The following statements indicate a failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions or words. If your statement is in any way self-serving, it is not an apology. You must avoid these when making the perfect apology.
1. Avoid “I’m sorry, but…”
This is not an apology, but an attempt to shift blame away from yourself.
2. Avoid “I want to apologize…”
This phrase is similar to saying, “I want to lose weight,” but not going on a diet. It comes across as insincere to the listener.
3. Avoid “I’m sorry, you felt that way…”
This is quite insulting to the person who has been hurt.
4. Avoid “I’m sorry it happened.”
“…it happened” is simply another way to resist taking responsibility for your own actions, words or attitudes.
5. Avoid “I’m sorry if I hurt you.”
This statement suggests you have not realized the pain you have caused and will likely insult the offended one.
6. Avoid groveling.
State your apology simply and then be quiet and listen to the response.
7. Avoid blaming the other person for being hurt.
This indicates a lack of sincerity and undermines the purpose of an apology.
8. Avoid lecturing to defend or explain your actions
Too many words can become self-serving and can further damage the relationship.