Tag Archives: apology

Non Apologies

Non apologies are common among narcissists & their enabling flying monkeys, so you need to be aware of them.

 

A non apology means someone says they are sorry but it isn’t a genuine apology.  Some examples are:

 

  • I’m sorry you feel that way.
  • I’m sorry for whatever you think I did.
  • I’m sorry if I did something that upset you.
  • I’m sorry I said/did that, but if you wouldn’t have said/done what you did, I wouldn’t have said/done what I did.
  • I was just upset when I said that.

 

While these apologies do contain the words “I’m sorry”, they certainly aren’t real apologies.  They accept no responsibility for the bad behavior or make any promises this will not happen again or of better behavior in the future.

 

They also imply something is wrong with the person on the receiving end of the apology.  If someone tells you they were just upset when they did something bad, the average person with empathy will feel badly for being upset in the first place because the abuser was upset for what they did & can’t be held accountable for their actions.  If the abuser blames you for upsetting them enough to do something bad, the average person will feel badly for doing what they did that “made” the abuser do what they did.

 

A genuine apology is very different.  Even if the person making the apology doesn’t understand why the person offended feels as they do, the offender will promise not to do whatever they did again.  They will admit they were being insensitive or thoughtless.  They promise to amend their behavior & do it.  There isn’t judgment or criticism because someone is upset.  There isn’t blame.  There is simply love, concern & a desire not to hurt a person again.

 

When a narcissist or flying monkey gives you a non apology, look out.  They are going to resent you for “making” them apologize & you will be punished.  They may do the behavior again or do something worse.  They may act like nothing happened, which can invalidate your feelings or make you wonder if you imagined what happened or exaggerated how bad it was.  When this happens, focus on the truth & what you remember.  Keeping a journal can help you, because you can look back on the events which helps you focus on the truth rather than the narcissist’s version of it.  And as always, pray.  Ask God to help you to stay focused on the truth & to help you act accordingly.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

About Non-Apologies

 

**I have NO idea why, but this video turned out with a black screen rather than like the normal videos.  The audio works just fine though.  I apologize for any inconvenience!**

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

The Non Apology

Narcissists are masters of what I call the non apology.

A non apology is when someone says the words “I’m sorry”, yet their actions don’t back up the words.  They accept no responsibility for what they did, make no changes in their behavior, they offer lame excuses or they blame you for making them do whatever it was they did.  Some examples are:

  • I’m sorry you feel that way.
  • I wouldn’t have done what I did if you wouldn’t have done what you did.
  • I’m sorry I said/did that.. I was just upset.
  • I’m sorry if what I said/did upset you.
  • My sponsor/therapist says I have to make amends with you, so I’m sorry.

Some non apologies don’t even involve saying “I’m sorry” at all.  Sometimes narcissists will simply give you space for a little while, then resume contact with you, pretending nothing happened.  My mother did this sometimes.  She would give me the silent treatment, then call me later, acting as if nothing happened.  Her record was an 18 month long silent treatment.  I was stunned when she called after so long, but she acted like we’d just spoken the day before & all was fine between us.

Non apologies are a very common tool used with narcissists.  They let the narcissist apologize to pacify you without making any changes in her behavior.  If you confront a narcissist on something awful they have done & they provide you with a non apology, then later repeat the behavior, they can make you look like the bad guy.  All they have to do is say something like, “I said I was sorry!”  “Nothing I do is ever good enough for you!”   “I apologized & that isn’t even good enough for you!”  Unless you’re aware of the non apology phenomenon, chances are good you’ll shut down & possibly even apologize to the narcissist.  You also won’t say anything the next time the behavior is done.  This is a huge dose of narcissistic supply.  The narcissist gets a free pass to do this behavior again, made you feel bad & even apologize all on top of doing whatever it was that hurt you in the first place.  It’s like a narcissistic supply jackpot!

Due to the supply jackpot factor, chances are excellent you’ll have to deal with a non apology at some point.  There are ways to handle this awkward situation.

