If a loved one apologizes but keeps doing whatever is upsetting you, their apology in the first place may not have been sincere. Or they may have a serious problem, as they can’t stop the behavior from happening.
This guide takes a look at how you can tell whether an apology is sincere, and how you can deal with toxic people that are like this.
Why Does a Love One Apologize but Keep Doing the Same Thing Again?
As mentioned, there is a chance that your loved one did not mean it when they apologized. You unfortunately have been getting duped into accepting their apology each time. You can spot how sincere an apology is by how much blame they take – I’ve touched on this more in the section below.
But they may have a serious problem where they can’t stop their negative behavior too, like an addiction. The only way around this would be to get them professional help.
How Can You Spot a Sincere Apology?
There’s no reason for you to keep falling for fake apologies. There is a number of signs that you can look for that will tell you whether an apology is in fact sincere.
Let’s talk about them.
1. There’s no ‘But’
Definitely keep an eye out for apologies that have the word ‘But’ in them. This means that the person that did you wrong is trying to justify their actions. While on the same vein, keep an eye out for apologies that direct back to how you provoked them. This is a sign that the person that did you wrong does not take full responsibility.
2. They Waited for the Right Time
You can tell whether an apology is sincere by the time and place that it was told in. If your loved one waited and gave you space, this means that they want to be forgiven. So they were planning things out.
3. They are Taking Corrective Action
Sincere apologies aren’t just words but are actions to mend things. For instance, if your friend apologizes for never paying for dinner, he would give you the money that he owes back, or promises to cover you the next time you go out.
4. They Express Regret
You definitely can tell whether an apology is sincere if the other party expresses regret for their actions. You can of course tell if their regret is sincere if they take responsibility for their actions too.
5. There is Clear Communication
If your loved one communicates about why they acted the way they did, you can be sure that they mean it when they apologize. They want to mend things, and want you to know why they did what they did.
6. They Chase After You
If you’re not keen on accepting their apology, a good sign that they are genuine about wanting to mend things is them constantly coming to you and wanting to make things right.
How Can You Help Someone Stop Their Destructive Behavior?
If your loved one can’t stop hurting you because of their destructive behavior, there are a couple of tricks that you can try to help them stop.
Let’s talk about them.
1. Open the Topic
The first thing to do is to initiate the conversation, and talk to your loved one about how they have a problem. Remember to be open with them about how you feel – especially about how their actions are affecting your relationship.
It is critical that you listen to what they have to say, as they may be going through a lot behind the scenes. Remember to offer a shoulder of support, and to rally all of their loved ones so that they can get enough support to fix their faulty behavior.
Here’s a pro-tip – prepare what you are going to say beforehand so that you get the best points across. You can avoid saying something too risky this way too.
2. Reprimand Them
You should of course reprimand their behavior. By no means try and justify it, as they need to know that their actions have consequences. If they are not able to work on themselves, warn them that you would end your relationship.
3. Be Encouraging
If your friend is dealing with destructive behaviors that have been going on for a while, it would be especially harder for them to stop it. While in conversation, you should remind them that it is alright to fail – they can use each of these failures as means to bounce back.
You being very supporting and encouraging in general can play a major role in how successful they will be.
4. Get Professional Help
Definitely try and take your loved one to see a therapist. They would get professional help to handle their destructive behavior better. This might finally be the way out of their vicious cycle, as underlying toxic thinking patterns may have been at play.
Of course, do your research when finding a good therapist. And if your friend is dealing with an addiction, it is especially important that you take them to special addiction meetings as well.
5. Seek Help
Along with your loved one getting professional help, it wouldn’t hurt for you to see a therapist as well. The whole situation can be mentally and emotionally draining, especially if you’re dealing with an addict. You would be able to take care of yourself so that you would be in the best mental state to support your friend.
How Do You Stop Being Friends with a Toxic Person?
In case you are dealing with a toxic friend that just won’t stop their destructive behavior, the only thing left to do is to cut them off. This is easier said than done, but there are quite a few suggestions that you can try to make this easier.
Let’s get into it.
1. Accept the Reality
The first thing that you need to do is accept reality. Your friend was very toxic and there is no point in you trying to rationalize their behaviors. If you keep making excuses, you won’t be able to take the right actions, or approach the situation that well.
Your mental health is what’s the most important at the end of the day. Friendships don’t have to be forever, so ill treatment definitely is something to take action on.
2. Communicate How You Feel
Before you cut them off, I would advise you to speak to them about what you are about to do. Explain that you are not happy with their destructive behavior, and are finally cutting them loose. If you have told them that you would do this if they didn’t stop, it would be a good time to remind them of this promise.
Explaining that you’re ending things before saying goodbye is the right thing to do too, especially if the two of you have known each other for a while.
3. It’s Okay to Grieve
It is no surprise that the decision to cut your friend off would make you sad, especially if the two of you have known each other for a long time. So, take time off and have a breather if you have to. As mentioned earlier, seeing a therapist for yourself would also be a good idea, as you would be able to unpack your emotions.
How Do You Know if A Friend is Toxic?
If you’re dealing with a toxic friend, there are plenty of signs to look out for, apart from them constantly apologizing and hurting your feelings over and over again.
Let’s talk about some of the most obvious.
1. They Weaponize Their Struggles
Everyone struggles with something. But if you have a friend that weaponizes their struggles against you, this is toxic behavior that you don’t need.
2. Disrespect Your Boundaries
You’re dealing with a toxic friend if they don’t respect your boundaries. If you have not explained these boundaries to them that well, you can give them some leeway. However, if you have explained them before, they are not the best person to be around.
3. You’re Not Allowed to See Others
Some toxic people do not like when you spend time with the others in your life. This is toxic behavior, as they are trying to keep you for themselves.
4. Insulting Behaviors
There is no way you can be friends with someone that constantly demeans you. Regardless if they do this purposefully or not, you should consider cutting them off.
5. You’re Not Appreciated
Your friend is toxic if you have been doing a lot for them and they undermine all of this work. They are especially toxic if they have been doing this behind your back.
Your loved one may be apologizing but is not sincere about his wrongdoings, which is why he keeps repeating them. I’ve made it easier for you by running through all the ways to spot a fake apology. And I also discussed how you can deal with a toxic person that is like this too, along with what you can do to help if he wants to get help, but keeps going back to his destructive behavior as he can’t help it.
Hopefully you found all of the points that were run through useful.