These are typified by use of the passive voice – the “I’m sorry that people were hurt”, the “mistakes were made” apology.
When someone says things like “people were hurt by…”, they’re putting distance between their actions and themselves.
If you’ve paid even vague attention to the news recently – or even just social media – you may have been struck by the seemingly unending tidal wave of men being called out for assault, harassment and generally awful behavior.
This is inherently a good thing; people who’ve been coasting along while having gotten away with heinous acts are increasingly being held accountable for what they’ve done.
In fact, as paradoxical as it may seem, many apologies are signs that someone actually sorry.
On the one hand, we have the “I’m sorry I got busted” apology.
How do you make amends or find redemption after having been such an asshole for so long?
One of the hardest things that someone can do is face up to their own fuck-ups.
They may have taken advantage of those “blurred lines” or let the liquor do the persuading.
None of us like to think about the damage we can do – and may have done – to others.