im sorry that it upset youI came across this card today and it made me laugh. But it was one of those slightly-too-sharp laughs. Hmmm. Might be a hint of something unresolved that perhaps I should work through? Ok I’ll add it to the list. Anyway, I can’t think of a specific example, but I know I’ve received that non-apology before. Gosh, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve probably used it too. Ugh!

Which made me think of a few other classics, like:
“I’m sorry but I couldn’t help it.”

Of course that one has lots of variations:
“I’m sorry but you (he, she, they) deserved it.”
“I’m sorry. But you have basically been doing the same thing to me.”
“I’m sorry but that’s just the way I am.”

Then there’s this one:

(Not that I’ve ever heard any kids I know string those words together after possibly being prompted to do so, in a completely monotone voice with no eye contact and possibly also an eyeroll, followed by stomping off without waiting for a reply. I must have seen it in a movie somewhere…)

Oh, here’s another favorite that I’ve actually heard way too many times in my life:
“You’re right. I’m a loser.”


And this one, which is a very recent and slightly raw one for me:
“Yes I hurt you but you need to give me a little more grace.”

But possibly my most annoying non-apology is the good ole:
“My apologies.”

I actually don’t mind that one at all if I’m receiving it from a casual acquaintance or a service provider about a surface issue. Like:
“My apologies for sending your $5,000 in prize money a couple days late.”

That works for me. No problem.

But any other usage? Especially with someone you are close too? No. “My apologies” just is not and never will be an actual apology.

I’m sorry.

How about you? Received (or given?) any classic non-apologies? Let’s hear em – leave me a comment!

P.S. This is not a passive-aggressive message to anyone I might happen to know who might happen to be reading this. If it sounds that way at all, I am – truly – sorry! I’m just as guilty of non-apologies as the rest…!

by julie rybarczyk

Greeting card is handmade by thebigharumph, whose work is available here.


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