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Theory of Apologies
March 20, 2006
10:25 am
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Worried_Dad
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The difference between a Non-Apology and a True Apology

APOLOGY
The difference between a Non-Apology and a True Apology

What is a Non-Apology or a Partial Apology?

A partial apology is a statement that includes the part of the apology that expresses sympathy without the part that accepts any responsibility. One appears to be apologizing and to be sympathetic but avoids the unwanted consequences of true apology.

How to identify a non-apology

Look for;
* No ownership-and no responsibility.
* passive voice--minimizes the role of the offender by putting him/her in the background.
* abstract subject-use of vague terms such as ("this " or " that ") and qualifiers like (" whatever I might have said ")
* leaving out the offender altogether-in the passive voice there is not a grammatical requirement to include the offenders " I" statement at all

Examples;
" I'm sorry that this happened to you. " (passive voice as well as avoiding naming the act.)

What is an Apology?
The Random House Dictionary defines an apology as a " written or spoken expression of one's regrets, remorse or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured or wronged another. "

How to identify a True Apology

Look for;
* full ownership and responsibility
* Active voice-The offender takes full responsibility for the hurtful act, expressing sympathy and naming him or herself as a person responsible for the offense
* complete description stating clearly what he or she has done

Examples:
" I am sorry that I breached your confidentiality. "
" I am sorry that I hurt your feelings. "
" I am sorry that I swore at you. "

Purpose of an Apology

An Apology;
* provides the offender with an opportunity to understand and take responsibility for the wrong he or she has done.
* Resource the moral balance and the dignity of the injured party.
* allows for more forgiveness, gratitude, and empathy, as well as less anchor, fear and helplessness.
* makes it easier to give some measure of forgiveness because it reduces the gap of injustice.

Justice can only take you so far, but if you forgive-that can take you all the way to closure and a true apology goes a long way in supporting and assisting in that process

http://www.rjob.ca/Resources/l.....asp?ID=131

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki.....an_apology

March 20, 2006
7:58 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Have you ever needed to apologize to someone? Have you ever thought someone owed you an apology? Have you ever recieved an "apology" that was kind of half-assed, a left handed apology?

I'm sure everyone can remember a scene where a child is being "forced" to apologize to someone and they really don't want to or believe they owe an apology...it usially comes out in a snotty tone of voice or with weasel words that make it "not really" an apology.

Apologies can do a lot to heal relationships, and to lubricate the rough gears of social interactions. A good apology can restore a person to integrity, intellectual honesty and spiritual wholeness.

I have determined for myself that when an apology is owed, there is no use being half-assed about it. The larger the error, the more specific an apology is called for. It is a good idea to specify the error or offense made, express an understanding of the impact of the offensive act, to express contrition and remorse, and even to offer promises for correctives or restitution.

I have been studying and thinking about this subject a lot this year and have realized that most people don't really understand how apologies work.

That's one reason I thought this thread might be helpful.

March 21, 2006
1:27 pm
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garfield9547
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Worried_Dad

Thanks for this interesting information. I never thought you get something like non-apology and true-apology.

After reading all the information I have tested myself and am VERY glad and relieved that I die take responsibility and ownership.

There is allot I have learned form the information and will definately be able to apoligise with a greater inpact and maybe more sincerity,

I wish I had the guts to pass this on to my brother, but guess I will have to keep to my own.

Thanks

Garfield

March 21, 2006
8:07 pm
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exoticflower
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"I'm sure everyone can remember a scene where a child is being "forced" to apologize to someone and they really don't want to or believe they owe an apology...it usially comes out in a snotty tone of voice or with weasel words that make it "not really" an apology. "

WD, this makes me think of the james Thurber story "Darlings at The Top Of The Stairs", which you may actually find very amusing and interesting. As a parent, this is something I'm starting to think about now, and apriciate the insight greatly. And, as the ex of her 'half assed apology' father, I get a sort of smug satisfaction reading this..."HA!" I say...I KNEW I wasn't imagining it!!!".

Which is also MY problem I suppose... 🙂

Anyway, thanks, thanks, thanks for posting this!

March 21, 2006
8:31 pm
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Zinnie
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WD,

Thank you so much for the information - this is definitely some food for thought.

Z.

March 21, 2006
8:42 pm
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lollipop3
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WD....thank you for this.

I like to think that I am the type of person to give a true apology when I feel I need to. I pride myself on taking responsibilty for my actions and the maturity to admit when I am wrong.

You spoke of half assed or passive-aggresive apologies....I'll give you one of my favorites that I got from my b/f.....

He had "insinuated" that I had been unfaithful to him and when I denied it, he "insinuated" that I was lying...which made me very angry. First, because I didn't cheat and second...I'm not a liar. He very skillfully denied any wrong doing because he never "said" that I cheated and never "said" that I was lying.

I pointed out that he "insinuated" these things without basis and that I expected an apology. So he apologized.

Are ya ready.....

"I'm sorry that you think that I insinutated that you cheated"

I then had to remind him that I didn't need him to apologize for what I thought....I needed him to apologize for his own behavior.

Needless to say I never did get a proper apology.

Anyway....I thought you might get a kick out of that one.

Lolli

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