Why is it that people who embarrass you publicly, only wish to apologize privately!!  And, that’s if they decide to apologize at all.  The apology should fit the setting of the offense.  If the offense was private — between just the offender and the offended — then the apology can be private.  However, when someone has attempted to publicly humiliate and degrade someone, then surely they must see the need for an apology that is just as animated and public.

Many people ascribe to just letting time pass and not apologizing at all.  They wait a couple of days, months or even years and then just show up or start calling, texting, or emailing out of the blue.  That alone shows a profound lack of empathy.  The offender clearly knows that they have done something wrong.  But rather than attempt to apologize and/or make amends, they prefer to wait for you to forget what they’ve done.  Worse still, if you don’t reciprocate, or rather don’t reciprocate in the manner in which they think you should, they make you out to be the bad guy, who is bitter and unforgiving.

Next, we have the reciprocal apologizers.  These are the people who will offend you and then apologize for it…but want you to return an apology to them, regardless of whether you’ve done anything to apologize for.  I call this a 50/50, shared blame apology.  Don’t misunderstand.  Sometimes a shared apology is necessary.  Nevertheless, in the majority of situations where it is asked for, a shared apology is simply not called for.  Often, it is the clear offender who wants to utilize this apology…as a way to “make things even” somehow.

Then, there is the forgetful offender. You know, the one that doesn’t quite remember offending you or who seems surprised that you were offended in the first place.  They infer from your taking offense that you are overly-sensitive and/petty.  This offender, to add insult to injury, does not mind telling you so publicly or privately, which leads us right back to the beginning.

The thing that many offenders fail to realize is that none of these apologies accomplish anything because none of them are real.  They are lackluster at best and hollow at worst.  A real, genuine apology is the only one that really works.  I say, be as quick to apologize as you are to offend.  I call this 50/50 shared responsibility.  Can anybody hear me?