4 Things To Consider When Saying SORRY

4 Things To Consider When Saying SORRY

Saying I’m sorry isn’t easy for most and unfortunately many are unaware of how to properly deliver an apology. For the most part men have a harder time with this than women because number one, empathy comes more natural to us since it’s a feminine trait. We are literally wired to be more in tune with our feelings which makes it easier for us to empathize.

That doesn’t mean men don’t have the capability it just doesn’t come as natural to them. And, number two, men typically don’t like to admit when they’ve “messed up”, especially if it involves hurting someone’s feelings. This is particularly difficult for very “masculine” men. It makes them uncomfortable, so they end up not saying anything which makes it seem like they don’t care. This drives most women crazy. The truth is, most of the time, they just don’t know what to say.

When you’re in a relationship it’s next to impossible for you and your partner to always say and do the right thing, so if you are uncomfortable with owning your mistakes then you better start stepping out of your comfort zone. If you plan on having healthy relationships it will be essential for you to learn how to properly apologize. This rule applies to family, friends and co-workers.

Being able to apologize creates more room for love and makes both of you feel better. Remember stubbornness never earns you brownie points and it certainly doesn’t ease the tension. Some of us don’t have issues with saying sorry, but if you keep saying sorry for the same things it can be equally damaging. It shows a lack of respect and creates trust problems in the relationship.

Owning your mistakes and apologizing is an admirable quality, so is being able to accept an apology and move on. If someone sincerely says sorry we shouldn’t drag them through the mud again and again. If you choose to accept it then you must be willing to let it go, otherwise they feel “punished” for doing the right thing. Be especially careful of doing this to men. Always show appreciation and gratitude when they apologize properly, it’s encouraging and will leave them with a positive subconscious cue to repeat the behavior in the future.

Sidenote: If someone repeatedly commits the same “offense” and is always apologizing for the same thing it’s a sign they aren’t truly remorseful and they don’t respect your feelings. You could use some guidance to assist you in learning how to create healthy boundaries with your partner. 

4 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SAYING SORRY-

An apology should always be sincere and genuine and the best way to convey that is by taking the following into consideration:

1. TIMING: The best thing you could do is immediately own it once you recognize your wrong doing. Don’t wait because it only creates more resentment and disappointment in the other person. The longer it takes for a man to say sorry the more hurt we usually are. They think, “she’s upset so I better stay away” which is usually not what women want. Men, on the other hand, usually need some alone time when they are hurt, mad, disappointed etc. My suggestion to women is if you go say sorry and they need more “cave time”, be respectful and give it to them without giving an attitude. They will come around when they are ready.

Realize we can’t always expect things to be “back to normal” soon after we apologize. This goes both ways. So ladies, if your man says sorry before you have finished processing your feelings that’s ok, just be sure to say, “thank you for saying sorry it means a lot to me but I need more alone time. I will come to you when I’m ready.”

2. BE SPECIFIC: Saying “I’m sorry for hurting you”, or “I’m sorry for upsetting you” is nice (and it’s better than nothing), but it leaves a bigger impact when you can specify what exactly you’re sorry for, especially on women. This lets the other person know you understand exactly what caused their discomfort. This leaves no room for confusion and hopefully they store it in the memory bank so it doesn’t happen again.

3. TONE: When you are genuinely remorseful there shouldn’t be any attitude in your delivery. If there is then the person will easily detect it and they won’t “feel” your apology is sincere. This is usually more damaging than not saying sorry at all. Also, any defensiveness or necessity to justify your actions diminishes the apology.

4. EYE CONTACT: When possible an apology is always best when done in person. If you must apologize via a call, email or text it’s always best to say it again face to face especially if it’s your partner, or someone you’re close to. A hug is always a nice touch.

Remember, don’t ever let pride or fear keep you from saying I’m sorry. It takes strength and humility to admit when we’ve made a mistake so next time, instead of hoping the other person will just “get over it”, do the right thing and say, “I’m sorry”.

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1 Comment
  1. Well written. I love how you captured the cultural role differences between the male and female apology process. This is really important for the opposite sex to understand. As a female, I never realized this until my early 30s. I have always been the type to deal with things right away and wouldn’t need any alone time to “think about it” or “mentally decompress.” I just thought, hey let’s deal with it right here, right now so we can just move on with normal life.

    I have also learned not to be frustrated if the man doesn’t say anything. I used to get upset and sometimes have felt resentment build up, but it wasn’t until I learned that men are different when dealing with emotions versus women, and that it is totally just fine. Women, I think naturally, fear that it somehow ends up being “their fault” when there is silence. I don’t know where this comes from, but that’s a reason why I feel it drives women crazy.

    I’ve also felt that anything can be solved if using the right TONE of voice with each other. We’ve seen siblings fight, we’ve seen coworkers fight, and obviously have seen partners fight. No one is going to solve anything if the frustration is delivered by flipping he or she the bird. We all get frustrated with each other at some point, and it’s normal. From experience, I’ve always approached tension with “Hey honey, I love you. When is a good time we can both try and figure out a team solution to keep the house clean.”

    Last but not least, when saying we’re sorry to each other, we have to remember you and your partner are on the SAME TEAM, so the solution has to work for both parties. This build a higher mutual respect for the relationship which equals higher quality. Again, fantastic insight.

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Janie Terrazas The Mindfulness Coach 940-29-LOVEU (56838)
info@janieterrazas.com

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