Apologizing – Why Is It so Difficult?

Have you ever done something wrong? Of course you have; we all have. But what do you do about it?

It may be hard to say goodbye but it is even harder to say that you’re sorry. What is at the heart of this matter?

What goes on when you do something wrong? First there is guilt. Guilt is a horrible feeling that can lead to many destructive habits. One of those habits is denial. Your guilt is so overwhelming that you pretend that nothing ever happened.

Guilt can also have you searching for someone else to take the blame. No one wants to look bad in another person’s eyes, so they find a scapegoat to ease their feelings. Some of these acts are almost second nature when you have done something wrong.

Where It All Begins

It begins with society. Society has a view of those who apologize and it can have an effect on our opinion of the act.

* Weakness – Apologizing can be seen as a defect in your personality. It gives someone else a step over you. If you apologize once you will do it again.

* Admission of guilt – Some people apologize to diffuse a situation. To others, this can be seen as an admission of guilt when you are not guilty at all. Some people are afraid of that.

* Surrender – You are giving over your power to someone else. We have enough people telling us what to do, so we don’t want to voluntarily give that right to someone else.

* Imperfection – Offering an apology may make you feel that something is wrong with you. You made a mistake and are not perfect but an apology brings that to light and you feel woefully inadequate.

The tendency can be to avoid situations where you could make a mistake. In the real world, that can potentially stop you from leaving your house. Each time you interact with someone else there could be a misunderstanding that can lead to an apology needing to be offered.

Here are some ways that you can learn to apologize when you have to without fearing fall-out.

* Do it right away – When we wait to offer an apology, we think of many reasons why we shouldn’t or why we couldn’t. Allay your fears by saying sorry when the incident happens.

* Understand the situation – How would you feel if the same thing happened to you? If you would expect an apology then offer it to someone else. Say what you would want to hear.

* Be sincere – Refrain from prefacing your apology and using words that could render it insincere like “but.” Give your all because anything less will be noticed.

Apologizing is more than saying you are sorry. It is recognizing that someone else has been hurt either intentionally or unintentionally by you. Your timely response can change everything.