Home Personal Development Everything I’m So, So Sorry About (and Why I Think Apologies Are Hard)

Everything I’m So, So Sorry About (and Why I Think Apologies Are Hard)

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“There’s a reflection of light in the darkness that’s so beautiful. And I think seeing the light in the dark is what makes the experience of being human so essential.” ~ Emile Ferris

I was teaching yoga training in a small Greek village near the Aegean Sea. One of her trainees was practicing her mindfulness workshop that she devised. She led us through a guided meditation based on a beautiful Hawaiian practice for reconciliation and forgiveness called Ho’oponopono. As we sat in the yoga space, she repeated over and over:

I love you.
please forgive me.
thank you.

There was something about what she said slowly. So I’m sorry.” My heart felt like it would burst, and tears flowed from the depths of it.

Deep inside I carry a source of personal and social hurt. So sorry.

I apologize that children and animals are being abused for no other reason than adult entertainment or illness.

It is unfortunate that women and children are sexually abused and raped by men whose brains cannot process compassion, and that their desire for power is so destructive that their actions can be justified. think.

I regret that people are not given equal access to food, education and health care because of their skin color or prejudices.

We apologize for the learning bias that prevents us from treating everyone equally.

Sorry kids don’t tell adults they were bullied and build their self-esteem based on shame about how they were treated by their peers.

I’m sorry daughters whose mothers try to keep them small.

To the boys who were told not to cry, I’m sorry.

Sorry to say I’m sorry, but sometimes it’s too vulnerable.

I’m always sorry that I said or did something that hurt people in an attempt to make myself look better.


sorry vulnerability

Saying sorry is a vulnerable place. We have to admit that we weren’t perfect. We have to admit we made a mistake.

At times, I would run through my head desperately looking for a way to justify my actions so that I didn’t have to apologize for feeling so vulnerable. Not apologizing can be the default, even in relationships that you thought you were.

During the pandemic, I had COVID-19 and had to call and tell people I was around. It was hard. One of my friends was very angry with me. She spent a lot of time alone during the holidays, so she made plans for New Year’s Eve.

I didn’t blame her for being angry. Isolation was driving us all crazy. I am very sorry. She apologized for her anger and was unpleasant to hear. Her friendship was worth more than the temporary discomfort of dealing with disappointment.

Those of us who have made a mistake need to own the fault and the apology, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel, if we want the relationship to go deeper. .

We all know people who never say “I’m sorry”. Or, more worrisome, they feel beyond reproach.

Cindy Frantz, a professor of psychology and environmental studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory, says that when you do something wrong and avoid responsibility by not admitting your mistake, the interaction feels incomplete. I’m here.

I know from experience that waiting for an apology can leave the relationship feeling like it’s hanging in the air, waiting to be grounded.

She also added, “Don’t apologize as a way to stop the conversation and wipe the slate clean. It’s a shortcut that doesn’t work.”

When it’s not safe to say sorry

Some people use our apologies against us. Self-preservation may be the best choice when dealing with someone with mental health or abuse issues. It can affect how we feel about ourselves.

In the 80’s, I was on a 12-step program for an eating disorder. Compensating my parents for all the extra food I ate to exacerbate my bulimia prevented me from fully completing the fifth step. Now that I’m in my 60s, I can, but my parents are dead.

I found some solace in apologizing “mentally”. I am still in the process of completely letting go of conversations I wish I had.

excessive apology

I was in a coffee shop writing this article when I overheard the conversation. A man asked a woman if she could reach across to her to get a chessboard from the shelf next to her. “said. his friend told her It is he who is causing you trouble. ”

Like this woman, apologizing gives me so much freedom.

Instead of saying, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” say something like, “Sorry to bother you.” It could be a sign of your self-esteem or the habits you picked up when you weren’t confident.

Research shows that women report more apologies than men, but there is no evidence that women commit more crimes than men.

For women, overly apologizing may just be a matter of the language they’ve learned. we, or apologize for being late rather than thanking us for waiting, or just saying no when someone crossed our boundary. This could be a sign of self-esteem challenge.

Listening to repeated apologies literally lowers yourself into low self-worth.

A sincere apology

A sincere apology can be made when you know that your mistakes are just part of being human. I really don’t want to hurt others. I don’t want them to suffer with my words and actions.

If you forgive yourself for not being perfect, you can offer a sincere apology. I try to learn from my mistakes and apply insights to my future reactions and actions.

Psychotherapist Sarah Kubrick says a true apology is more than a statement. It must be sincere, vulnerable and purposeful. She offers the following recipe for apology.

  1. take responsibility for a mistake
  2. admit to hurting someone
  3. validate their feelings
  4. Expression of remorse
  5. Clarify our desire to make amends

Apology as a confidence test

I know I have confidence when I apologize from the bottom of my heart. No one is beyond making mistakes. I know my spiritual growth depends on my ability to be vulnerable.

I keep learning new ways of communicating that don’t involve taking up space or overly apologizing for being a normal human being. I know. This is how we live consciously and compassionately in this community.

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