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
- the words I’m sorry
- ownership of actions- list specifically what they did wrong after the words I’m sorry (and without the words but or except)
- empathy- it was wrong because it had X effect on others
- 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:
- Need to be sincere
- Never include the words but or except
- 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.
- 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.”
- “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.