"Welcome back. I'm Kaitlyn Porter with Channel 21 News and a special report on relationships, specifically yours! Many people fail at getting or giving a sincere apology. And the mystery follows from relationships lost, opportunities missed, and dysfunction created. What they needed was a quick checklist for sincerity! And both the offender and the offended needed awareness itself to win! If only we had an apology checklist to surgically remove the confusion winning right now! I'm joined by psychologist Curtis Wright from the book The Shotgun's Wedding. Are you seriously giving us a peek at your paper?"
"I am," the smiling counselor replies. "So if an apology has any of these signs, they are "pieces of the puzzle" keeping you puzzled."
1. The Word IF
Does “I’m sorry if…” sound familiar? They’re still holding on to their doubt, even as they apologize? Whenever you accept this type of apology, you are endorsing the idea that your perception or emotional rights don’t matter. Beware of any offender okay with this.
2. Weird Timing
This is a double-meaning experience of a seemingly rushed epiphany that just happens to help the offender save face at the same time. The real goal might be damage-control, while validating you barely makes their Top 5. So you must ask yourself these quick questions:
where did they say this epiphany came from?
what followed after their words?
how does this potential moment of maturity relate to their call-to-action?
is there any evidence their Flying Monkeys were redirected?
If you're puzzled trying to answer these questions, you may still be a mere Target to their tactics. Fake epiphanies are not beneath the instruments of an insincere, win-by-all-means, Cluster B personality type. As you wonder about motive, remember this.
"Fear is stronger than love" - Machiavelli
3. A Moment to Reciprocate
And now… it’s your turn? After their last resort, they offer an artificial apology and then wait for you to apologize too. In algebra, two fake apologies will just ‘cancel each other out.’ No change, no sincerity; only tradition won that conversation. And just like algebra, you’re sure to revisit this “problem” again unless or until you get amnesia, ‘ditch class,’ or start to ‘grade off a curve.’ This is where a relationship becomes unhealthy. Never allow omission to get to a point where sincerity itself is owed an apology!
4. A Cap on Their Remedy
This is the most predicable response. When an offender is out of tactics, you’ll hear “well… all I can do is say ‘sorry.” Sound familiar? Think about this for a second: they’re clueless as to why you’re upset, or how you have a right to be. But somehow during this confrontation, they’ve thought this whole thing out and they’re the victim of no options! There’s a theme here: emotional sloth and artificial confidence. If only this person cared for others like they care for “doing nothing at all,” no apologies would be necessary!
5. A Boycott Against Change
When it comes to accountability, most offenders have a plan to escape but no plan to change. For the special bonds they’ve chosen, they should expect to change as a healthy relationship requires. If you hear, “I am what I am” as a reflex to everything, this falls short of sincerity.
Business will settle lawsuits, with no admission of guilt and a confidentiality agreement. But that’s “just business!” Personal relationships are supposed to enjoy more.
“Stress changes the truth for itself Peace changes itself for the truth” - Jwyan C. Johnson
Rules for the Offended
“Being angry is easy; anyone can do it. But being angry at the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right reason, and in the right way is not easy. It is not within everyone’s power" - Aristotle
Beware of anyone constantly failing this checklist. You may be dealing with a Narcissist on a mission to cause you emotional abuse. And you deserve "peace from the puzzle." These are The Sincere Apology Signs.