Apologizing: Strength or Weakness?

Some people have a difficult time apologizing.  It has always come easy to me and non-apologists have intrigued me for years.  I cannot understand the mindset of being reluctant to apologize.  I view apologizing as a sign of high character and strength, but not everyone sees it that way.



Big Dreamer


35 thoughts on “Apologizing: Strength or Weakness?

  1. I see apologizing as a weakness and unnecessary – apology is just an excuse for committing a wrong. Saying “I’m sorry” does not change the wrong or fix it – try this exercise: throw a plate on the floor {it breaks} no apologize to the plate {you feel less guilt by admitting you were wrong to break the plate {guess what…its still broken}. Who feels better, the plate or you? indeed.

    1. Interesting view. Hypothetical situation: you start an argument with someone because you are in a foul mood. The person that you are arguing with did nothing to warrant being fussed at. You feel no need to go to that person and apologize for your actions?

      1. No, I might say “Excuse me, I’m very opinionated about XYZ,” if they seemed shocked. But no, I would not apologize for being in a bad mood – I don’t see a purpose in it.

      2. The military had a lot to do with it. One of my flight did something stupid {escapes me now, but it was a simple mistake – saying “Yes Sir!” to a woman out of fear/pressure/human error possibly}. The member apologized, and the instructor told us to never be sorry. That it was obvious she didn’t mean to perform the discretion, why state error as an emotion? It is human to err, never be “sorry” for presenting an excuse. Instead, aim to live with no errors and few excuses.

      3. Yes, in realistic means, but not emotionally. If lets say, I worked on X’s car and the wheels fell off {because I’m a writer not a mechanic} I would follow basic steps to repair the car and damages in efforts to right my mistake. The fixed car would be the solution, not me saying sorry to X.

      4. Ok. But let’s say you say something that hurts someone’s feelings even if you did it was not your intention. The person comes to you and explains the situation. How do you handle this person?

      5. Avoidance, more than likely. Confrontation is uncomfortable, and I rarely feel obligated to commit to other people’s emotions as emotions themselves are unpredictable and not to be trusted

      6. Relationships must be maintained, meaning they require effort from both parties. It is my opinion that apologizing when I do something to hurt another person is a sign of great character. I think you would benefit from spending time in deep contemplation and introspection regarding your view on apologizing. It seems you received some very bad advice somewhere along the line. But then again, it is your life to live. Only providing another perspective.

      7. Yes, but I’m not sure this strain is any more severe than others dealing with separate issues. The heavier burden falls to me as I try to be as errorless as conceivably possible. It’s not that I’m a monster spun out of control but the opposite – I attempt heavy control of my personal actions and comments. In efforts to strive for the “right” thing I often end up doing nothing at all in avoidance of shattering someone else’s experience. I limit myself as means to reduce the damage to others.

  2. I have no problem apologizing, if it is merited. People who cannot apologize and face/work to resolve wrongs have no conscience or self worth. These types are doomed to fail in relationships or at the least–have a difficult emotional life. I have also seen a sense of selfishness in such people who are not sorry for anything done wrong.

  3. I’ve been enjoying your series on apologies, as you know I’ve been on the same wavelength. I just want you to know that I am always engaged by your posts. I try to read many blogs, but when I see yours come up on the reader I get hooked in right away!

  4. I have found in my life that people sometimes take advantage of people who are willing to apologize since they view it as weakness. But as much as it takes strength to apologize it takes equal strength to learn to accept apologies and offer forgiveness. I find that people who are unwilling to apologize are also people who often are unwilling to forgive

    1. I do believe their are deeper reasons behind being unapologetic: insecurity, low self esteem, ignorance, selfishness, etc. And the issues manifest themselves in a variety of ways. As you have mentioned, one can be being unforgiving and not want to apologize. The behavior from a psychological stand point is fascinating. The reality of it is frustrating! lol

      1. I think the ability to apologize is also a sign of an empathetic individual. You are right it is frustrating to interact with people who are too stubborn to admit their mistakes. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

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