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View Poll Results: Is "I'm sorry" sufficient to you in most situations?
Yes. 41 65.08%
No, I like to hear something about how they will avoid making the same mistake again. 15 23.81%
Neither, explained below. 7 11.11%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 06-22-2012, 02:47 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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apologies

I have noticed that if someone says they are sorry, it doesn't feel complete to me unless they also include something about how they will try harder, or some other way to avoid making the same mistake again. I am curious if I am alone in this.

Poll to follow.
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:07 PM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Weird. I was going to start a poll on apoligies myself.

In your instance, I'd say sorry is enough for me. Demanding they explain how they will refrain from doing it again seems a little patronizing.

I do however like it when one tells me why they did what they did:

"Hey, sorry I called you an asshole yesterday." (I accept this apology but, meh.)

"Hey sorry I called you an asshole yesterday. It was a stressful day and I had a splitting headache. I just snapped."

To me this is much better. It gives me something to relate to. The former, I have to wonder: "Am I really that annoying? or was it something else?"
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:12 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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I agree.

"I'm sorry." all by itself doesn't mean jack to me. Combine it with an explanation of what was does wrong, how they're going to stop it from happening again and all manner of related things, then we get an apology that I'll accept.
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:16 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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As long as it's sincere then I don't need anything else. It does sort of depend on the level of the transgression though.
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:19 PM
hogarth hogarth is offline
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"Sorry" is good enough for me.

My wife is the opposite way: a simple "sorry" will just make her even more upset!
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:22 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Poll?

StG
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:31 PM
Shade Shade is offline
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Uh, well, it depends, what did they do? If it's the sort of mistake everyone makes, I'd rather they just apologised promptly and didn't make a big deal out of it. Like, if a friend is always late, I don't care why they were late this time, they can either fix their timekeeping or not, and they probably can't, so I'd rather they didn't try to pretend unless there's something specific they can do.

If it's something personal that's likely to happen again, I'd rather actually understand what happened.
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:59 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Good point about small things. No, if you are late, I don't need to hear how you will leave on time next time. The examples I was thinking of are much bigger things, like forgetting to do something important that was your responsibility, or making a big error through carelessness.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:16 PM
Blackberry Blackberry is offline
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It's kind of tricky because if you explain yourself then that can be taken as making excuses too.

But anyway, the one that makes me want to punch the person out is when they apologize in advance for something they haven't done yet and could still choose not to do.

Last edited by Blackberry; 06-22-2012 at 04:16 PM..
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:37 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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It depends on the transgression and on the tone in which the apology was uttered.
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:43 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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It depends on the offense and the person. My mom has apologized to me exactly one time in my entire life, and it took me aback so much I almost choked on my own saliva. From a partner, though, it has to be accompanied by a desire to change. If I get apologies for the same bullshit more than once or twice, at that point it's become a habit. And it's up to me to say, cut the shit or this relationship is over.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2012, 05:18 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
Weird. I was going to start a poll on apoligies myself.

In your instance, I'd say sorry is enough for me. Demanding they explain how they will refrain from doing it again seems a little patronizing.

I do however like it when one tells me why they did what they did:

"Hey, sorry I called you an asshole yesterday." (I accept this apology but, meh.)

"Hey sorry I called you an asshole yesterday. It was a stressful day and I had a splitting headache. I just snapped."

To me this is much better. It gives me something to relate to. The former, I have to wonder: "Am I really that annoying? or was it something else?"
I prefer to do that, but I find that some people think explaining an apology is giving an excuse.

As for the OP's question: not unless I have a reason to think they might do it again. Usually this means they've made the same mistake more than once.

EDIT: It does help online, though, where you can't really hear tone of voice. All apologies need to be said in a way that sounds like you're sorry. Using self-deprecation as a substitute can only go so far online.

Last edited by BigT; 06-22-2012 at 05:20 PM..
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2012, 07:52 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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If it's more than a minor thing I want to hear more than just the word sorry. I'd like to know the person is sincere, and they're apologizing for what they've done, not just mouthing the words. But my acceptance can't be based on on some bonus feature for the future. They have to be sorry, they have to make me understand they're sorry, but they're not oblgated further than that.
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2012, 08:18 PM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Covered_In_Bees! View Post
I agree.

"I'm sorry." all by itself doesn't mean jack to me. Combine it with an explanation of what was does wrong, how they're going to stop it from happening again and all manner of related things, then we get an apology that I'll accept.
This is what a friend of mine calls a "plan of correction" apology. It infuriated her that her boyfriend demanded that sort of apology from everyone in his life, including her. It's not exaggerating much to say that if a waitress slopped a little soup on the table, he would want his meal comped and the waitress staked out on a anthill. He had no problem confronting friends and relatives in public places when they didn't meet his standards. Her friends were all glad to see the last of him, finally.
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2012, 09:23 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Speaking as a guy who has had to apologize a few times, an apology has four parts:

1. Say what you did that was wrong and why you did it.
2. Say what you should have done instead and why you didn't.
3. Say what you're going to do to fix it or make things right or avoid this situation in the future.
4. Say you're sorry, now that I know why you're sorry and that you mean it.

If somebody's not willing to go through the steps, they're not sorry and I'm not ready to hear them say it.

Oh, and? Anybody who says "Hey, if I offended you, I'm sorry"? Gets a punch in the mouth.

