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When someone does something wrong, we often expect an apology. It’s simply the right thing to do, especially when you have done something wrong. However, all apologies are not created equal.

When someone does something wrong, and they apologize, our first instinct is to forgive them. And when a healthy and decent person apologizes, that makes sense. Unfortunately, toxic people often use apologies to manipulate us into believing that they feel remorse. In turn, we get stuck in a cycle of forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Here are 5 examples of a fake apology to be aware of.

1. I’m sorry that you feel that way.

On the surface, this may sound sincere. But, in all actuality, this isn’t an apology at all. This is saying, “I’m sorry you took it that way. I didn’t do anything wrong. But I will say I am sorry to appease you.” See why it’s not genuine?

2. I’m sorry but…

This is one to look out for. This is a conditional apology that includes the insinuation that their actions were justified. Oftentimes, people who aren’t genuinely sorry, or see no fault in their actions will use this.

3. I’ve already apologized for this a million times.

Rather than being an actual apology, this is more of a, “Can we forget about it already and move on?” Which would make sense, if they had apologized at all.

4. I guess I owe you an apology.

I honestly cannot stand this one. When someone says this, the only thing I can think of is that they don’t want to apologize. Deep down they know they did something wrong, but there’s no admission here, so it’s not an apology.

5. I’ll apologize if…

Consider this a transactional apology, as it uses projection or blame-shifting to move away from the topic at hand. This is saying, “I’ll apologize if you will,” or “I’ll apologize if you never speak of it again,” or “I’ll apologize if you forgive me.” A real apology is given freely, from the heart. Not in a negotiation.