How to Apologize

This ask.metafilter question on “How do you apologize?” has two nuggets in the answers. The first, like a ridiculous 12-year-old:

apologies should generally include

  1. the words I’m sorry
  2. ownership of actions- list specifically what they did wrong after the words I’m sorry (and without the words but or except)
  3. empathy- it was wrong because it had X effect on others
  4. the steps they are taking towards future better behavior/reassurance that it will not happen again (and why).

The second, the opposite of a Real Housewives of New Yorker:

  1. Need to be sincere
  2. Never include the words but or except
  3. Need to refer to a thing that a person did once. Maybe twice. If this person (I’m looking at YOU, Ramona) does the same thing over and over and keeps apologizing for it, then they’re not sorry.
  4. Never include the actions of the other person to whom you’re apologizing, i.e. “If you hadn’t bought tequila for the house-warming, I wouldn’t have gotten blackout drunk and tried to sex up your son.”
  5. “I’m sorry that I did that thing and I was wrong and it won’t happen again” is all that matters. Anything else is a RHONY apology, and nobody wants to be like them.