Apology or not?

What constitutes an apology? There are times when you hear someone say ‘sorry’ but the recipient finds the words unacceptable.
It is easy for some people to share an apology but, in truth, what are they apologising for? Lets look at a couple of examples;

1) “I am sorry that you feel upset!”
2) “I apologise for the way I acted and am sorry that I upset you?

Both the above are apologies, only one carries weight. The first apology is an empathetic one and corrects no wrong, the second accepts poor behaviour and the consequences that resulted from it. Therefore, the second carries weight and gives a greater opportunity for a positive on-going relationship.

We all make mistakes. We all have times when we must apologise.
For you, what constitutes an apology?

3 thoughts on “Apology or not?

  1. nickburr says:

    Hi Roy, interesting post. For me I think more in terms of asking for forgiveness if I feel (or am persuaded) that I’ve done something wrong. I find this helps to bring closure as it also encourages the other party to consider the importance of restoring relationship.

    1. thehutch says:

      Good point Nick. Think that is a good approach – the 2 statements were made in a meeting but I like your thinking better

  2. The first is ambiguous. I’m sorry for the way YOU feel? It sounds like you feel sorry they had some kind of bad reaction and the onus is no longer on your behavior, but on their reaction. The second one is an ACTUAL apology, taking responsibility.

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