posted at 3/25/2012 1:12 PM EDT
I think Sean would have accepted it out of hand if you'd not qualified it by saying, "[it] was not completly
fair." Not to speak for him, but that's what his response indicated, and, generally speaking, a qualified apology isn't usually one that goes over 100% like you might intend. An unqualified apology would have said, "[it] was un
fair," meaning as Sean wanted it to say, "100% unfair." It might seem nit picky, but when you qualify it you essentially
say you don't really mean it.
fwiw, I used to think people were always conscious of such things, but I realize now it's often due to a passive-aggressive style upbringing where those phrases were used at home or from a habit one picks up who knows where. My husband used to have a lot of passive quasi-aggressive phrases in his regular vocab that caused a less than favorable response from everyone (not just his wife), and he was constantly confounded by it. One day he asked what was going on with that, and this is what I told him. Since then he's removed those passive (semi-aggressive) phrases from his regular vocabulary, and he notices when others use them. A book that helped, too, was Overcoming Passive Aggression
which we read most of together. He understood for the first time why what he thought was innocuous was coming across as aggressive (or less than sincere) to others, and it really helped.
This is just a kind word to the wise, not a criticism, and I hope you'll take this in the good spirit in which its offered. And, by the way, your screen name makes me crave pork chops. :)
ETA: By the way, your latest post was 100% unqualified and is why I bothered posting this; it conveyed your true state of mind which is that of sincerity.