Last edited by Ethilrist; 06-22-2012 at 09:25 PM.. Reason: I like string.
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  #16  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:00 PM
phouka phouka is offline
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Pretty much exactly what Ethilrist wrote with the added note that I've gotten too many apologies from people that were basically "I'm not sorry, I don't care, but I'm uncomfortable that you're angry with me, so I'll make a polite noise and expect you to let it go." There are a lot of people out there who really don't get that an apology is less about saying you're sorry than it is about taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences.
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  #17  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:30 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
1. Say what you did that was wrong and why you did it.
2. Say what you should have done instead and why you didn't.
3. Say what you're going to do to fix it or make things right or avoid this situation in the future.
4. Say you're sorry, now that I know why you're sorry and that you mean it.
Steps 1 and 4 are fine. Steps 2 and 3 are asking for penance, which is something entirely different than an apology. You don't have to explain why you did something, and you don't have to address avoiding the situation in the future. Making things right is due, but is not part of an apology.

An apology has to communicate an admission of a specified wrongdoing, You let the wronged person know you are sorry, that you are sorry for the specific wrong committed. If you demand groveling, you have something to apologize for.
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:44 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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they have to tell me SPECIFICALLY, WHAT they are sorry for doing.
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:41 AM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Etv78, I am with you on the what. My fiancé will say " I am sorry" but when I ask what he is sorry about, he usually says he doesn't know. He is just trying to stop the argument, so that we can have it again later, when he does the same damn thing again.
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  #20  
Old 06-24-2012, 01:12 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynda View Post
Etv78, I am with you on the what. My fiancé will say " I am sorry" but when I ask what he is sorry about, he usually says he doesn't know. He is just trying to stop the argument, so that we can have it again later, when he does the same damn thing again.
That part shouldn't really be necessary in an apology, but human nature being what it is, without the specifics, it may not be an apology at all.

It isn't necessarily bad, as in your case, he may truly be sorry that he did something, but if he doesn't know what it was that caused the problem, he's not really sorry, just having wishful regrets. The other side of the coin drives me nuts, the "I'm sorry you feel that way apology" which is absolutely not an apology at all.

I think an apology has to include an admission of responsibility, and an expression of regret. In order to admit responsiblity, it has to be clear what one is sorry about. So if someone steps on your toe, a simple 'sorry' should suffice since it's clear what it's about. But when feelings are hurt, the specifics become important.
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  #21  
Old 06-24-2012, 03:38 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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I recently was an asshole to a man trying to make good about a complaint I had regarding his web site.

Once I realized what had happened I offered him and apology and an explanation - but not an excuse. I was wrong and owned it. (I thought about starting a thread praising his web site. There is a story there and he impressed the heck out of me. I worried that it might be seen as spam and decided not to start the thread, so I will just say that if you buy bath salts, buy from San Francisco Salt Company)

That is how I want others to deal with things. I'm sorry, here is an explanation, but not an excuse for my behavior. I will try not to do it again.

I don't need a plan on how they won't do it again. If they continue to do it, the apology and the plan mean nothing to me anyway. I guess I'm saying that actions speak louder than words. So just I'm sorry works for me.
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2012, 04:10 PM
Sleeps With Butterflies Sleeps With Butterflies is offline
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For the most part I'm fine with just "I'm sorry" but I suppose it could depend on the person involved and the situation.

I have to admit it's a little bewildering to read some of the rules/requirements some people here put on people who aren't their children or subordinates.

Last edited by Sleeps With Butterflies; 06-24-2012 at 04:10 PM..
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  #23  
Old 06-24-2012, 04:11 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynda View Post
I have noticed that if someone says they are sorry, it doesn't feel complete to me unless they also include something about how they will try harder, or some other way to avoid making the same mistake again. I am curious if I am alone in this.

Poll to follow.
Of course, if you make to hard to be apologized to too often, people just stop doing it altogether.
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  #24  
Old 06-24-2012, 04:11 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Ah, I see " I will try not to do it again" as a plan. Or "I will be more careful." I didn't mean a plan with photos and arrows and statements signed in blood. Just some sort of statement about not repeating the error.
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  #25  
Old 06-24-2012, 04:14 PM
Sleeps With Butterflies Sleeps With Butterflies is offline
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For me, it paints a picture of high maintenance to require such things. But, that's just my opinion.
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  #26  
Old 06-24-2012, 06:47 PM
Qin Shi Huangdi Qin Shi Huangdi is offline
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If it is something minor such as forgetting to cover your mouth when sneezing.
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  #27  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:38 PM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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I've seen too many supposedly well educated, supposedly well mannered, adults willing to regress into feet-stamping childish tantrums when they don't get their way in recent years, and all without and "I'm Sorry" even on the edge of the horizon.
I'll take an "I'm Sorry", as long as it isn't stapled to a long "I'm not really sorry, because all of my issues are really all of your fault" or sandwiched between squinted eyes and a smirk.

Saying "I'm Sorry" today is well above the curve.
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  #28  
Old 06-24-2012, 07:39 PM
Hypno-Toad Hypno-Toad is offline
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It has to be more than just, "I'm sorry." But as long as it's an expression of regret, that's fine.
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  #29  
Old 06-24-2012, 08:44 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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It depends.

Small stuff? "I'm sorry" is sufficient. You and I both know one of us is going to be saying it again sooner or later anyway.

Big stuff? Sorry doesn't mean jack shit if I think it's going to happen again, so I kinda want to hear more than just that. Been through that far too many times in my life, so maybe it's just me being gunshy.
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