or both of you, are feeling very angry with the other, put off your in-depth discussion until both of you are to be calm and levelheaded. But apologize to your friend sincerely as soon as you can.

An apology that is coupled with a sincere promise to avoid the upsetting behavior in the future is much more likely to succeed. An apology that is just thrown out casually, with no sincere remorse or promise to do better, is a signal that the other person does not truly value the relationship. In fact, this sort of meaningless apology is a red flag that this person cannot really be trusted.

Once an apology for a particular incident has been extended and accepted, don’t go back and revisit old battles the next time you have a disagreement. Take care of each incident as it comes up and don’t nurse old resentments.

If you make a sincere apology every time you have hurt another person, the relationship has a much better chance to survive.

Author's Bio: 

This article is taken from the new downloadable book by Royane Real titled "How You Can Have All the Friends You Want - Your Compete Guide to Finding Friends, Making Friends, and Keeping Friends" Read more self improvement articles by Royane and other authors at her new website