Inconsiderate humans have a way of uttering an apology, whether forced or otherwise, in a way that makes the receiver even more perturbed. When a situation arises that requires an apology, or can be lightened with authentic remorse, they crush the opportunity by offering "if" at the beginning. Which for me, by just starting like that, you lose me as your audience.
"If I offended you," "if I hurt you," By just using "if" you are indicating that there is a high possibility that no harm was done. None of us gets to dictate a human's inner feelings or reaction towards an act done that displeases or discomforts them at any level; causing pain, hurt, offense, or disdain. You do not get to fact check my experience, you do not get to minimize my reality and you certainly do not get to turn the chance of fixing it into a blatant brush off.
How many times have we heard humans in our world render apologies that appear to be less than genuine? Or they make it seem as if your own expressed emotion is frivolous.
We can't always know how our actions will affect another human's equilibrium, but there are times when humans are well aware of the possible outcome of what they are about to do, or say, and do it anyway. Sometimes they are caught off guard and inadvertently blurt out something distasteful, damming or disrespectful. Then, because the risk to them is more important than the recipient's emotions, they suppress what they truly feel and spew a sorry excuse for an apology. How many times have public figures said something derogatory about people of color, or about women or about members of the LGBTQ community. Then moments or days after it had been heard by the world they attempt to recant? Where lies the regret and source of this apology? Is it in what you are afraid of losing? This typically followed up by a series of events and we are rarely privy to the intricacies of their 'reprimand.'
The other fragment of it is the audience accepting that apology, and very rarely is this considered. They will say "I hope you accept my apology" and they move on. However, the fact that I heard it, doesn't mean I accept it. It certainly doesn't mean it changed my perception of the person who said it, from a negative stance to a positive jubilee. I can respect the person who acknowledges their genuine feeling, not pacify it. I will respect the person who states that they do not understand or they misinterpreted and are open to evolve. It doesn't make their actions right, but it becomes a teachable moment.
My charge to humans is always to put themselves, as best as they can in the shoes of the person feeling attacked. In the movie, "A time to Kill," Matthew Mcconaughey had the jury hearing all the details of the brutal rape and beating the tiny African American 10 year old girl had to endure. He won his case by telling the jury to imagine it was a little white girl. Frankly speaking, some people cannot see the harm they do until it is close to home., or it happens to them directly.
So, be mindful that words can cause detriment to others. Don't offer something you do not want for yourself.