As opposed to a war of attrition, wherein two or more
parties wear each other
down over a period
of time, a war of contrition is a situation where
two or more
parties won't stop apologising to each other
Usually this happens because everyone is eager to avoid confrontation
but if often leads to further disagreement.
#1: Oh, God - I scraped
your door with my bumper! Let me pay for that...
#2: No, no, it's my fault, I shouldn't have parked
#1: Well that's hardly fair, I should have been looking where I was going.
#2: Look, there's no need to get upset, I've said it's my fault, and I'll deal with it.
#1: Mate, this was clearly
my doing. Let me pay for it.
#2: Listen here - it's my car, I parked
it badly on this corner, I accept full responsibility!
#1: FINE THEN! *rips wing mirrors
Eyewitness: That was a real war of contrition right there.