Why Is It Difficult to Say SorryJun 22, 2022
We've all been in situations where we need to apologize to somebody but find ourselves struggling to do so. Maybe we're worried about how the other person will react, or we're embarrassed about what we did wrong. Whatever the reason may be, it can be difficult to say sorry. This blog post will explore why apologizing is challenging for many of us.
A single word that can be very challenging to say
Everybody commits mistakes, and when they do happen, we must make an apology to the person or people affected by our actions. Apologizing means taking responsibility for our errors. However, saying sorry to somebody can be very difficult for some people. One may wonder what makes it challenging to say "I'm sorry" to someone when you only need to utter some simple words. Saying "I'm sorry" is problematic because it has more significant psychological effects on us when we say it to others. It takes courage to make a sincere apology and say sorry to someone. Some people will opt to flee rather than admit and take full responsibility for their mistakes. So why is it so difficult for some of us to say sorry?
Saying sorry is a blow to the ego. Pride is one factor why it can be difficult to apologize to someone we have wronged. For some people, apologizing makes them feel vulnerable and puts them in a lower status compared to the person or people affected by our actions. It's like you are a loser when you say sorry, and the winners are the people on the other side. So what do people do when they don't feel like apologizing? They blame others, deny their actions, or attack the other person to move away from the fault on their side. All of these are for the sake of protecting one's character and ego.
You don't care about the other person's feelings. It's easier to feel guilty when you did something wrong to somebody you care for and is close to you, such as a family member or a friend. However, this may not be the case for people with no relationship with you. For example, accidentally bumping into a stranger while walking and shrugging it off as if nothing happened can be the behavior of someone who doesn't care about people outside his social circle. Some may also give the cold shoulder to people not on good terms with them. To non-apologists, their apologies won't matter to people insignificant to them.
Apologizing is uncomfortable. Saying sorry can feel bad. Apologizing can bring shame and hurt your feelings. If you have a fragile sense of self-worth, you may not be able to handle the emotions and ill effects that come after apologizing. As a result, some people avoid doing it and keep making excuses or hiding to protect their self-esteem. They don't want to experience negative emotions from apologizing and doing actions to solve problems.
Some people tie their mistakes to their character. A single mistake or error is not enough to define a person. However, our society likes to judge people based on a single mistake, especially if it's something significant. No matter how many good things you have done in the past, one error is enough to make it all fall apart. This way of thinking is why some people prefer to cover up their mistakes because it's a big deal to their reputation. Their whole identity is at stake if it goes out to the public that they have committed an error. However, we must realize that a single action will not completely define us as individuals.
Others don't want to take responsibility. Other people consider it a major threat to apologize. By taking ownership of their mistakes, they think that other people will use that opportunity to make them pay for their mistakes and have them do actions that can be uncomfortable for them. But, of course, when you commit an error and apologize for it, you are taking accountability for your mistake, and you must do something to solve the problems you may have created. Others fear that people may take advantage of the situation and use it to make them do their bidding or open up other circumstances from the past to control further or humiliate the doer of the mistake.
Saying sorry is still the way to go.
Seeing the reasons why it is difficult to say sorry to others may make you want to not apologize after all. However, if you want to keep healthy relationships with people and value good morals, you still have to say sorry for any mistake you commit. Prolonging your apology or not doing it at all can only worsen things and further destroy your self-image. Apologies bring some pain initially, but you can feel relieved later knowing your conscience is clear, and you can do something to alleviate the situation of the people affected by your actions. Admitting mistakes is necessary if you still want people to respect you despite knowing you did something that hurt them. It makes you a moral person and allows you to learn so you won't repeat the same error and become a better individual.