Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

#sorry#why people can’t say ‘sorry’#how to say ‘sorry’
The English are renowned across the world for taking the word ‘sorry’ to art form status. In England the word ‘sorry’ can mean…”sorry I didn’t hear you”…“sorry can I get some attention”…”sorry did you mean me”…”….”sorry but I am going to smash your face in right now”. I was in the supermarket the other day and this woman was walking down the aisle looking at the display and not where she was going…she bumped into a concrete pillar. She looked up…saw that it was concrete pillar…said ‘sorry’ and continued on her way. The word ‘sorry’ is an Anglo Saxon word ‘sarig’ which means sorrow, distress and grief. Its meaning is more than an apology. Perhaps the English are using in the broader sense of the word.

The English aside; Nobody really likes saying sorry. Saying ‘sorry’ is an admission of defeat…being less than perfect…getting it wrong…being human.

Some people have a pathological aversion to saying sorry which means they are unable to control their behaviour in this regard.

The person who cannot say ‘sorry’ has a fragile self-esteem. Their self-esteem is based on being right and perfect all the time. The inability to say ‘sorry’ is an ego defence mechanism. It is so powerful in some people that they would prefer to lose a friendship than admit to any short comings on their part.

Their whole personality is formed around being right and so they cannot distinguish between being wrong and doing wrong. They cannot separate their actions from their character. Most people can say ‘I was wrong’ and move on. These people cannot because if they admit to being wrong it is the same as admitting to being a bad person. Since in their mind they are perfect then they cannot be wrong.

-To the non-apologist saying ‘sorry’ is very threatening for them because it opens them up to emotions they do not like or understand within themselves. These emotions they misinterpret as signs of weakness and because of that they feel humiliation and shame if they are required to say ‘sorry’.

-They are often comfortable with anger, irritability, being emotional distant, or having a tough exterior but emotional closeness and vulnerability is extremely difficult for them.

-They fear that by saying they were wrong will mean that they lose their superior status. They also fear that people will see them as a soft touch…and blame them for everything. Past, present and future.

-They view giving an apology in very black-and-white terms. Giving an apology is like being the “loser” and the person receiving the apology is the “winner.”

Non-apologist would rather commit hari-kari than say ‘sorry’.

-They may avoid the topic refusing to recognise how important the incident was to you.

-They bring up all sorts of occasion where you may have been in the wrong to justify their behaviour.

-They suggest that it is stuff going on in your life which is making you super sensitive.

-They goad you in to an argument or discussion where they set it up that you end up saying ‘sorry’ to them for something you said in anger. Then they can say something like “since you said sorry to me I’ll say ‘sorry’ to you…and now we are even”.


Why saying ‘sorry’ is important to a relationship. If someone has done something that you didn’t appreciate and they do not say ‘sorry’ when it is brought to their attention, then their non- acceptance of their behaviour is tantamount to non-acceptance of you. Their behaviour affects the health of the relationship and the friendship will wither and die. Eventually! The friendship cannot continue as it was, because it is obvious that you both have different values… you both have different ideas of what is right and wrong… and you both have difference ideas of what is acceptable behaviour. You may have thought that the friendship was real. Not so for your friend. Their friendship was based on ego, pride and distortions of the truth.

What the person who can’t say ‘sorry’ fails to understand is that it isn’t about who’s right or wrong. It’s about the relationship. The ability to say ‘sorry’ is a statement of how much you value the relationship. It also speaks to the integrity of the relationship. How honest the relationship is and how strong it is.

What saying ‘sorry’ says about you

Just by saying ‘I am sorry’ it shows: 1) Maturity 2) Responsibility 3) Accountability for your actions. 4) That you respect the other person values and boundaries. 5) That you respect the person’s right to feel how they feel. 6) Courage.

Why you should always say ‘sorry’

Without apologising there can be no forgiveness and so there can be no reparation. The ability to say ‘sorry’ is a compliment because it demonstrates that you accept the person. Saying sorry doesn’t mean you made a mistake it means that you take the relationship that you have seriously and that the relationship is more important than your pride.

Saying sorry when you have hurt someone or made a mistake is supposed to be hard. It is supposed to make you feel vulnerable and it is supposed to make you feel awkward. How else is the other person going to get the feeling that you really mean it?

Being able to say ‘sorry’ when you have messed up means that you have transcended your ego…and that is a good thing.

The person who cannot acknowledge when they have hurt or offended someone is out of touch with their feeling and the feelings of others. To be able to say ‘sorry’ shows sensibility, empathy and compassion.

So do not waste your time getting frustrated or feeling insulted with the non- apologist for not being able to say ‘sorry’. They cannot help it.

Instead…feel sorry for the sorry people who cannot say ‘sorry’!

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