The words you speak when apologizing are less important than the act of apologizing itself. Decades of research exist about both the things people say when they apologize and the effectiveness of apologies in fixing the negative effects of a transgression.
Social psychologist Steven Scher of Eastern Illinois University has identified five main elements of apologies:
1. A simple expression of regret ( “I’m sorry “, ” I apologize”, or ” Excuse me”).
2. An explanation or account of the cause that brought about the violation.
3. An expression of the speaker’s responsibility for the offense.
4. A promise of forbearance.
5. An offer of repair.
While all apologies appear to increase judgments of blame,after someone admits to something there is very little doubt that they are responsible, they also tend to reduce sanctions against and negative evaluations of the transgressor.Most apologies reduce the anger of the victim, although that varies with the level of the offense. Insincere apologies can be worse than none at all, find psychologist Jeanne Zechmeister and colleagues at Chicago’s Loyola University.
Women do apologize more than men but not for the reasons you think, say social psychologists Karina Schumann and Michael Ross of the University of Waterloo, Ontario. ” our findings suggest that men apologize less frequently than women not because their egos are more fragile but because they have a higher threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior.”
Source Psychology Today