It’s time for another exciting installment of Mz. Mannerz! Go put on a codpiece and brace yourself. Like you weren’t already wearing one anyway.
The fake apology, or as it is often called, the fauxpology. One of the more entertaining things a person can receive. You could write it out as “Faux pas-logy” but that’s just confusing, so just go along with me here.
As you know, I had many years of experience dating scumbag musicians because for some reason or another I used to think I was worthless, so I’ve probably received more fauxpologies than most people, including such golden hits as…
“Hey, you know what? I’m sorry you had to pay to get the electric turned back on again, but do you even care that I finally beat Grand Theft Auto Vice City while you were at work today?”
“Sorry you’re all ‘boo-hoo sad’ with your trust issues because I haven’t told my parents about us. I’m doing you a favor. If my mother knew I was living at your house for the past two years she would think you were a tramp and weren’t good enough for me.”
“Well, sorry if you have to get up early for work, but I’m having a good time and I’m not ready to go home yet. Go sleep in the car if you’re tired.”
And yes, I walked out to a bar parking lot alone at 1am to sleep in my car. My car that I had driven him to the bar in, because he had no car and no job, yet he felt he was the person in charge of when we would be leaving the bar. Feel free to mentally transport yourself to the past and punch him in the dick.
…so I consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur of the fauxpology.
Now that I’m away from that horrific horseshittery, I find these fauxpologies almost endearing in hindsight. They really are the gift that pretends to keep on giving.
There’s really only one correct way to say that you’re sorry:
- By clearly stating that you are sorry for doing the shitty thing.
That’s the formula, in case you’re taking notes.
My god, please tell me you’re taking notes. This website could self-destruct at any moment and then where would you be? How would you know that the preferred Sheen/Estevez is actually Judd Nelson?
Here’s what an apology is not:
“Sorry if there were hurt feelings.”
This is what I like to call a “non-ownership” fauxpology. For one thing, you couldn’t even be sincere enough to add the “I’m” before the word “sorry”? That’s red flag number one that you’re not even remotely sorry.
The usage of the word “if” is another good indicator. When you’re apologizing to someone, that means that they DO have hurt feelings. There’s no question as to “if” they have hurt feelings.
And who’s hurt feelings are we even talking about here? Because you didn’t mention anything about them being mine! What you’ve done is just semi-apologized to the air, on behalf of the air. You somehow managed to remove both of us from the entire equation, and questioned the notion that there were any hurt feelings to begin with. Try again, shitass.
“I’m sorry you got your feelings hurt.”
I said try again. That means try something different. Not try the same damn bullshit again.
“I’m sorry that you’re so sensitive!”
Here’s the thing. Do you want to have friends? Would you like for people to be genuinely happy to see you? Then when you do something shitty to them and they say, “Hey, that was shitty,” whether you intended to be shitty or not, you freaking apologize to them. This is not cause for a debate over whether or not you feel they had a right to be upset about something you said or did – something that has clearly upset them either way. Just apologize. It goes something like this: “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.” <—— Don’t cost nothin’! AND DON’T SNEAK AN “IF” IN THERE.
“I’m sorry you took it that way.”
This is most often said when someone has said or done something so egregious that it’s undeniable, and now they’re basically trolling you. This is how someone fauxpologizes after you get upset when they tell you, “Wow, you’ve really packed on weight since the last time I saw you!” or “Unlike you, I actually clean my house.” There’s only one “way” to take those statements. They were meant to be insulting.
“I SAID I WAS SORRY, OKAY?!”
See, now you’re yelling. You’re yelling at someone who you’ve already wronged once.
Sometimes you can do something so super shitty that no amount of apologizing is going to make it better. Sometimes it’s a sting that will take time to fade. Sometimes it’s something unforgivable. If someone is still upset after you apologize, that is not your cue to yell at the person. That is your cue to figure out what you can possibly do to make it right, if anything, or just leave them alone and respect their space.
And people don’t have to actually accept your apology. It’s not just a given in the apology transaction. When you apologize, you are asking someone for forgiveness. You don’t get to demand it from them.
So! To summarize:
Stop being a dick and just say you’re sorry.
“Well, when I was on the debate team in high school…”
I SAID STOP BEING A DICK.