First, I really recommend praying when you’re forced to deal with non apologies.  Not only asking God to help you to recognize them when they happen but also to give you wisdom on the best way to deal with them.

You also need to recognize what is happening.  Know the signs of a real apology & a fake one.  You don’t want to mistake a real one for fake or vice versa!  Either way can’t end well.  Real apologies involve remorse, & someone taking responsibility for & changing their behavior.  Even if that is all you remember, it’ll help you to spot non apologies easily.

Also be creative in your response.  Neutral is often the best way to go, especially in situations like a work environment or if you don’t want to deal with any narcissistic conflict or drama.  Something like, “Thanks.”  “Thanks for saying that.”  or “Thanks for taking the time to tell me that.” “I appreciate what you said.” can be useful.  This shows the narcissist their so called apology was accepted & the matter will be dropped.

If you want to let the narcissist know you’re aware this is a non apology, try something like, “Thanks.” “That’s a start.”  “Thanks for trying.”  “Uh huh.”  “Ok.”  “If you say so.”  You also can ask them what exactly they mean by their non apology… “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean exactly.” is a good way to say it.  Asking narcissists to explain their actions in a calm, logical manner throws them for a loop.  They realize they can’t rage at you without looking foolish, so they usually try to drop the topic immediately.  If they try to change the subject, keep going back to it in that calm, logical manner.  They will feel so uncomfortable, they may just decide what they did wasn’t worth feeling this way so they won’t repeat it again.

Non apologies are an annoying part of life, but you can cope with them successfully.

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The Narcissistic Apology

Narcissists are the most superficial bunch of people you can imagine.  Everything about them is a charade, right down to their apologies.

 

On the rare occasion they do apologize,  there isn’t one sincere thing about it.  Maybe they say the right words, but I can assure you, there is nothing sincere about apologies coming from a narcissist.

 

If you’re wondering how you can be sure whether or not the narcissist in your life truly means their apology, I am going to list some differences below between a sincere apology & a narcissistic apology.

 

  • Sincere apologies always include accepting responsibility for the wrong that was done & don’t shift blame.  Narcissists may say they are sorry for what they did, but then they make an excuse for it.  “I’m sorry I said that, but I wouldn’t have said it if you wouldn’t have done….”  Or, they may even deny doing what they did entirely, making you feel like you’re crazy.
  • If the behavior doesn’t change, the apology isn’t sincere.  People who truly are sorry for hurting another person do their best never to repeat that behavior.  Insincere apologies may sound sincere sometimes, but the fact the offending person’s behavior didn’t change is a big clue that they didn’t mean their apology.
  • Insincere apologies are passive/aggressive.  “I’m sorry you feel that way.”  “I’m sorry you think what I did was wrong.”  While the words “I’m sorry” are being said, it’s clear the person saying such things doesn’t believe they have done something wrong.  The person is angry about being called out on their behavior, & will apologize just to shut you up.
  • Insincere apologies are vague, rather than specific.  Rather than saying, “I’m sorry I cheated on you,” a narcissist may say, “I know I’ve made some mistakes in our marriage.”
  • Sometimes apologies can be used to hurt you.  My mother once told me she realized she made a lot of mistakes while raising me.  I thought maybe she realized what she did to me & wanted to apologize for it.  She sounded so sincere.  Instead, she continued by saying “Obviously I made mistakes.  Just look at how you turned out.”  She guaranteed I would pay attention by sounding sincere & by what she said.  Once she had my full attention, she dropped that cruel bomb on me.
  • Sincere apologies acknowledge the pain that was caused, while insincere ones ignore it.  Using the cheating spouse example again, a sincere apology would be something like, “I’m sorry I cheated on you.  I know doing that has devastated you.  I’m so sorry..it was wrong & it’ll never happen again, I promise.”  Narcissists lack empathy, so your pain that they caused is one of two things- not even a blip on their radar because they didn’t think of you in the slightest, or your pain is something they enjoyed causing you.
  • A narcissist expects you to accept their apology once they say it, then drop the topic forever.  Narcissists don’t want to discuss what happened.  In their minds, saying they’re sorry (no matter how insincerely it’s said) once is good enough.  They said that, so you should be over it & never bring it up again.
  • Narcissists love to make the victim feel that they should forgive & forget.  If you’re a Christian, have been wronged or abused by a narcissist & they apologize to you, chances are very good the narcissist will make you feel like you’re a terrible example of your faith if you don’t forgive & forget what was done to you.  This apology can make you feel as bad or worse than the original offense.
  • Some narcissists apologize for something they think you’re upset about in order to placate you.  My father has done this.  After my mother in-law passed away in 2016, my parents & I had a huge argument.   My father later apologized to me for asking if my husband & I were still together during that argument.  (He kept trying to deflect me off the topic).  Granted, it wasn’t a good thing to ask, but it also wasn’t the reason I was so angry with him.  I told him that & explained exactly why I was angry.  He looked at me like a deer in the headlights.  Clearly, he couldn’t understand why I’d be upset that he & my mother wanted to “pay their respects” to someone who had been so cruel & abusive to me.  Also, it was obvious he thought that all should be fine- he apologized.  Never mind the fact what he apologized for wasn’t the thing he should have apologized for.

