Why Is It So Hard To Say “I’m Sorry?”
By: Beth McHugh 2007
Most people find it pretty hard to apologize. Why is this? We do something wrong, we acknowledge to ourselves that we have done something wrong, and yet we may still find it hard to get those two little words out from between our pursed lips. So, why is it so hard to apologize?
Everyone makes mistakes. To deny that is to be out of touch with reality. So why are we so hard on ourselves when the time comes to say “I’m sorry”? One of the common mistakes that people often make when it comes to making an apology is that they believe that if they admit to making a mistake, it somehow makes them less of a person. To say sorry makes them feel worthless.
If a person forgets to do something for another, or says something hurtful to a loved one, it’s obviously time for an apology. But to many, apologizing is a sign of weakness. But the truth is exactly the opposite. The ability to apologize says many things about a person. One is that they can freely acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions. Two, they can understand and appreciate the hurt they caused another. Three, they are genuinely remorseful for their actions.
One of the problems that people often get bound up in is that they think that admitting to a mistake makes them a globally bad person. Yet this is really just an advanced case of overgeneralizing. One mistake is just that: one mistake. It does not imply that there is anything else wrong with the person, nor does it mean that the person is wholly bad. It just means that they made one stuff-up. And who hasn’t?
The ability to apologize quickly and genuinely, with an emphasis on
acknowledging the hurtful effect your actions caused others is a great
life skill to possess. Working on it will not only improve your own
self esteem, but increase your circle of appreciative friends!