How To Tell Apart A Sincere Vs. Selfish Apology
Start writing a post
Social Life

How To Tell The Difference Between A Sincere And Selfish Apology

When someone says "I'm sorry," do they qualify it with "but..."?

532
How To Tell The Difference Between A Sincere And Selfish Apology
https://pixabay.com/photos/people-friends-couples-park-3755342/

Not all apologies are equal.

To understand giving and receiving different types of apologies, you must understand the difference between an excuse and reason.

An excuse suggests the person does not take responsibility for their actions. Although there is a cause and effect relationship that may be out of your control, a reason requires you acknowledge this and take responsibility for your actions. While genuine apologies may contain an excuse or two, they generally involve accepting reason over excuse.

A sincere apology requires a couple of things from the person giving it.

1. Despite how the apology is received, the integrity of the sentiment should remain.

2. A true apology demands remorse and thoughtful reflection,

3. and a desire to at least try change behavior.

A shallow apology only requires one word:

1. sry.

A fake apology can look like this, or it can be something along the lines of "I'm sorry you think you deserve an apology" or "I'm sorry for breaking your vase but you put it in the wrong place." Both these apologies are structured syntactically to remove the speaker from the equation and shirk responsibility for any damage. The specific use of the word "but" all but negates the sentiment because it qualifies the apology on the aggressor's terms. If it feels hostile, it probably isn't a genuine apology. In these apologies, a power dynamic disparity is evident.

No one is right all the time, and it takes courage to admit you are wrong and willing to learn from it. Apologies create bridges and chains, they can mend relationships and open doors. Sincere apologies are powerful ways to negotiate interpersonal identities and relationships. Real apologies show that you are capable of humility, change, and compassion.Lacking a sincere apology can show the opposite. Fake apologies can burn bridges, break friendships, and shut doors so hard and so fast your own fingers are slammed inside.

This can look like:

1. "I'm sorry, but/if..."

The "but" or "" dilemma creates conditions to an apology where there shouldn't be any. The word but can open a jar of worms that can gaslight the apology into an accusation or criticism.

2. "I already said I was sorry!"

This ignores that your first apology or approach to it may not have been sincere or effective.

3. "I'm sorry that you think I hurt your feelings."

Can this apology sound more condescending?

4: "Its sucks that... I regret that that happened..."

This isn't even an apology, but said in a sympathetic voice it can seem like one.

The fundamental difference between real and superficial apologies is that a real apology has an objective: to express the desire to alleviate the other person sufferings.

For further reading, Psychology Today provides us a resource for distinguishing sincere and insincere apologies, courtesy of Harriet Lerner Ph. D.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

It Is July Already?

When you realize we're half way through summer and you did nothing fun

517

Well, the Fourth of July has passed and now you suddenly realize that summer is practically over, and you didn’t do half of the epic fun things you thought you were going to do. For many of us, summer vacation is anything but a “vacation”. Between the hustle of internships and seasonal jobs, we’ve forgotten to have a little fun too. But it’s not too late! With only a few more weeks left of summer vacation, here are five more ways you can take advantage of the rest of what summer has to offer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Every "Scrubs" Fan NEEDS To Know These Dr. Cox Quotes

Dr. Cox may be the most sarcastic, snarky, and nasty person to ever cross television screens.

1038
Every "Scrubs" Fan NEEDS To Know These Dr. Cox Quotes

Dr. Cox may be the most sarcastic, snarky, and nasty person to ever cross television screens. His long-winded commentary and ability to destroy just about anyone made him terrifying and hilarious. Once you broke through his tough persona, Dr. Cox was genuine, caring and dedicated. He wanted the best for his patients and his interns. Here are some of funniest, most sarcastic and downright mean lines that Dr. Cox has said during his stint on Scrubs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day

If you can be proud of your country on he 4th of July, you can be proud all year long.

6514
Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day
Photo by Rob Martinez on Unsplash

I'm the child of a Marine Veteran. He may have been out of the service by the time I was born, but the Patriotic Pride he lived by has been my family's life line. I grew up with the American Flag hanging in my front porch. My dad has the "Proud to be a Marine" license plate in the front of his car. And red, white, and blue is a completely acceptable way to decorate your living room. But it doesn't end with just that. You need to know why we celebrate freedom.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Katy Perry, "Baby You're a Firework." I don't know if she was referring to the Fourth of July when she was referencing fireworks, but this song has allowed this generation to rejoice. The song "Firework" allows people of all ages to appreciate the lyrics, as the song brings forth a positive state of mind. Unfortunately, just like the song, not every knows what the Fourth of July is actually for. Many just assume it is that one time of year you get to spend time barbecuing and see fireworks light up the sky. Even though many are not aware of the American historical significance, this holiday has annually encouraged people to come together happily, which could very much be the importance of it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why Fourth Of July is America’s Biggest Frat Party

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

4431

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments