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No one is perfect; this is true; it’s also not an excuse to be a habitual offender. We all make mistakes. We’ve all at some point in our lives done someone wrong. Whether deliberate or inadvertent, this doesn’t lessen the pain, sadness or hurt we’ve cost a friend, family member or someone we love. Nothing irks people more than those who don’t take responsibility for their hurtful actions or words. The following are five ways to respond when you are in the wrong and you’ll like to make things right.

1. Apologize and listen

I’m sorry isn’t a bandaid. It doesn’t heal all wounds. You can’t say sorry and not want to hear how what you’ve done has impacted others. If you’re sincerely sorry, you’ll sit and listen to those you’ve wronged. You can’t dish out a cold meal and refuse to sit at the table and take a taste. Sit, listen, do better.

2. Don’t run

Don’t be a serial offender who wrong people and trucking along, hurting folks wherever you go. Deal with the issues and pain you’ve caused before moving on to other feelings to hurt and other hearts to break. Eventually your shady ways will catch up to you.

3. Don’t make excuses

Don’t ruin your apology with excuses. Why you did what you did is not really important; you did it. Own it. Don’t try to throw others under the bus. Take it like an adult. Own your part in the mess without being messy. Oh and please don’t play the victim. Don’t do it.

4. Learn from what you did

We do and say things we often don’t mean, either in a moment of passion or we allow the worst in us to overtake us. Either way, being wrong and doing wrong is part of the human experience. But go beyond your mistakes and learn from them and do and be better.

5. Forgive yourself

When we ask God for forgiveness, He forgives us. Often the hardest part is forgiving ourselves. But it’s important we forgive ourselves and love ourselves. We can’t undo what we’ve done, but we can apologize, take responsibility, learn from our mistakes and let it go from our hearts. Forgiving ourselves is an important part of healing and learning from our mistakes. Being hard on yourself and self pity make nothing better. It just takes away from the wonderful life you’re supposed to enjoying, preventing you from learning and growing.