Here are five instances of a very bad apology.
Have you ever offended someone and apologized, but they didn’t accept your apology, and you wondered why they didn’t?
Sometimes, our apologies can feel fake and forced without any element of genuity.
“I’m sorry you feel that way.”
This means I am not sorry about what happened or what I did, what I am sorry about is how you feel.
This shifts responsibility from you to them. Even though it is good to admit you caused some pain, you should admit to contributing to how they feel.
“I’m sorry but why didn’t you tell me before now?”
Rather than face what you did head-on, you are shifting the blame to them again. Even if you believe they should have brought it up earlier, adding it to the apology detracts from your actions.
“Fine. I’m sorry. Are you happy now?”
Assuming that an apology is all they need and it would somehow make them magically happy is such a bad idea and it is manipulative. Genuinely recognising what you’ve done wrong is way better than saying sorry for the sake of it.
“I am sorry but…”
But negates all you said prior. Just say you are sorry, don’t try to justify your actions.
“I already said I am sorry. What else do you want?”
Instead of quelling the tension, this would only increase it. Plus, you don’t sound sorry at all. You sound pissed.
The truth is that you don’t have to apologize if you don’t want to. Trying to force an apology to keep the peace is such a bad idea. That’s when you start making inappropriate jokes and justifying yourself.
Think carefully of what you did, let them know you understand your mistakes and think of what you can do to fix it.