I ran across an excellent and entertaining video, done by Hank Green of the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube. It discusses the right (and wrong) way to apologize for something.
If I recall the statistics correctly, zero percent of people are perfect. So we all will get the opportunity — some of us more than others — to apologize for things. Doing it sincerely and thoughtfully will improve your life and that of the person to whom you’re apologizing.
He makes several outstanding points in this video. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
You have a choice after you’ve done something crappy. You can transform into one of two things. Either you can regain your awesome through actual apology, or you can become a fartbag. A fartbag – this is a technical definition – is a person who hurts someone, and then blames the person they hurt for their pain.
This one, too:
You.. have to accept the blame. You are not sorry that your friend is hurt; you are sorry you hurt your friend.
It turns out that people who apologize feel weaker, but are perceived as stronger people; whereas fartbags feel stronger, but they are perceived by the people around them as weaker.