Friendship Puzzler #26: How many times should you apologize after you’ve accidentally hurt, upset, or annoyed your friend?

  1. Only once, but you have to mean it. Say what you did, without excuses, and tell what you’ll do differently from now on.
  2. Never! You should never show weakness!
  3. Don’t apologize; just keep repeating the word “zipper.”
  4. 147 times.
  5. Don’t apologize; just avoid that friend for the rest of your life.

Answer: a — A sincere apology is a wise and caring thing to do when you’ve upset a friend. You don’t want to end a friendship over a mistake! Say you’re sorry, say what you did wrong, and tell how you’re going to avoid doing it again. (What will you do the next time you’re in that situation?) But what if your friend also did something wrong? Your apology might inspire your friend to apologize to you. Even if your friend doesn’t apologize, you’ll know that you did the right thing. Don’t apologize again and again. That’s just annoying. Say it once and mean it, then move on.