All Articles Tagged "saying sorry"

You Owe Me An Apology: Why Is It So Hard For Some People To Say “I’m Sorry”?

August 10th, 2016 - By Theresa Ukpo
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Corbis

Corbis

I am a serial apologizer. If I accidentally bump into you on the train, I’ll apologize for it. If I blurt out something that’s a bit too candid, you’ll get an apology. It doesn’t come from some deep-rooted insecurity as most people seem to think, but rather, the recognition that you will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Most of all, in my opinion, it costs you nothing to say “I’m sorry.”

I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve been the aggrieved party, and while it’s glaringly obvious as to why I may be angry or feel slighted (even when I’ve stated why), from family members to friends and even total strangers, there is a pointed aversion to saying the words “I’m sorry.” Why are some afraid to admit guilt or take responsibility? Could it be the slight shame in making a gaffe? Is it overzealous pride in believing we’re perfect? The thing about apologies is that they acknowledge not only the wrongdoing, but also the humanity of the other person. More often than not, saying “I’m sorry” and meaning it goes a long way in diffusing an already tense situation.

I recently had a falling out with an older family member. I won’t go into detail about what was said and done, but let’s just say they were exceptionally rude to me. Even in the face of this, would you believe they have not apologized for it? I’ve spoken about it with my siblings, and the general consensus is that I manage the issue myself, forget an apology, and move on because I will never get one. But I have a hard time wanting to move forward with someone who can’t admit when they’ve done wrong. Why is the onus on the offended person to always “move on”? Why should I be the one to let go of a transgression someone else made? Where is the accountability? Needless to say, the relationship with this person is strained and stalled, and I’m not quite sure how we can get back to happy without an apology leading the way. Call me petty if you like, but that’s where I stand.

While I agree that holding onto a grudge is like holding onto poison and expecting the other person to die from it, the idea that some people, especially those above a certain age, are above an apology is a little unsettling. No one is exempt from apologizing. Even if you are staunch in your convictions, it means a lot when you take responsibility for upsetting another person and acknowledge that what you may have said or done hurt someone’s feelings or made them feel less than. Relationships have been made and broken by the presence or absence of a simple apology. Oh, and for the record, saying “I’m sorry your feelings were hurt” is not the same as saying “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, that was not my intention.” When offered the other way around, one throws the ball and the other, a.k.a., the offended party, takes ownership. Genuinely taking the time to understand why someone may be hurt or offended by something you say speaks greatly to the regard in which you hold that person’s humanity and your relationship with them. So while I can forgive, I can’t forget — and I shouldn’t be expected to do so in the effort to help someone else avoid taking responsibility for themselves.

How do you feel about apologies? Would you rather not deal with the tension and just move on without receiving one? Or are they a necessary part of your relationships?

When Did Apologizing Go Out of Style?

January 3rd, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Is it just me, or does it seem like apologizing is slowly becoming extinct?  I always wondered why it seems as if it’s almost painful for people to admit fault and to say “I’m sorry.”

I initially saw the decline when I was a child with my own family members.  Whenever people would do something wrong, instead of apologizing to the people they offended, they would just act extremely nice to the person.  If they did something truly heinous you would get your favorite candy bar, or a toy you were eyeing.

This always bothered me, because words always meant so much more to me, and hearing that my feelings were validated meant so much more than just getting a gift to encourage me to “just drop it and let it go.”

Because of this, I over compensated.  I apologized for any and everything that seemed like an imposed offense to others.   Bumping into someone, “I’m sorry.”  Not holding the door if someone was behind me that I didn’t see, “I’m sorry.”  Going through a door that someone holds for me, “I’m sorry.”  I would always get the question of:  “What are you sorry for?” Unless it was a legitimate reason to apologize, I didn’t have a reason for the apologies.  But maybe I was thinking that if I set a good example for rude people, then they’ll rediscover the wonderful feeling that is apologizing; kind of like putting out in the world what you wish to get back sort of thing.

