I see that Prince Harry – that’s the Prince from England – has apologized again for dressing up like a Storm Trooper. His official statement was “I'm very sorry if I offended anybody”.
We get this kind of apology quite often these days – “If I’ve hurt anyone…”, “If anyone is disturbed…”, “ To the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility”. I think of these as non-apology apologies. It’s like saying “If someone is so thin-skinned that they are upset by my boorish actions, I feel sorry for them.”
When I was a kid I don’t think my mother would have accepted this type of apology.
“Mom, if anyone is offended by the baseball that went through the window, I am truly regretful.” “Well,” I can imagine her saying, “If anyone is offended by going to his room for the next week, I am truly regretful too.”
Are people too proud - or have they just forgotten how - to present a real apology? Whatever happened to “I screwed up. I’m sorry I did it. I’ll try not to do it again.”?
To the extent that people refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes, I am truly regretful.