I’ve been trying to develop the art of the non-apology.
Let me know if any of these works for you. They’re some that I’ve been polishing, so it helps to know if they’re effective at all.
“I need to give you my apologies. I’m sorry I’ve been subversive lately, but your timid passivity brings out the negative aspects of my character.”
“I’m sorry I’ve been cranky lately. It happens when I work too much and miss lunch.”
“Sorry we crushed your house. You never know when you’re building where the warpath is going to be.”
The non-apology is the best tool for when you don’t want to admit fault, but you don’t want to directly pass the blame either. It’s a passive-aggressive technic, for sure.
It’s a great writing tool as well, because the reader can detect the inequality, and they start to develop a liking for one character and a dislike for another without knowing for sure why they like one over another. It’s subtle implication at its best.