I'm Sorry Gifts

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Everybody's been there at one time or another -- you've messed up and need to make things better. While saying "I'm Sorry" (and meaning it) is the first and most important step, many times a well chosen gift (one that most likely will not be declined) can help to expedite the forgiveness process.

Flowers work for some situations, however, if used too often or in the wrong circumstances, they could actually end up extending your stay in the dreaded dog house. So what gifts do help? The answer, simply stated, is that it depends on how bad you messed up. To assist, we have researched the topic (with people who've been in trouble a lot) and have put together the I'm Sorry Table complete with tips on what types of gifts go with different types of "offenses."

Level You're Likely at This Level if... What You Probably Did Gift or Gesture to Help Smooth Things Out
Defcon 5 things are peaceful. No relationship issues, you are in a state of peace with no imminent threats. For relationship preparedness, the occasional "I'm thinking of You" gift can help put credits in the bank for later use.
Defcon 4 he/she is pouting. Forgot to call, neglected household duties, too much nagging, careless remark that offended them, you showed impatience or minor loss of temper. You are not in too much trouble. A simple I'm Sorry coupled with a card or sweet gesture should do the trick.
Defcon 3 things are awfully quiet. Caught flirting, were rude, disrespected their family, chronic nagging, loss of temper, made hurtful comments about their weight or looks, stayed out too late without good explanation, or spent too much money. You've got some making up to do. You'll probably need flowers or candy, simple jewelry or a romantic/homemade dinner. (NOTE: Avoid the candy or dinner if you are in trouble because of comments about their weight. Avoid jewelry if you spent too much money.)
Defcon 2 you're sleeping on the couch. Caught contacting your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, they discovered your previously unknown Facebook.com page, caught taking off wedding ring in public, caught in inappropriate chat rooms or email correspondence, lost significant money from gambling or ill-advised investment, forgot birthday/anniversary, or you were being irresponsible and wrecked the car. You definitely need to get your game face on and get to business. Suggestions include: sentimental or meaningful jewelry (pricey doesn't hurt either), a surprise gift at office, public display of commitment or public apology, romantic trip, tattoo their name on you.
Defcon 1 your belongings are in the yard. Had an affair or a second life, were caught using a dating service, they became aware of previously unknown kids. Drastic times call for drastic measures. You'll want to consider offering to enthusiastically attend marriage counseling, or renewing your wedding vows. A new car or house might work. Amazingly expensive jewelry has been known to help in some cases.
IMPORTANT: If you're a repeat offender, do not keep getting the same gifts. Mix it up!

[edit] How to say "I'm Sorry"

As mentioned, the gift is the smaller part of the I'm Sorry process. It's used to lighten the mood and to help show your newfound thoughtfulness. The I'm Sorry part, is the important part. Below is a brief reminder on how to give a good apology:

  1. State the details of the situation
  2. Recognize how you hurt the other person
  3. Take responsibility for what you did
  4. Be sincere and show your remorse
  5. Address how you will make it better
  6. Ask for forgiveness, though, be prepared to wait until they are ready to forgive

[edit] Related Guides

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