We Sicilian Mamas are never in the wrong. Still, sometimes, people think we are and they expect an apology. This is how you apologise when you’re not in the wrong:
- The “I’m sorry but…” apology. This is an apology with an educational value. With it, you can explain to the other person what really went wrong, why it did, and why the fault is not yours.
- The “If I offended you…” apology. If you’re a sensitive, empathetic person who always puts others first, this is the right apology for you. It shows that you don’t live your life thinking that everything is always and only about you. You know how to put others at the centre. They got offended because they overreacted and so they are wrong.
- The “I regret the matter…” apology. With this apology, you don’t take any responsibility for what happened: “regret” can just mean sadness about an event, whether or not you’ve caused it.
- The denial-apology. This is one of the most extreme forms of apology: it can be interpreted as the result of a regret so deep that the subconscious has erased the painful memory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.
- The silent apology. When, in the middle of an argument, you decide to give up explaining your point to somebody who’s obviously too stupid to get it, your silence can be interpreted as an admission of defeat and, with a little stretch of the imagination, as an apology.
Occasionally, you might make a mistake and find yourself genuinely in the wrong. In these cases, unfortunately, the only thing that’ll do is “I’m sorry.”
(Written by me for Headstuff.org)
Photo by Nick Papakyriazis
If you’d like to read my short stories, visit my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/stefaniahartley