Thanks Emma! It is very very well put and reminds me of the guide for apologies that was in our son's day Esperanza day care in Houston.
1 - Say you are sorry
2 - Say what you did, and why it was wrong.
3 - Say what you'll try to change and make different next time.
4 - Ask what you could do now to fix it.
These simple steps are very soothing. Fills the bucket of joy the giver and the receiver (to use another of our kid's school lessons). Defusing the worst fights.
And as you very well say:
- Don't overuse sorry for things that YOU are not responsible for. "Sorry you burnt yourself on the toaster, sorry your friend cancelled, sorry the weather is bad today and you can't ride your bike". It's sympathy, not apologetical empathy.
- Don't make it a "you/selfish" moment again. An apology is a gift.
- Don't dilute your responsibilities with "but", "however", or "at the same time, or, even more mortiferous "...YOU do often worse" or "you see, you did the same and I did not complain".
For me... I am sorry. I am not doing all this so well, and very often try to explain why I was right and find excuses. I will try to do better, and forget MY SELF a little bit, and think about others. What can I do now?