 

Dear Reader, please keep these actions in mind when you must deal with a narcissist.  Remembering them will help you not to buy their insincere apology.  You don’t need that aggravation!  If you fall for their apology, they’ll see you as someone they can manipulate & do so more & more.  Who needs that?!  You don’t!  And, you deserve to be treated better than that.

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Accepting That Your Suffering May Never Be Acknowledged

One thing I think all victims of narcissistic abuse would love is to have their abuser acknowledge the damage they have done, & genuinely apologize for it.  In fact, some feel they can’t heal or forgive without such actions.

Unfortunately, abusers, narcissists in particular, aren’t exactly the most compassionate people you’ll ever meet.  The chances of them owning up to what they have done are practically non existent.  (The only reason I think there may be even a slim chance is because of Matthew 19:26, that says with God, all things are possible.)

You need to accept the fact that the person who abused you most likely will never acknowledge hurting you or apologize for what she did.  I know it is hard & painful, but it is easier than continuing to wait for the acknowledgement you want.  Expecting a narcissist to acknowledge what they have done will only lead to great disappointment & frustration for you.

To help you accept this ugly truth, I urge you to learn as much as you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  The more you know about NPD, the more you will understand the narcissist in your life.  Understanding it will also help you to grasp why an apology or acknowledgement from that person is not going to happen.

Pray.  Tell God how you feel & ask Him to comfort you.  He will listen & comfort you gladly!

Don’t let other people define you!  If you do, not getting the acknowledgement & apology you want will devastate you.  You will feel something is wrong with you instead of the narcissist, which is completely WRONG!  Just because a person won’t acknowledge the damage they have done to you doesn’t mean you are the problem.  Some people simply refuse to do this.  They cannot handle the guilt of what they have done, so rather than fess up to it, they will pretend it never happened or accuse you of making things up.  Isn’t it obvious that you are not the problem?

On the off chance you do get an apology from the narcissist, examine it carefully!  Often narcissists use a passive/aggressive apology just to shut their victim up (“I’m sorry you feel that way”).  The expectation is that you will hear an apology, & forgive & forget.  They aren’t truly sorry if they use the passive/aggressive apology at all.  Or, they may say they are sorry, but are looking for reassurance for you, which is narcissistic supply.  If you say, “It’s ok, I understand” & they persist on saying why what they have done is bad, basically they are pushing you into reassuring them that they are forgiven, & they are looking for you to provide narcissistic supply.

And, never forget…if you confront a narcissist, you may be attacked. It doesn’t matter how valid your claims, they often turn the tables on anyone who dares to criticize them. They will do anything to protect the image they portray of themselves.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism