Growing up, my parents had two (2) rules for apologies:
- You had to mean it
- You had to know what you were apologizing for
I don’t think any of us children were good about faking the first rule. I may be wrong about my siblings, but it was obvious to my parents if I tried to say a fake “I’m sorry.”
The reason for the second rule had to do with knowing what you were apologizing about. Seen a fair number of people apologize for something others weren’t aware the person had done. It’s hard to be sorry for something if you don’t know what you did or said that led to a need for an apology.
There are times I wouldn’t apologize because I wouldn’t mean it. Those were rare, but there are times when somebody wants an apology and you haven’t done anything where an apology is needed.
I was in a relationship where some days nothing I said or did was the right thing. On those days, not saying or doing anything was as bad or worse than saying or doing something. It’s hard to apologize in situations like this because the fact I was breathing was enough to make her mad. In those instances, I tried to be invisible by not talking or doing anything to get her to notice I was in the room. I don’t have any advice in those cases because not breathing for days is not something I can do.