We all know the type of apologies that narcissists give. Hollow words meant to shift blame back to us for having the feelings in the first place. 

“Im sorry YOU feel that way”

“Im sorry if YOU took it to mean….”

“Im sorry. What else can I say? It’s over and done with now”

True apologies come from a deep place within a person that is marked by a sense of responsibility, remorse, contrition and future changed behavior or action. 

True apologies let us be the injured party and be respected for knowing our rights and asserting them. They really let us off the hook for fixing the problem when it wasn’t ours, and allow us to reconnect, if we desire, to the person who hurt us, if the hurt was in our own thoughts – not a deal breaker. They allow us the ability to forgive and move past the injury, knowing that our partners care to the same degree about our feelings as we do. 

Anything short of a TRUE, HEART FELT APOLOGY is a lip service manipulation to get someone who can’t accept responsibility back to feeling good about themselves or “perfect” and will leave us feeling, disrespected, devalued and dismissed. 

We cannot single handedly keep relationships like this going. If we do, we are simply accepting abuse doled out on us by an irresponsible, unhealthy human being.

What are some of the false, hollow and horrible apologies that you’ve received from a narcissist and how did you feel when you heard them?

Posted on April 6, 2014, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. You’ve just taken it the wrong way… this one is from my Mum. Also when you try to point out that something she has said or done was hurtful she can collapse in floods of tears because I have upset her by pointing it out….. gggrrrrr!!!


  2. “I was just a kid, too” and “None of you kids came with an instruction book”
    My mother was 30 when I was born, her 5th child. She stood by while my oldest sister, by 11 years, teased me to the point of tears, then scolded me for being too sensitive. A high school kid makes a kindergardener cry, and the little one gets scolded. I started asking her why when I was in high school, and this is what she’s been saying for the last 40 years. Can you believe, she’s the one who brings it up?


  3. ” you are too sensitive” and “it was not my intention” are the ones i hear often


  4. “These sorts of things are unfortunate, but they do happen from time to time. Under the circumstances I think that I handled the situation much better than I could have. You’ll need to decide if you can move forward or not.” <— said to me after he abruptly cut a date at a nightclub short, refused to acknowledge me at all on the way home unless I would "tell" him "what happened" (of course I had no idea what he was talking about and spent the entire ride, about an hour, in tears, begging him to speak to me and tell me what I had done). When we got back to his place, he ordered me to sit on his couch, and sat stone-faced across from me, saying that this was my last chance. I pleaded with him to tell me why he was being this way, to tell me why he was so mad. He wouldn't even look at me. After about a half hour of that I finally got up, collected my overnight bag, kissed him (he neither moved nor acknowledged me), and walked out, sobbing. I collapsed in my car, devastated, locked the doors, rolled up the windows, and just sat there in the driver's seat, screaming, heartbroken. He came out and knocked on my window, said I could come back and sleep if I chose, that I might not be safe to drive. Still crying, I shuffled back up to his apartment and lay down on his couch in my clothes, covered myself with my sweater, and cried myself to sleep. He had already gone to bed. The next morning he gave me the above "apology". His reason? When I'd gone to the restroom, which is next to the men's room, another man had walked out ahead of me. He had smiled and winked at my boyfriend. I had refreshed my lip gloss in the women's room and was running a finger over the corner of my mouth, to make sure I'd not overapplied. His conclusion? That guy was my illicit lover and I'd been blowing him in the restroom instead of relieving myself and refreshing my makeup. I look back on that moment and wonder why I accepted that pitiful excuse and apology devoid of accountability or any acknowledgment of how much he had hurt me. There were many more similarly dismissive 'apologies' to come, and I just kept going back.


  5. Two days ago – the person I married and work with yelled abuse at me in the office. I told myself I won’t be disrespected like this (it was hard to do that after 13 years of abuse) and I got up and left for home, feeling very numb it felt like the longest drive of my life. I called my abuser later that evening to see if everything was ok (silly me). He said “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have gone off at you like that, but you really did frustrate me and I’m sick of the way you don’t listen to me, but I promise we will have a better day tomorrow”. I knew this just wasn’t an apology, but just simply some lip service to get me back to the office the next day. I showed up on time the next morning, and less than 1 hour into my day, history repeated itself.


  6. My “apologies” were always “you’re just being too sensitive” or she would apologize in a mocking tone to allude to me being too sensitive.

    No, I’m not too sensitive. You’re just insensitive.


  7. I was wating for months for my BPD ex to apologize and truly acknowlege the hurt she infligted on me during our seven years on and off relationship and after she left one day, giving me the silent treatment, even when she found out i was diagnosed with stomach cancer and went under surgery and recived quimotherapy up untill now.
    One day, a few months back we meet at a NA meeting, and at the end in the closing circle, she aproach me , gave me a hug and say: lets stop hurting eachother and put the past behind(this is the good part),” I APOLOGIZED FOR THE THINGS YOU THINK AND FEEL I DID TO YOU! I PROMISED YOU ONE DAY WE’RE GOING TO SIT DOWN AND HAVE A TALK REGARDING ALL OF THIS”… Right after that she became the silent treatment again.


  8. thank you for sharing! yes, many “empty” apologies (why do they even bother to call it one?) for soooooooooo long


  9. “So you are going to hold what I said against me” — He said this to me when I reminded him of a horrible thing he said to me. Wow. I felt like he was turning it around to make it my fault again. I was the bad guy for ‘holding what he said against him’…


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