My sociopathic ex was never sorry for anything. Oh, yes, he “apologized” sometimes, but it was only to get me to shut up or because he knew he’d already lost the argument or knew I was right (but he wasn’t really sorry.) It was insulting how stupid he must have thought I was to believe these “apologies” were sincere.
Unless they are incredibly good actors and are hoovering you (trying to reel you back in, like a Hoover vacuum sucks up dirt) or love-bombing you (stalking you as prey), no apology coming out of a narc’s mouth is going to sound sincere. Of course, it’s easy to fall for those “sincere” apologies when they’re feeling needy, but there are always other red flags you can look for, such as crowding you, moving too fast, or trash-talking all their exes (make no mistake, he or she will eventually trash-talk you too).
Once they have you trapped in their web of deception, a narcissist’s “apologies” are going to sound more like the following (if they even bother to apologize for anything at all). Some of them are actual “apologies” I got from my MN ex.
Gaslighting, projection and devaluation/invalidation are embedded in almost every narcissistic “apology,” as is lack of empathy. The “shut up” apology or the “I will not take responsibility for my actions” apologies are common too. All of them are represented here. So, without further ado, here’s a list of what you might hear.
1. “I’m sorry, but you always get so hormonal and overreact to everything when you’re on the rag.” (invalidation; devaluation)
2. “I’m sorry you have no sense of humor.” (projection and gaslighting)
3. ” I’m sorry you overreact to everything I say.” (projection and gaslighting; devaluation)
4. “I’m sorry your family gave you such horrible examples of how to be a compassionate person and made you so self-centered and narcissistic.” (it’s true about my FOO but this is blatant projection!)
5. “I’m sorry, but I always talk loudly and you just take it the wrong way.” (denial of truth–it wasn’t that he was “too loud,” but that he was saying hateful things in an angry tone of voice).
6. “It’s your responsibility you feel hurt by that.” (a favorite of my mother’s)
7. “Your feelings are not my responsibility.” (this gives them carte blanche to say whatever they want)
8. “I’m sorry, but you are driving everyone here crazy with your constant whining.” (projection, gaslighting, possible triangulation)
9. “I’m sorry you are mentally unstable and can’t understand what I said.” (projection and gaslighting; there may be veiled sarcasm there too.)
10. “Alright, fine. I’m SORRY!!!!!!” (said sarcastically or in an angry tone of voice–this is the classic “shut up” apology)
11. “(HUGE sigh) I’m sorry. Are you happy now?” (another version of the “shut up” apology)
12. “I’m sorry but it’s not my problem.” (lack of empathy; taking no responsibility)
13. “I already apologized.” (said when they didn’t). Gaslighting and denying the truth.
14. “I’m sorry about arguing with you, BUT you started it.” (this may or may not be true, but they always have to take a jab at you anyway. Their apology feels hollow.)
15. “I’m sorry I forgot your birthday, BUT I had to be at that meeting. You know how important my job is.” (that job is more important than you, and he or she wants you to be aware of that).
16. “I’m sorry I hit you, BUT you deserved it.” (why even bother saying you’re sorry, asshat?)
17. “I’m sorry I got drunk and threw up all over you, BUT I told you to not let me have any more drinks.” (dead if you do, dead if you don’t–he would have handed you your head if you had actually told him not to have another drink).
18. “Apologies are for wusses, but whatever, fine, I’m sorry if that makes you happy.” (another “shut up” apology)
19. “I’m sorry you think I’m such a horrible person.” (guilt-tripping, possible projection)
20. “I’m sorry you hate everything I ever do for you.” (see #19)
21. I have no idea what I did to upset you, but whatever it was, I’m sorry. (They know damn well what they did and are trying to play “innocent” or “dumb.”)
22. “I’m sorry. Now get over it.” (a shut up apology)
23. “I’m sorry, but nobody’s perfect.” (this is just a cop-out apology; they are not taking responsbility)
I think we’ve heard enough of these. I feel kind of sick now. Their fake apologies are just another weapon narcissists can use to hurt you.