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Readers Respond: Best and Worst Ways People Have Apologized

Responses: 4


Updated April 13, 2011

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  • What are the most or least effective ways people have apologized to you? What are the best and worst ways you've apologized to others? Has anyone ever apologized to you in a way that's changed how you felt, or even "healed" deep anger you've felt? Or just caused more hurt feelings? Share your stories on ways you've been apologized to, or how you've apologized to others. And see how others have been affected by apologies.

    Always a Step Backward

    "Sorry I started it." "Sorry I let you drag me into it."

    Apology Just To "Get It Over With"

    Saying "Alright, alright, if you say I'm wrong, I apologize, so are we okay now? What else do I need to do, I already said sorry?" and saying "I'm sorry, PEACE, I'm only human," are for me the worst ways to apologize. You cannot rush healing in the same manner that the hurt was so instantly caused by carelessness in words and/or actions. That is why one should be very, very be sensitive of others' feelings to avoid this. The second way is like saying, " You should forgive me because I'm only human". And what do you call the rest of us - GOD? It is important that one should apologize sincerely and should make all efforts to make the other party feel it- that it was just an isolated thing not bound to happen again. The next thing is equally important- it is asking how he can make it right or how he can make up for it.
    —Guest Sandy

    I'm Sorry IF YOU...

    I have a family member who makes rude comments pretty regularly and hides behind the "it was a joke" defense. (Jokes always have a kernel of truth to them, and jokes can be mean. Saying, "Lighten up, it was a JOKE!" is just another insult, really--saying you ALSO don't have a sense of humor.) When this person does apologize, he will say, "I'm sorry if you took offense at what I said," which is not a real apology. It's not 'owning' what he did that was inappropriate, it's putting the onus on my reaction. I limit my time with this person because of that.
    —Guest E

    An apology that justifies

    I received an apology via email that felt much more like a justification for the actions rather than a sincere understanding of the hurt it caused. Apology read: I had no intentions of hurting you...Anyway, plans continued and it turned out great...I am hoping that you can accept that I would NEVER intentionally do something to offend or hurt you. However, it is not fair to put me in the "hot-seat"...I hope we can be ok so that won't be the case everytime. The mistake I made to begin with was speaking to this person when I was full of depressing emotion...the maturity level of a 22 year old cannot distinguish statements made during an emotional reaction verses a logical reaction. Thus, my mistake was allowing myself to let my emotional moment take over the conversation which this person took what I was saying as what I meant and made decisions from that. In a logical state, I most likely would have made different statements. The apology only made it worse!
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