Apologies are difficult. Some people have a harder time accepting them. 

FEMAIL is an expert in etiquette and speaks to FEMAIL Debrett’s Here are some tips and tricks to help you make that next “I’m sorry” sound sincere.  

Many people succumb to the temptation of shifting the blame. 

“I’m sorry that I have upset you” isn’t as powerful as saying, “I’m sorry.” 

Speaking to FEMAIL, an expert with etiquette bible Debrett's has revealed the dos and don'ts to make your next 'I'm sorry' come across as sincere - and the phrases you absolutely should avoid. Stock image

FEMAIL spoke to Debrett, an expert in etiquette and Debrett’s. She revealed what you should do to make that next “I’m sorry” sound sincere and which phrases to avoid. Stock photo

Also, she explained that apologies should not be accompanied by conditions regarding what another person should do or should not do. It should be all about the individual apologizing and taking complete responsibility for their actions. 

The written apology note should be only sent to an individual who has committed a serious offense. Only after an apology verbally.    

This page contains all the information you require. 

Recognize that you are not in control

It is usually a private relationship that lies at the core of any apology. Before you can take any steps to correct this situation, it is important that the person fully admits to having been wronged.   

Even if you don’t understand what you did, this is true. It is enough for the victim to express their regret. 

Boris Johnson’s partygate apology 

Boris Johnson, who tried to manage the “partygate” scandal without admitting that he was in error, has apologized. 

Liz explained, “In exceptional cases when there is a significant legal or professional consequence, apologetics can sometimes come off as insincere. The individual may not be willing to accept that they are in wrong for fear of being held responsible.”   

She explained that even an apparently heartfelt apology can seem hollow in today’s era of legality and skillful apologies. 

“Conditional words or insincerity can lead to an inflaming of the situation rather than helping it resolve.”

“If your actions had a detrimental impact on others, you should offer a sincere apology.” 

“Even though you may not understand the reason someone is upset, be respectful of their feelings and realize that your actions are to blame.

Do not shift blame 

Liz explained that the number one error people make when they try to shift the blame or excuse the actions of others is to bring the reaction of the other person under close scrutiny.

“Don’t take the blame, nor use your apology to blaming another person. 

‘Don’t plead mitigating or extenuating circumstances, or engage in retrospective regrets: “With hindsight, I should have…” 

“Don’t dispute that your actions were caused by misunderstandings of relevant circumstances.”

An apology that does not include the word “if” should be explained. She said, “Take full responsibility for all your actions.”

‘Never ever use the phrase “I’m sorry if I offended/disappointed/enraged you.” You must fully own the fault – no ifs, not buts.’

Instead, simply say: ‘I am sorry I offended/disappointed/enraged you’. 

This confirms your feelings for the person you are defending and shows that you truly believe you are the responsible party. 

Please explain why you are so sorry 

Liz suggested that instead of a simple “sorry” Liz would repeat the reasons for her apology.

Liz said: It is much easier to convey an apology if it acknowledges and repeats the nature of your fault. “I’m sorry” or “I’m so sorry last night”, for example, will make you more convincing than “I’m Sorry”. This makes the person feel that they are being held responsible.

Debrett's advisor Liz Wyse revealed that you should always take responsibility for your actions and accept your part of the blame, and never use the opportunity to make excuses or think in retrospect. Stock image

Liz Wyse is Debrett’s advisor. Liz said you must always accept responsibility and take the blame for what happened. Never use that opportunity to excuse yourself or look in the past. Image from the stock photo

Never be accused 

Liz stated that an apology is useless if it has conditions or heaps criticism upon the recipient.

She continued, “Never temper your apology with accusations or insinuations.” 

“It is not acceptable to immediately follow an apology with self-justifications or more criticism.

Send a note if you feel really hurt. 

Debrett recommends that you write a note to someone you really hurt, to take your apology one step further.

Liz said: ‘If you have committed a real faux-pas consider sending a handwritten note – but only after you have offered a verbal apology, otherwise it will look like cowardice.’

Do not apologize for your actions. 

In the case of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, Liz cautions that apologizing lightly is not advisable and explains that they will be losing weight.

She stated that the British have a tendency to apologize for others’ actions. You should not let someone push you. 

If you aren’t the real offender, ‘Continual, unnecessary apologizing will devalue the currency and reduce the impact of a sincere, heartfelt mea guilty. 

“It’s important to recognize when you need an apology and to sincerely apologize for the offense.