Virtually all research on empathy, ego, and apologies conclude that it takes real strength to accept responsibility and accountability for the hurt that you
cause others. It's also a sign of real maturity and good character.
What does a responsibility-taking apology sound like?
"I'm sorry that I hurt you. I shouldn't have done that."
"I'm sorry that I hurt you. I shouldn't have done that. What can I do to make things right?"
"I apologize for hurting you. That's was the last thing I wanted to do. Please, tell me what I can do."
"I hurt you. I made a big mistake and I sincerely apologize...and hope I can earn your forgiveness.
But, sadly, there are those who can't take responsibility, admit fault for their actions, and apologize sincerely. Ego and shame get in the way. The admission of wrongdoing is an assault on their ego and a pain they can't tolerate.
The best way to understand a good apology is to look at THE WORST apologies:
"13 Fake Apologies Used By Narcissists"
And.....more (from TED) on why some people can't apologize!!
Have you been at the wrong end of a fake apology?