Begin with the remembrance that an apology centers the other person, not you. Real apologies demand self-reflection, humility and behavior change.
1. Express your understanding of the specific behavior you engaged in and how it impacted the person. This very likely includes reflecting their emotions and thoughts. – Placing my hand on your back was a clear violation. Ignoring your removal of my hand was arrogant and disrespectful of you. – Then when I placed my hands on your face for a kiss, I can understand how horrified and afraid you must of have been. My behavior was deeply disrespectful and hurtful. I imagine you must have been shaken and anxious after this. – I not only ruined what was a lovely wedding for you, I scared and disrespected you. For that I am deeply sorry. – Is there anything else you would like to say about this? Or anything else you would like me to understand.
2.Listen to what they say. Reflect your understanding. Ask again, is there anything else you’d like to say about that?
3.Repeat step 2 until they no longer have anything to say.
4. Commit to never repeating the offense. To accomplish this, have a clear strategy for insuring that you do not engage in the same offensive behavior (AAIT to the rescue!).
5.Ask for forgiveness. This one is tricky. Sometimes, people ask for forgiveness too soon and it becomes more about letting the offender off the hook, again centering the offender. Sometimes, forgiveness is reserved for more intimate relationships and the request seems disrespectful. And sometimes, the request completes the forgiveness. As I said, this one is tricky.