How sincere is an apology that is immediate after a wrong doing?

United States
April 14, 2007 8:17am CST
An example of what I mean is when I was young, my dad would do or say something mean or hateful to myself, one of my sisters or our mom, within moments, he would be at our bedroom door saying he was sorry, and ask did we forgive him...he expected us to say yes, and if we didn't say yes just as immediately as he asked, it would start all over again. That to me, made me feel resentment towards him for quite a while, in public he always acted like everything was always so great at home, when it really wasn't. His apologies never seemed sincere and it was more like the apology was for him to clear his conscience, and not really for us. I have tried myself, not to apologize until I've had a while to think about what I've done or said so that my apology, when made, is sincere. That's also something I've tried to teach my children, it seems to work with them, even now, my 18 year old son will come to me a while after he's acted rotten and not just apologize but sometimes even want to talk about what was said or happened, and I have done the same for him in return. It also makes making up with my husband after a fight a little sweeter, and the love a little stronger. How sincere do you feel an apology is that comes immediately after someone has said or done something wrong?
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7 responses
• United States
14 Apr 07
I think an immediate apology would show that the person did not mean what was said and done. I am guilty of this myself, spouting off in anger and before the words are out I know I have harmed. The danger in this though is that once we say something hurtful, yes we can say how sorry we are , but the words are still out on the table and stinging. But I do believe it can be very sincere.
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@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
15 Apr 07
It is acceptable if you think it sincere and not a repeat apology. Things do happen and sometimes seems hard to understand. Sometimes we do something or say something and it occurs to you the depth of it and then feel the need to apologize if can communicate it. Take each apology as if it is new since it is different from person to person. Good luck with this.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Apr 07
I never apolgize immediately after and argument I always think it over and see if I was resposible and if so then I will sincerely apologize. There are lots of polite apologizes like..oops sorry... for a small accident. These are OK and expected.
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• Singapore
14 Apr 07
It's hard to say. Though a too quick apology may seem insincere, but it is not necessarily so. I think this has more to do with the person concerned.
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• United States
14 Apr 07
I think an immediate apology CAN be sincere. I am guilty of saying things out of anger and as soon as they are coming out of my mouth, I am asking myself what the heck I am doing! LOL I take after my mom a lot and say stuff before I think about it so this happens quite a bit. I am working on it, but it still happens sometimes. When I do this, I will immediately turn around and tell my husband that I am sorry...I shoulnd't have said that...etc...etc. With that said, though, I think sometimes people will apologize immediately just because they know it made the other person mad or hurt their feelings or something. I think it really depends on the fight and the people involved. It sounds like you and your family have a great way to keep things in check. That's wonderful!
2 people like this
• United States
20 Apr 07
In the incidents you describe, no, that is not a sincere apology and you had good reason to be resentful. However, there are cases when an immediate apology is sincere. For instance, I try to catch myself when I say or do something that is hurtful or wrong according to the Bible and immediately admit I'm wrong. I am being sincere because it is something that I'm training myself to do and I've thought about it prior to the incident. Some people make an effort to catch themselves in mistakes and make things right as quickly as possible because the Bible teaches us to repent for wrongdoing and I find that the sooner I repent and get right with God, the better it is for me. I try to live by the Bible and according to God's standards as best I can. I'm not perfect by a long shot but I am very sincere in my efforts. Unfortunately, some people apoloize out of duty or as a way to manipulate someone and not from the heart. You just have to use judgment and discernment to know which is which.
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
16 Apr 07
It all depends on the character of the person and how much I understand the person. If the person is one whose 'sorry' is always at the tip of his mouth, I would doubt his sincerity. However, if it is from a person who is responsible and has integrity, I do not doubt his apology. He knows best when his apology is appropriate. If a person takes time to think and apologise ultimately, I agree that he would have thought over it carefully and analysed the need for an apology. It might indicate his sincerity, but to me, there is no certainty that I think his apology is sincere as he doubted that he is wrong initially. He could be apologising unwillingly at the cajole of others.
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