1) Someone has requested that you don’t talk to them again. Then the best apology is to respect their wishes.
2) Your apology is motivated by a desire to alleviate your own guilt rather than to relieve someone else’s hurt feelings. The same is true if you’re apologizing only to end an argument and still don’t believe you caused any hurt.
3) A verbal apology would hurt the other person or reopen old wounds. In this case, consider other forms of apology. Twelve-step programs suggest making “living amends,” which entails amending the way you live. It starts by changing the hurtful behavior; if you broke promises to this person, you could work on keeping your promises to everyone.
This was excerpted from “What Is Your Apology Language?” which was published in the September 2022 issue of Experience Life.