(Note - edited Aug 19)
- When you say your behaviour is inexcusable, then offer up excuses, refusing to accept responsibility.
- When you apologize, then expect the other person to do their part and pardon/forgive you.
- When your motivation, and any regrets you feel, are only based on others now seeing you as a bad person. BTW - you'll know this if you immediately feel better, no more regrets or shame.
What might be a good apology?
- Start with "I'm sorry." Not just regrets.
- Add in, carefully, details such as 'sorry I hurt you, sorry I crashed your car, sorry I ignored you."
- Acknowledge the consequences of what you did.
- Offer a plan on how you will fix this wrong and how you will try to avoid it again.
- Be clear that any forgiveness/pardon/trust is entirely up to them.
- Push back, gently, if they try to say it was nothing. If you hurt them, then it was something.