Will you accept my apology?”
Expressing regret, explaining the circumstances, offering possible solutions - each attempt at forgiveness only triggered the next round of irritation and new tries to soothe hard feelings.
This was a classic example of a conversation “going around and around in circles.”
Nothing seemed to work. How to break the cycle?
Then a sudden switch of gears.
A simple “I’m sorry” - offered in the listener’s own native language.
Immediately, the objections stopped. The anger disappeared.