When the offender apologizes for the actions of the offended.
Example? “We are regretful that many took offense to them (our words/actions/writings).” A real apology would be “We are sorry that we offended people.”
or how about this. . .
“I’m deeply sorry that you took offense to my words.” A real apology would be “I’m deeply sorry for my words that offended you.” or “I’m sorry I said things that offended you.”
or my recently heard favorite . . .
“I’m sorry I called you an idiot. I just wanted you to understand how absurd your view was.”
“I sincerely regret that a portion of my remarks were either misinterpreted or taken, aired out of context.”
“What occurred was unintentional and completely regrettable, and I apologize if you guys were offended.”
And the list could go on.
If you’re right in the wrong way, don’t hesitate to offer a sincere apology. If you’re right about being right, don’t apologize for that. A “nonapology apology” will satisfy no one and make you look insincere. If you’re wrong, try giving a real apology. They’re getting so rare, it’ll be priceless.
How about you? Ever been given a “non-apology?” How did you respond?