2. The defensive apology. This one takes a bit of finesse and sleight-of-hand to pull off and it may actually work in the moment; it usually includes more than a little blame-shifting too. Yes, the words “I'm sorry” are included in this one; it's the construction of the apology you have to pay attention to.
These manipulative apologies are a type of blame-shift apologies that blame the victim. Instead of taking responsibility for what they did, they make the entire thing your fault and demand an apology from you.
A non-apology apology, sometimes called a backhanded apology, nonpology, or fauxpology, is a statement in the form of an apology that does not express remorse, or assigns fault to those ostensibly receiving the apology.
“An apology without change is just manipulation.” It's a pithy statement perfect for window decals and bumper stickers, but that doesn't make it any less true. It also doesn't make the phrase less scientifically correct.
Plato, Apology | Socrates' Defense Against Corrupting the Young | Philosophy Core Concepts
What is a passive aggressive apology?
Im sorry, Im sorry, Im sorry. This is a passive-aggressive apology done to silence the other person and move onto a different topic. It minimizes what the other person has experienced. Im sorry but But is a qualifier. If a person cannot say sorry without adding a but, then they are not sorry.
It's what you say to someone when you know you need to apologize, but are so annoyed or frustrated that you can't muster even a modicum of real feeling to put behind it. So you go through the motions, literally saying the words, but not meaning it.
Make excuses about whatever you are being criticized about. Blame the other person for what they are criticizing you about. Accuse the other person of doing the same thing. Try to justify your actions.
Someone on the defensive is concerned with justifying their actions or words. They have a defensive attitude as they try to protect themselves. If you know that to defend is to protect, you have an idea what defensive means. When a person is acting defensive, they're trying to protect or justify themselves.
A defensive person has trouble accepting responsibility for their speech and actions. They have difficulty with constructive criticism and may mistakenly take it as a perceived threat. Anyone can be triggered by a personal issue that causes them to have a defensive reaction.
In narcissists' efforts to avoid blame, they often combine several fake apologies at once, such as in, “I am sorry if I said anything to offend you, but I have strong opinions. Maybe you're too sensitive” or, “I guess I should tell you I am sorry. But you know I would never deliberately hurt you.
Defensiveness shows itself through trauma for a variety of reasons. According to science, defensiveness is a common symptom for those who struggle with trauma, especially those who struggle with trauma related to sexual violence.
They make excuses instead of taking ownership. Defensive people will say almost anything to justify their mistakes. Unlike lying or flat-out denying that they did something, they'll admit that they did the thing—but there was a good reason they did it. If one excuse doesn't work, they'll likely pile on another.
One of the most effective methods of communicating with a defensive person is using “I” statements. This means framing the effects of situation around your personal experience, not on what the other person did wrong or what it might mean about them as a person.
Defensive communication happens when a message triggers a sense of threat, and therefore defensiveness, on the part of the listener. Defensive communication involves not only the actual verbal message, but also body language, tone of voice and perceived meaning and intention as well.
Simply put, if the person seems to be over-explaining their situation and is angered by your questions, they could have something to hide. On the other hand, experts are quick to point out that when someone is defensive, it isn't always a sign that they're lying.
Apologize. If you've heard someone say, “Narcissists never apologize,” they're not exactly right. While many traits of narcissism like entitlement, elitism, and arrogance make it unlikely someone with narcissistic traits will go the apology route, apologies are sometimes used with ulterior motives.
Don't say things like “I really didn't mean it when I said…” or “I did x because Sally did y…”. It lessens the effectiveness of the apology by making you sound insincere. Shifting blame. Avoid saying things like “I'm sorry you were offended” or “I'm sorry the group felt like I was out of line”.