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Joined: 1 Jul 2014
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 631
Location: Tacoma

23 Jul 2016, 5:18 pm

Incendax wrote:
...Also, absolutely avoid saying "I'm sorry, but (reason)". Reason is mostly for your benefit, and an effort to make the other person see your point of view. The only times a reason should be used is if the other person directly asks for it, or it is something sufficiently big like, "I'm sorry for not showing up to the party, but my wife went into labor."

But why? Why don't people want to hear why you did the thing that you're apologizing for? Why does it make them so mad, why does it make your apology sound like an excuse?

For me it makes sense to explain that you were not trying to do a bad thing, to do a thing wrong, to do something that would mess up the other person's day. That you thought what you were doing was the right choice because of these factors. Otherwise why would anyone ever ask "why didn't you just..." or "why did you do that" or "what were you thinking?"

And if I was the person who was upset, and someone else were apologizing to me, I think I would rather hear "I'm sorry, I thought it was the right thing because of this or this and this that caused me to make that choice and I didn't know it would screw things up for you in this way" than just "I'm sorry, it was wrong (because for me there's an inference there that you knew it was wrong and you willfully did it anyway, on purpose, knowing that it was against whatever rule or guideline was in place)" without any reason why you did that wrong.

I don't get it. I don't get why "I'm sorry, I did it because of ... and I didn't mean for it to turn out that way" makes people mad, and instead they want to hear "I'm sorry, I knew it was wrong and I did it wrong and it was wrong for me to do that."

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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 62,650
Location: Queens, NYC

23 Jul 2016, 6:09 pm

I always accept apologies with explanations,


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Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Posts: 501
Location: Scändinävia

24 Jul 2016, 9:39 pm

I think it depends on whom you are apologizing to. Some people don't care if you even know what you did wrong, they need you to apologize as an emotional gesture, that you are sad you did it. Some people do not care so much about the gesture, they more care about that you understand what you did wrong and communicate that.

I actually rarely find people who want both as a part of an apology! Which is kind of weird.