The most important part of an apology is owning up to your part in the situation. Even if someone else did the bad thing, there’s probably space to apologize to yourself for whatever your contribution to the situation was.
For example, I had a “friend” take total advantage of me. I worked my ass off to make her look good, sent her flowers out of guilt for thinking negative thoughts about her, and let her be as messy as she needed to be with me. She returned absolutely none of those favors, and it became clear to me that she wasn’t my friend. Of course, it took the death of someone I love to make me see this. Specifically because this “friend” didn’t say shit about it. No condolences, no checking up on me, nothing. The fucker ghosted.
In that situation, I deserved an apology. I know I’ll never get one from her, but I can and have apologized to myself. I did a lot of things that weren’t loving to myself: didn’t speak my truth, didn’t hold healthy boundaries, and definitely didn’t walk away when I should have. For all those things, I told myself sorry. I can do better, and I didn’t. That needs an apology!
Remember, apologies do not require excuses or defenses. If you’re putting conditions on your apology or it includes the word “but,” you’re doing it wrong.
Listen to the episode for the formula I use to give great apologies!