Most of us can tell the difference between a sincere apology versus one where someone isn’t authentically looking to repair and make amends. Besides the overall “icky” feeling of someone skirting responsibility or the confusing nature of being gaslit, how can you tell if someone is genuinely apologetic?
First, here are some non-apologies:
- “I’m sorry you feel that way”
- “Chill out, it was just a joke”
- “You made me act that way”
- “I think you’re overreacting here”
- Anything following “I’m sorry, but…”
How did reading those make you feel in your body? Tense? Slimy? Frustrated?
When we are looking to come back together after conflict, here are some better ways to take ownership and initiate repair:
- “You’re right, I could have handled XYZ better”
- “Yes, I own that I was to blame for this part”
- “I must have misunderstood, I take ownership for the miscommunication here”
- “I was wrong to have said that”
- “I’m sorry” < that is a full sentence, by the way!
There isn’t a way to go through life without having issues with other people, but we can make sure that we are conscious and thoughtful on how we come back together with one another.