Seems like a simple concept… to say “I’m sorry” but I hear just so many people all around me get it all wrong and have no clue why it doesn’t automatically fix things. However…
– If an apology focuses on the feelings of the other person, its bullshit. Example: “I’m sorry what I did upset you” or “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Basically, I’m not really sorry but your response is annoying enough I’m saying this to make you stop.
– Being a dick until you get what you want… then apologizing afterward. Just be a dick, own it… no matter what you do at this point, you went about getting what you wanted in the shittiest method, that’s what you need to change in order to be sincere. The apology is pointless.
– Being pressured to apologize. You know you did something wrong and its only when they are screaming at you that you owe them an apology that you finally half-ass it in response. You deserve to die alone if this is the only way you ever say you’re sorry.
– Apologizing sarcastically when you think you’re right. We already have enough bad apologies, don’t flood the world with more. I’m looking at you, every politician ever.
– Apologies that redirect the reasoning to be the fault of the one being apologized to. Example: “I’m sorry, its just when you ____, I get ____.” No one makes you do anything, it’s a choice. Apologize for your bad behavior and leave it at that. They may owe you an apology too, but that’s on them, not you.
– Apologizing solely to get something out of it. If deep down you don’t care what you did but you know that if you can just “fix it” by apologizing, you will get a helluva a payoff… also a dick. If you don’t think you did anything wrong, discuss that. You can pretty much chalk up getting what you want as not happening either way, these are some of the easiest bullshit apologies to spot.
– Apologizing after beating someone for no real logical reason… do I even have to explain this? The only exception being a man scares the shit out of a woman he is close to and she completely owns his ass in self-defense. She doesn’t owe him shit for an apology. Many women carry weapons for reasons men will likely never understand unless they have daughters. Don’t think you’re cute by scaring the crap out of the women in your life, they might kill you.
– Melodramatic apologies – Example: “I’m sorry I was ever born!” Normally used most by hormonal teenagers, but let’s be honest… that shit’s no excuse and it usually manifests later in life in the more passive-aggressive of individuals. Usually uttered when trying to deflect and shut down a conversation that is leading to the revelation of something they have done wrong. No matter how faultless your parentals may seem, they fucked up too so just own it. If nothing else, you get brownie points on maturity.
An apology should be immediate.
It should only focus on your behavior.
It should recognize and acknowledge how the other person is affected as valid.
Example: “I am SO sorry I was such a dick. I should know that really upsets you.” If you can’t do that, just leave it as “I’m sorry I fucked up and called your mother a ‘bitch,’ I will do my best to make things right with her.” (of course, it would be good to do that as close to immediately a possible, their mother can hold grudges for decades and has a memory like a steel trap).
If all you can get out is “I’m sorry,” at least mean it. You biologically cannot hide when you don’t.