What is a proper apology? I can tell you that any apology that starts out with “I’m sorry but…” is not an apology. Neither is “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Essentially when you word an apology in these ways, you are negating the whole purpose of saying sorry which is to acknowledge a wrong doing while seeking repair. It is about owning up to your role in the conflict.
Essentially, you wish to say you are sorry for the behaviour you feel guilty about EVEN when the person you are apologizing to may have their own reason to apologize. Example: When you want to say “I’m sorry that I yelled at you but you really pissed me off,” actually needs to be “I’m sorry that I yelled at you when I got angry. It is not the way I want to handle things.” Period. End of story. If you are lucky enough to get an “It’s okay, I got heated too and said things I didn’t mean either” than you are off to a great start in repairing the rift. And if you don’t get an answer, or the person you are saying sorry to is still feeling prickly, then reward the effort. Chalk that one up to a healthy choice in the relationship books and you are free to let go of any guilt that is still lingering around for having lost your cool. 😊
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