However, apologies have not only refused to come back, but people are even more contentious now.  When people do something wrong, you either get two things:  a justification of why they did what they did (“I would have never punched you and your cat if he hadn’t had looked at me in that way!  So honestly, you need to control your cat!”), or the condescending apology (well, I’m sorry that you feel that way).  Both of them take the responsibility off of them and puts it back on you.  It’s your fault that you caused the unpleasantness, or that you took what was said in a way that was offensive (which, in all honesty, was probably meant to offend you in the first place, but makes you think that you were wrong for thinking what you did).

So why has the apology evolved into these terms?

I can think of only a few things.  For one, some people abuse the apology that is going to be given to them.  They either take the apology and continue not to change.  So people might not want to keep on giving apologies when they have a history of falling on deaf ears.

Another thing that might contribute to the apology diminishing is that the people who have been wronged might not feel that a simple apology is enough.  They want groveling, and to make the person who wronged them to feel if not as bad as they did, but lower.

But on the other hand, it could be that people’s egos have became so inflated by social media, that people are embracing their own pride at the expense of others.  Social media allows you to be a superstar in your own mind, and most superstars who create an issue either have a representative to apologize for them, or they just continue and wait for the hype to die down.  People are taking their examples of how to live life through them, and there goes the apology.

All this is speculation, but either way, the apology is a movement that needs to come back.  If 80s inspired acid wash jeans could come back into style, so can an apology.

Kendra Koger is not sorry for wanting the apology to come back, and you can say so on her twitter @kkoger.

Ask For Forgiveness And Other Ways To Say You’re Sorry

December 18th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

From YourTango

Do you owe someone an apology?

Conflict. Strife. Tension. In love, most individuals want to avoid all the negative feelings associated with disagreements and all out arguments.

When tension arises, are you the person who’s quick to apologize, wanting to sweep everything under the rug so the tension goes away? Or, are you the one who tends to hold that hurt for a while, allowing the offensive words to gain a life of their own?

Most of us identify with one approach or the other when arguments happen in love. However, neither response leads to a true reconciliation that enhances the relationship, leading to a better understanding of each other.

The good news is there a method to apologizing that will not only allow your words to be heard, but also lead to emotional healing. The key is to learn how to ask for forgiveness that conveys the apology in the right way so your words are heard by your significant other.

Asking for forgiveness is a lifestyle choice because a sincere apology carries with it the motivation to turn from the former way which caused the conflict and go in another direction. The trust in your relationship grows when you demonstrate change in your actions and behaviors.

As a relationship coach, I have advised individuals to remember that an overreaction to a comment or situation signals something beneath the surface. What happened in the current moment was the trigger to the reaction. You just put your finger on a hot emotional button.

Read more at YourTango

It’s So Hard to Say…I’m Sorry

April 23rd, 2012 - By Toya Sharee
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RaisingHomemakers.com

I hate when I have a taste for something, only to discover that someone else had the same idea and left none to spare.  This particular Saturday it was a box of Frosted Mini Wheats that my boyfriend decided would make great dinner all week long.  My teased tongue was soon lashing all kinds of insults, many which had nothing to do with breakfast cereal and soon he was digging up every flaw he could find about me to throw in his defense.  I lie to you not; we were cursing each other out over cereal.  It may start with a slick comment, sharp sarcasm or blatant disrespect and before you know it you’re in the midst of a knockdown drag out verbal beat down that leaves both you and your partner furious and full of pride and in opposite corners of the ring licking your wounds and coddling your bruised egos.  Sooner or later that pride can make your relationship feel like a prison while you both play the waiting game to see who will make amends first, because of course that means that person was wrong, the one who is weaker or both.

Sorry isn’t for “suckas” and of course an apology doesn’t make you a loser in the game of love, nor does it mean you are entirely at fault, but it is a first step towards making things right. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the best relationships involve a whole lot of practice apologizing.   Unfortunately when the art of apology is abused, it can become like band-aid on a broken bone: a mockery of a huge problem.  The following tips may make that pride a little sweeter to swallow and help you rectify the situation the right way: