How to apologize effectively and let someone know how sorry you are comes down to how you combine these two elements (the science and the art) and tailor them for your situation.

She nodded and wiped a lingering tear off her cheek. “Yeah. I… I want to spend time with you too, Grunkle Ford. And Dipper would like it if you were there, and maybe we can even get Grunkle Stan to play with us if you’re okay with—”

Left alone, Ford brought a hand to his head and gritted his teeth. “She… she hates me,” he whispered, his chest throbbing painfully again.

Is the relationship a romantic one? Is this a business relationship? Is it a distant, but important family relationship?

“Mabel, stop,” Dipper exclaimed, starting forward, and she did. “It wasn’t your fault,” Dipper admitted. “I made a promise. I shouldn’t have tried to break it.”

“But… but Great Uncle Ford… and when you ran for mayor, that… that tie…” she protested miserably, but Stan shushed her again.

Grunkle Ford came into their attic room just as Mabel burst, shouting at her twin. “I don’t want to hang out with Grunkle Stan today! I want to spend time with you!”

Stan groaned and rubbed his temples. He knew tensions had been running high in the Shack for a couple of weeks now, and he supposed all of it had suddenly exploded over everyone, leaving him to clean up the mess of hurt feelings and emotional instability.

He heard Mabel’s breaths hitch and felt her muscles tense. She let out a shaky exhale. “Um…n-no…”

There are obviously many different ways to apologize, but the ideal approach for your case depends on your answers to three straightforward questions.

“You could spend time with me,” Mabel mumbled, and Ford flinched. She wasn’t wrong. Sometimes he intentionally avoided her because he saw so much of Stanley in her. But he had to remind himself she wasn’t his brother. She was her own person, and the person she was he found wonderful. He just found it easier to approach Dipper, for some reason.

For example, if you'd like to include poetry when apologizing to your sister, then add a poem that really highlights the important bond that siblings share.

You can name a star through the Online Star Registry (yes, a real star... and name it after the two of you and declare your union to the world). Give your partner the star along with your apology and tell them how brightly they shine in your heart. This one tops our list of great and personalized ways to say sorry.

Mabel rested her cheek against his shoulder. She had stopped shaking at long last, which was a small comfort to Ford. “I’m sorry, Grunkle Ford,” she whispered again.

And he had promised, he realized with a sinking feeling in his gut. He’d said the very words. I promise I’ll hang out with you tomorrow. And Mabel had been so happy when he’d said that. So reneging on his promise… he had probably destroyed her.

Keep in mind these two key points when thinking about how to apologize and deciding which way to go.

“We can hang out later,” Dipper shrugged, tying his shoelaces. “I’m going with Grunkle Ford today. Maybe Stan needs some help around the Shack or something.”

Also, be sure to check out some of the apology ideas submitted by our readers—they're sure to inspire.

Ford stared at him, not sure what to say. The usual feeling of resentment he got when he looked at his twin wasn’t even rising up, he was so disturbed and upset by what Mabel had said. “I… Mabel…” he trailed off and shook his head, giving up and pressing the button on his watch that caused the vending machine to swing out. “I’ll be in my lab,” he said numbly, trudging behind it and clicking the button on his watch again.

He pushed open the door and let his gaze sweep across the room. At first he thought there was nobody there until he heard the sounds of muffled sobbing coming from the closet. “Oh, no,” he mumbled, crossing the room and nudging the door open.

Mabel sniffled and nodded, burying her face in his jacket. She was still crying.

“I do,” he sighed, rubbing her back again. “Feelings like that still creep up on me. It’s why I try to stay so busy. It’s… well, it’s why I like spending time with Dipper. It’s good to be around people when you feel these sorts of things.”

But Ford shook his head. “No… not anymore. Sorry, Dipper. I just… I don’t have it in me right now.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets and sighed, shuffling past his nephew. He reached the gift shop and passed Stanley, who was restocking t-shirts for his tourist trap.

As for gift baskets, there are so many available on the market so be very selective when choosing one as an apology gift.

Stan’s eyes widened as Mabel fell apart again before he tried to hold her closer than he had before. That must have hurt Ford like a dagger to the heart. No wonder he’d been so distracted and mopey downstairs. Clearly it was destroying his niece, too. “Oh, Mabel,” he sighed.

As she went on to explain all the possibilities their day could hold, Ford felt himself starting to grin. She would be okay.

He heard her sniffle before she mumbled. “Okay. I’d… I’d like that.”

He genuinely liked Mabel, which is why her words had hurt him so much. He may not have spent much time with her, but she was always an adorable ball of positivity and energy, and he liked that. He liked knowing there was at least one optimistic, cheerful person in his family.

Mabel pulled back just enough to look him in the eye. “And you think I’m like Grunkle Stan?” she asked thickly. “Is that why it’s harder to hang out with me?”

Apology present for my neice

The good news is, that if we messed things up all the time, we would know exactly what to say and how to apologize—just like we do when we bump into a stranger. The fact that we aren't sure how to say sorry, means that most of the time our behavior is pretty much on track.

“I know. Dipper told me,” the small voice came from behind him, and Ford jolted and swiveled around in his chair to look at Mabel. She had clearly been crying recently, as her eyes were red and slightly swollen. She looked more than a little scared as she chewed on her bottom lip, staring at the floor.

A gift is like icing on a cake when it comes to apologizing. They absolutely aren't necessary for an apology to be effective but they do add that extra touch—it's what makes them so special and something to consider when thinking about ways of saying sorry.

For one, the band Chicago's song "Hard to say I'm sorry" has some beautiful lyrics about promising to make things right again.

Quoting song lyrics in a letter can also enhance an apology, for many of the same reasons as mentioned above. The added advantage of using song lyrics is that you can include the song on a custom made CD (or, even better, an Ipod) as a gift to go along with the apology.

Just before it shut he heard Stan asking frantically, “Wait, Sixer! What happened to Mabel?!”

Out of everyone he was most concerned for Mabel. Dipper had been content to distract himself on adventures with Ford for a while now, and Mabel had been coping as best she could without her twin. Stan tried to keep her company as often as he could, but he couldn’t always be there for her, and certainly not in the way Dipper used to be. He recognized the signs of depression, and he hated to think Mabel, sweet kid that she was, was spiraling into it.

Stan combed fingers through her hair and rubbed the small of her back, letting her cry until her breathing started evening out. “Tell me what’s wrong,” he said quietly.

When he heard Stan coming back down the stairs, he stood up, intending to go up and see Mabel himself, but was surprised to see her follow their great uncle into the living room, looking sheepish. She bit her lip as she stared at her brother. “I… um… I’m sorry,” she mumbled, her eyes downcast.

If this is a close relationship and the infraction is major, then take them out for a coffee, lunch or dinner and apologize in person.

But Ford had suggested to Dipper a monster hunt, and suddenly her twin had forgotten all about her.