7.02.2010

What’s in an apology?

I am sorry… really? I wonder if people really know how to apologize correctly. I never really gave that much thought about it before but lately I have.

So I decided to look it up in the dictionary and see what it had to say.



In the Webster’s Dictionary:
Main Entry: apol•o•gy
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈpä-lə-jē\
Function: noun
Date: 1533


1 a: a formal justification: DEFENSE b: EXCUSE 2a
2: an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret a public apology
3: a poor substitute: MAKESHIFT


Synonyms APOLOGY, APOLOGIA, EXCUSE, PLEA, PRETEXT, ALIBI mean matter offered in explanation or defense. APOLOGY usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances said by way of apology that he would have met them if he could.


I don’t know about you but if I am going to apologize I am going to say it like I mean it. I am going to apologize and not make an excuse after the fact that will make it ok for what I have done. That is NOT an APOLOGY.


For example:


He says: I am sorry for what I said, but I really want you to know that you still are over reacting to this whole situation.


That is not an apology. That is saying you are sorry because you feel you should or need to smooth things over but you are still letting the other person that they did something wrong too (whether or not they did).


He says: I am sorry that you feel that way.


Again not a true apology. I call this one my psych apology. I learned this one many years ago. This you say to someone to diffuse the situation and it makes it seem as if you are apologizing but in reality you are simply telling them that you feel bad for the way they feel, but not for what you did to make them feel that way. It is a sneaky way to get around an apology. Depending on the situation this one does come in handy and does work rather well.


I started thinking about this for 2 reasons, 1) I have a habit (a bad one I am told) that I say “I am sorry” all of the time. I guess I do. I apologize for everything and anything (so I am told). I apologize when I am sick, when someone else is sick, when something goes wrong that I have NOTHING to do with, when it is too hot, or too cold (get the idea?) 2) a friend of mine really hurt and upset me yesterday and today when we spoke the apology that was given was NOT an apology. I was like REALLY? This is it? Although I know for a fact that that person does not read my blog (that is whole other story) so I know that this won’t end up as a “hint”. LOL


The next time you need to apologize for something that you truly do mean, I hope you make it as sincere as possible, if not, the other person can tell trust me on that one. And if you are going to apologize just too smooth things over make sure you use the “psych apology”.


How do you apologize or do you?


Do you apologize for everything like I do?

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