17 People Share Their Tricks for Telling When an Apology Is Insincere

Apologies are great…if the other person means them. They validate our feelings, they set our relationships back on a healthy path, and they make us realize the other person respects us enough to admit they were wrong.

People aren’t always sincere, though, and these 17 people think they’ve got great tricks for figuring out when they’re not.

17. You might be a narcissist if…

Saying they’re sorry in a rushed way and then immediately going back to whatever they were doing (staring at their phone, putting headphones back in, playing video games etc).

Like they just wanted you to get over it so they can get back to their lives.

16. They put it back on you.

Passive-aggressive tone and wording or just add things like “you wanted me to say sorry” or “so what?” in their apologies.

15. Boo hoo.

When they pull the “pweeze don’t hate me I ALWEDDY HATE MYSELF ” crap.

14. Sometimes karma does the work.

There was one guy who apologized to me because he scolded me after only finishing 90% of the work (three website designs and development with animation) because I didn’t put his name on it on the credits part. These we all pro-bono and I did all of them in 2 weeks because I believed in their cause and I was on school break doing nothing anyway.

Fast forward after that, he called me and said: “You know they say it takes courage to apologize to someone…” and I was like so shocked that I hung up. The fucking nerve of that guy. Seriously, fuck that guy.

Last I heard this year, he now lives in a garage in his brother’s house and he doesn’t even have any money because he wasted all his investor money on petty shit as well as paying his old accumulated debts from his previous investors.

13. They’re not even trying.

Not being able to articulate exactly what it is they are apologizing for, or their understanding of why it upset you.

12. A non-apology.

“I’m sorry you feel that way”

11. And your point?

“Whatever I said, whatever I did, I didn’t mean it…”

Most insincere apology ever. If you’re not even self-aware enough to recognize what you’ve done to hurt someone, an apology is meaningless.

10. Take the responsibility.

Also the “if I upset you”.

You know you upset them. You just don’t want to take responsibility for upsetting them.

9. How about being sorry you said them?

Or, “I’m terribly sorry anyone was offended by my words.”

8. It’s not about them.

“I’m sorry, I’m such a terrible person, I suck so bad, blah blah, comfort me I’m the real victim here!”

7. Nothing good can come of this.

“I’m sorry, but…..”

6. It’s not healthy.

This non-apology is cousins to the, “You can hit me if you want.” For whatever reason I have met more than one guy (always a guy who says it) that would say that. It’s become one of my immediate deal breakers.

At best, this guy has had a lot of toxicity in his life and doesn’t know how to handle apologies in a healthy way. At worst, he is a manipulative person who will bring copious amounts of unnecessary drama into your life. Either way, not my problem to find out or try to fix.

5. Don’t try to justify it.

100% this.

It starts with “I’m sorry” but that is just the intro to either an excuse that justifies why they did that and will continue to do the same, or a shifting of blame to you.

Either way there is neither any sense of contrition nor an intention to do anything different.

4. If you really mean it.

Unchanged behavior.

An apology is like a good joke. It loses its meaning the more you use it.

3. I mean maybe they just had a Coke?

It ends with a loud burp.

2. If you can’t say the right thing, do the right thing.

Some people suck at articulating a proper apology. For many, it is a learned skill. I don’t care how good you are at saying the right thing, whether you mean it or not.

I only care that you make an effort to do the right thing now that you realize you’ve made a mistake. Correcting your behavior is the single most important part a sincere apology.

1. You deserve time to wallow.

Apologizing while simultaneously shutting down all discussion.

I’m going to pay closer attention from now on.

Do you have a way to tell if someone’s apology is honest? Share with us in the comments!