Apology Taxonomy

November 12, 2005 § Leave a comment

I encountered many species of apologies, and the universality of emotions of their effects, and, in the footsteps of a great man that gone before me, I am working on growing a possible taxonomy of excuses and apologies.


It is up to you to judge your context and purpose and it is your own responsibility to choose wisely. Don’t come crying to us if you have picked and applied “the wrong one”. This is controlled folly. I am too busy working on the effects of my own spells and have no time for yours. Sorry for that!

The Sleepy Hedgehog

This is a highly defensive apology. It doesn’t even seem to know what it is here for.

“Sorry I did that, but I had to ….”

People get quite confused after the “but”. This is your basic sleepy double bind spell.

The Wide Awake Hedgehog

This is not just a highly defensive apology, even though it seems to be because of its resemblances to the Sleepy Hedgehog. This one comes beforehand, like

“Sorry, but I am going to have to …”

This apology attempts to stop others from speaking up afterwards, about actions that will follow the apology. Highly effective! In the Wide Awake version the harm you may inflict with your actions is distinctly greater than with the sleepy version, or even when acting without any apology. In short, this one is consciously intending harm.

Absent co-creator

This is not really an apology. It seems to be there, but it isn’t. It does something else entirely. Look, hear and feel closer,

“I’m sorry your feelings are hurt.”

This apology actually promises that the behavior for which it apologizes, will happen again. This apology expresses not wanting to be held accountable for the effects of ones actions. Time to start counting and apply the Law of To Feet at four.

Absent absent co-creator

This is a not only not really an apology (like the above), it is a non-non-apology. It often takes the form of a combination of absent co-creator with hidden blaming. It tries to make the perpetrator the victim. This one seeks blood! (for the real bloodsucker, see vampire below).

The absent absent co-creator goes something like this: first apply unfair power plays and ignore requests when others wish to address these power plays.

The older species know how to make the avoidance not so obvious, like keeping schedules full and being away as much as possible, then, when the energy on the other side subsides, some spice is added to the powerplay mix:

“I feel something standing between us. I feel a gap. Is that only my impression? I desire to fill my gap and wish to meet with you on such and such date …”

This apology promises the behavior for which it apologizes, will happen again, and again, and again, and its victims can get lost, lost, lost …

The Grudge

“I said I was sorry”

Meaning, the previously made apology is annulled. Revealing the apology was totally meaningless. What it does mean? Don’t bug me with your petty sensitivities. To please you I just made an apology. How can you be so insensitive to keep bugging me like that!

The Vampire

This is by far the most manipulative apology in existence today,

“I hate myself for having done that to you. Can you still love me?”


This apology is continuously made, with every little action. A person being trained by this apology will apologize for passing by, for reaching for something, for uttering a single word in a discussion, for existing really. I have a deep suspicion this apology exists to help people undo feeling sorry. Ever. With whatever. If you stay too long in the environment of people training themselves with this apology, the word sorry will quickly loose all of it’s meaning.


“I will apologize, if you will”


“Please, tell me how I have hurt you so I can learn from that and not be that insensitive or disrespectful again?”

This little animal has excellent timing and can truly listen. It effectively helps others to release their pain and opens up space for learning together with love and respect.

And if and when you encounter more species, make other distinctions, have spotted interesting subspecies, and would be willing to share those with us, we would appreciate that very much.


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