On this program, hosts David Ford and David Campt discuss a reset technique that can be used to help restore relationships that have become frayed over major disagreements. The tool is called apologetic non-apology (ANA). You can find the accompanying worksheet for this episode here


On what ANA is:

"Remember the song “Sorry, Not Sorry?" The apologetic non-apology is kind of the opposite of that. In “Sorry, Not Sorry,” people say the word “sorry,” or “apologize,” but they convey that they don't really regret what they did. In the apologetic non-apology, you don't use the word “sorry,” or “apology,” but you express regret about what you did, and recommit to better behavior going forward."

On when and when not to use ANA:

"You can use this when you feel there’s a tension in a relationship, and you played some role in getting it started. All you have to do is to think I did something in this, and I want to own up to that. And I see what I did. And I have a little feeling of nervousness or embarrassment or some vulnerable feeling in bringing it up. And you know, you want to recommit to something different. In those situations — which is a lot of situations given the tensions between people on politics and not politics — it can be very useful in saying let's start over. But again, it only works if you feel your behavior played some role in the tension. If you think the other person is 100% at fault, then don't do it. But in most situations, each person has played a role in the tension that exists. This is about taking responsibility for your part in the situation, even it was the smaller part compared to theirs."

On the difference between a typical apology and ANA:

"In a typical apology, you set off a script in your own head and the other person's — either the script of one person apologizes, the other person accepts the apology, or the script of one person apologizes, and the other person also apologizes. This is different from that. This is about me saying, I did something in the past, I feel a little nervous now — offer a little vulnerability —and going forward, I want to do something different. And I'm not asking for anything except to accept my commitment to doing something different."


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