Saying Sorry in a Relationship: Put on Your Big Girl & Boy Panties & Apologize!

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Saying sorry or apologizing does make us feel vulnerable. You are putting yourself out there and never know how the recipient of the sorry is going to react, so how could you not feel a little vulnerable? But here’s the thing: It is vital in order for us to have healthy relationships. We all want and need to feel safe with the people we allow into our circle of trust and it is super important that we know the people we are close to care about how we feel and are willing to admit their flaws. So refusing to take any responsibility for wrongdoing or hurt feelings just makes that person seem unsafe or untrustworthy and honestly like they really don’t care too much about the other person involved.

Owning up to the fact that you make mistakes and may have flipped out for no reason shows those you love, that you care enough about them and the relationship to be aware of and take some kind of responsibility for your hurtful actions. In the end, making things right is way more important than being right, unless of course your pride is more important to you than the love and friendships you have between those closest to you in life. We all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. So why is apologizing so effing difficult to do for some? Everyone likes to be the recipient of a heartfelt apology, but most of us basically refuse to give one in return, even when it is so deserved. So why is that?

There are many reasons why saying those two little words “I’m sorry” feels like an impossible feat at times.

  • No one likes to admit they’re wrong, because it’s just no fun to be a loser! But we need to remember, our feeling and the way we treat the ones we care about is not a game. There are no winners and losers and those who live their life as if they have to always win, usually are the biggest losers!
  • Some equate saying “I’m sorry” with admitting they’re inadequate or incompetent, which makes admitting mistakes so much harder to do. But usually all someone who cares about you wants when hurt by you is a simple and meaningful “sorry”. Anyone who would make you feel inadequate or incompetent about admitting your mistake is an asshole and you should reevaluate that relationship anyway!
  • Giving up the power. Some think as soon as the word “sorry” escapes their lips; they have lost the upper hand and this can make some people feel vulnerable, or  like they are in danger of losing their power and status. But seriously, sometimes we need to get out of our heads and just do what we know is right, regardless of your silly pride.
  • Fear of rejection, thinking you may get the cold shoulder, or of not being forgiven or understood. Some people find saying they’re sorry humiliating. Perhaps they were criticized harshly by parents or other toxic relationships growing up, and as a result avoid admitting mistakes because of the horrible memories involved. If this is the case, you should probably talk to a professional and deal with those inner demons in order to have a successful and stable relationship.
  • Very often people feel that initiating an apology is a sign of weakness. Some people prefer to stay in denial. Their logic goes something like this: If you don’t admit you’ve done anything wrong, then it’s almost like not doing anything wrong at all. If there is no admission of fault, then there is no need to take responsibility. This is just retarded, we all know what a bitch denial can be, so if this is you STOP IT! (slap, shake, slap, shake)

The world of life and love would be a much more pleasant place if people stopped viewing the one to say sorry as being the “loser” and the person receiving the apology is the “winner.” The one who is wrong needs to ask forgiveness from the one who is right, but our pride or ego gets in the way at times. Even worse those who lack empathy can have a hard time embracing another person’s feelings or perspective altogether, which makes saying sorry virtually impossible to do because they feel that they have absolutely nothing to feel bad about. This can be destructive for all people involved with this type of individual and I wish them luck.

Apologies aren’t supposed to be easy, but they don’t always necessarily have to be soul-baring, gut-wrenching, and ego-killing.  But when someone you care about, deserves it, it should be given, even if you have to force yourself to say what that person who loves you deserves to hear! That’s why, when done right, they are so powerful and can help rehabilitate almost any rocky situation. It’s hard to admit that we’ve hurt someone’s feelings or caused someone pain, whether it’s intentional or not. It’s also hard to see ourselves in a less-than-positive light. It requires taking off the blinders we wear and facing our flaws.

The problem is life is hard on us at times and we sometimes can take a simple comment or request from those closest to us and blow it up into something completely ridiculous, then we may feel bad, or stupid about being so harsh, which for some makes a simple apology that much harder… The bottom line is pretty simple, regardless of your internal issues and pride, if you know you hurt someone you care about; you suck it up, and say the magic words that can pretty much erase the minor damage done. Refusing to apologize is the equivalent of not acknowledging the fact that you were out of line, and that you hurt someone. This just makes you seem like a jerk, or worse, makes the person on the other end not feel important enough in your eyes to deserve a simple “I’m sorry”

Some people are over apologizers, almost to an annoying point. I am not saying you need to be sorry for everything you do at all times, have some back bone and stop apologizing for who you are. Just know when to draw the line or throw in the towel. If you were wrong and hurt someone you care for, an apology is warranted.  Again we also have the douches who constantly screw up and use “i’m sorry” the way whores use abortion clinics as birth control. That is not cool and I guarantee there is no truth, meaning, or sincerity behind a repeat mess maker/apologizer. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, but be weary of the ones in your life who make the same mistakes over and over because they know an apology is all it will take to be forgiven and given the chance to fuck up again.

In closing, better communication can almost eliminate misunderstandings and the need to have to say sorry. And if you have trouble with the actual word “sorry” and just can’t seem to get it to come out of your mouth, you can say it in thousands of other ways, without actually saying the words. If you care enough to stick around, care enough to apologize for a mistake or negative reaction, even if you felt entitled at the moment.

At the end of the day our egos and stubbornness is not what makes us feel warm and loved, it is knowing someone cares enough about you to swallow their pride and show you that you really matter to them, right or wrong! We should never be afraid to tell our partners, friends, siblings, or parents how we feel. Regardless of whether we feel hurt by their actions or sorry for our own. Anyone who truly cares will always try to understand and be there for you, no matter what.

Be good to the ones who deserve it and expect the same in return.