General Question

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Are there ways to apologize without actually saying "I'm sorry"?

Asked by The_Inquisitor (3163points) October 4th, 2008

Say, you did something wrong, argued about it, made it a big deal… and now stuck in a big situation that could just get worse. What are ways of apologizing to someone without straight out saying that?
ex)Argument/ fight with mom, acted up, gave attitude… and apologizing isn’t something to do in this situation, because she doesn’t exactly take apologies.
(sorry it’s really not very specific, but i don’t really want to talk about it, but with the info given what would you do to apologize?)

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30 Answers

marinelife's avatar

OK, if you are sure that saying you are sorry is not the right way to go, you can try something along these lines:

“Mom, I wish that we hadn’t argued the other day. I lost my temper and said some things that I wish I hadn’t. I just want you to know that I love you, and I’m going to work hard on making my tone and word choices more even-tempered.”

augustlan's avatar

Say “I’m afraid I’ve acted badly. I will try not to do it again.”

La_chica_gomela's avatar

“I shouldn’t have done/said some of those things”

“I made a mistake”

googlybear's avatar

A yellow rose or her favorite flower might be a good peace offering….added bonus would be no need to actually say something which could start another avalanche….

wildflower's avatar

There’s the always the old favorite: puppy-dog-eyes, a hug and “are we OK?”

deaddolly's avatar

Do some things round the house that would make her happy and that she normally has to nag you to do. She’ll know what you’re trying to say.

Magnus's avatar

I apologize, can’t think of anything.

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

“I was wrong last night”

chyna's avatar

Sometimes I try to joke my way out of a situation like that and turn it around as in:
“Mom, I know you’re sorry about last night, but I forgive you, lets just move on.” Knowing it was my fault makes it kind of funny.

Judi's avatar

I recently re-watched that movie and couldn’t believe how corny it was! That central statement “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” seemed so wise at the time. When I saw it again I thought, “What a load of crap! Love means always being willing to say you’re sorry!”

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Thanks for all those suggestions, they’re really awesome and’ll be very helpful… haha and also for future misunderstandings/ mistakes ;)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I would apologize for the stress created by the argument, and acknowledge that it makes things difficult and sad.

iquanyin's avatar

i wonder what’s behind this question? it’s interesting, and so many great answers (that i’ll probably use when i just can’t quite get out the s-word). but what prompted you to ask? if there’s some way to already know what’s behind questions, forgive me for asking a noob question.

iquanyin's avatar

i’ll add one: “i love you so much and don’t want to waste our time together being unhappy.i didn’t really hear you out because i was so eomtional. let me listen to you now, then let’s go do something we love.” i should say that (at least). this is only if it’s something actually worth/suitabkle for discussion at all. if not, i like the “bring something nice and do something helpful” approach. they will definitely get the message, and it eases the awkwardness if they don’t feel like immediately saying, “i forgive you” after you make your regret clear in words. many times people just want to go on to better times but don’t quite see how.

CMaz's avatar

Yes, say nothing.

Open's avatar

Give cookies.

Strauss's avatar

@AstroChuck that was a sad story!

Kraigmo's avatar

A real apology contains all four of the following:
1-Admission of Wrong
2-Explanation that you understand exactly where you were wrong
3-Explanation of why you continued it further than needed. The explanations don’t have to be good. Just real, truthful, and without omitting anything important.
4—“I’m sorry”.

A fake apology contains the following sentence: “I apologize if I hurt you in any way”.

I know you wanna avoid Step 4, but it really helps. I guess its optional if you really have a problem saying it, steps 1 through 3 are good, but the 4th really seals the deal back into good graces.

philosopher's avatar

You could do something nice for the person.

Qboy94's avatar

i would say my bad if its a minor problem but if its major thenyou just have to say what you feel is right.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

You can show through your actions that you’re sorry. Maybe even doing a chore without asking would be nice.

philosopher's avatar

Often actions speak much more clearly than saying your sorry . If someone articulates the words I am sorry and continues to act as they did before the apology is worthless.
This point may be very simplistic but many people do not comprehend it.
To be truly sorry one should say the words and change the behavior which caused the other person injury.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
hotgirl67's avatar

Actions speak louder than words. Don’t just say’‘I’m sorry’’, show the person how really sorry you are.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Whenever my husband had gotten on my last nerve and he knew it, he would turn to me, flash his big brown eyes and say “I love you!”

philosopher's avatar

That was exactly what I was thinking.
I do apologize if I hurt someones feelings.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Mothers who don’t accept apologies usually have children just saying the words “I’m sorry” to get out of trouble without actually meaning them!!! Crocodile apologies, much like crocodile tears tend to be offensive rather than a true apology. Joking about it being “her” fault could be hurtful.

Give her a hug while “honestly saying…“I love you so much & I don’t understand why I do some of the dumb things I do. I just hope you love me enough to forgive me.” Then kiss her on the cheek, forehead, or top of her head with a quick squeeze. Then walk away before she cries. Just don’t do that IF YOU DON’T MEAN IT!!! IF it’s not coming from the heart, it is a waste of time. Afterward, you might try to treat her more respectful for a while so she can SEE that you’re making an effort to control your anger. Saying “I’m sorry” then blowing up again tends to negate the apology & cause more pain!!!

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