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View Diary: Apologies and Non-Apologies: The Rules (67 comments)

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  •  I don't see a problem with (3+ / 0-)
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    Mark Mywurtz, MHB, astro

    "I'm apologize to those I offended."  That's a forthright apology.  After all, why would you apologize to those who those who I haven't offended?

    •  You are deciding who you offended (2+ / 0-)
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      Actbriniel, papercut

      by limiting the apology to only those offended by the statement. The transgression is also against normal social interaction and a violation of the social contract of courtesy. As you have violated this convention as well, the apology should not be limited.

      Also, the limitation "to those I offended" again carries the taint of blaming the victim for being easily offended. Apologies should simply be apologies without proscription.

      "I am sorry I behaved like an ass" is not the same thing as "I am sorry for offending some people by behaving like an ass".

      The platinum-irridium standard for an apology is:

      I did/said [offensive action/statement]. This was wrong. I am sorry.


      "I compared the First Lady to a baboon. This is wrong. I am sorry."

      Now you can elaborate on the wrongness of your action and your regret and contrition:

      "Yesterday, I sent an email to some friends with a picture of a baboon and labeled it 'Michele Obama". This was racist, cruel, and hurtful. It also was a debasement of the dignity of my office, reflected badly on my party, and was inexcusable affront to civil discourse masquerading as humor. I am deeply ashamed that I did not see this at the time and will give careful reflection to what I say and do in the future.

      I apologize to the First Lady for my inexcusable behavior."

      You will note that the second apology seems more sincere than the first in that it goes beyond mere admission of error and regret and details the offense and why it was wrong. It ends with a simple apology, unmarred by limitations of any kind.

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