“I’m sorry you were offended,” is a classic nonpology — an apology that says nothing about the actions of the speaker and doesn’t address the root of the problem. “I’m sorry, but,” is another bad start, and so is “we’re sorry you had that experience.”
In Apology Simulator, by Matthew S. Burns, you can craft your own apologies for a variety of situations. Click through each line until the apology is perfect, or perfectly awful. Use every nonpology tactic in the book. Make it all about you. Or keep working till it’s genuine.
When you’re done, the game flips your perspective and lets you choose whether to accept the apology or reject it. You could create something like the worst apology you’ve received. Maybe it was a situation where you were forced to bite your tongue and take what was offered. Now you can reject it. Or create the apology that should have been offered, the one you deserve, and decide if it’s worth your forgiveness.
Playing with Apology Simulator might help you see why an apology left you unsatisfied, or where your own apologies have been lacking. And, as its creator points out, “We’ve all suffered inadequate apologies, or wished for apologies that never came…” so here’s a chance to see what a better outcome may have felt like.