“Sorry” is one of the first words that children learn, but despite this, some adults refuse to say it, even when they are wrong. One question - why?
“Sorry” is the most difficult word. For some people, it is so difficult to apologize that, even forcing them to confess to the most fearless misstep, you force them to fight with themselves, and more often than not, to no avail. We could take this refusal of an apology as a mere defense or pride, but the problem lies much deeper: the refusal to apologize often reflects efforts to protect fragile self-esteem.
Apologies can vary greatly in their significance: when our “not apologetic people” bump into someone in a crowd, they will mumble “sorry” without a second thought. But the same person, arguing with his wife about the right way, can shout: “I tell you, the navigator shows the wrong! Turn left! ”, And then, having learned that the navigator was right after all, will avoid apologies, justifying himself by saying that“ the navigator still showed half the way wrong is not my fault ”.
Also, when our actions (or inaction) cause harm to someone, emotional stress, or significant inconvenience, most of us just quickly bring sincere apologies, because they are justified, and because this is the best way to get forgiveness and smooth your guilt. But in the same situations, our “non-apologetic people” come up with excuses and deny everything in order to evade their responsibility. Why?
Why do these people avoid apologies?
Asking for forgiveness, such people experience psychological consequences that go much deeper than these very words imply; this causes those fundamental fears (conscious and subconscious), which they are desperately trying to avoid:
- Apologies are very difficult for them, because they have difficulty in separating their actions from their character. If they did something bad, they consider themselves bad people; if they were inattentive, then they are selfish and indifferent in life; if they make a mistake, then they are stupid and illiterate, and so on. Therefore, apologies pose a serious threat to their sense of individuality and self-esteem.
- For many of us, an apology is a confession of guilt, but for them, a feeling of shame. Guilt makes us regret our wrongdoing, and their sense of shame makes you feel like bad people, and that makes shame a much more unpleasant feeling than guilt.
- While many of us perceive an apology as a way to avoid interpersonal conflict, “non-apologetic people” believe that, having apologized, they will receive even more accusations and reproaches. As soon as they ask for forgiveness for one of their misdeeds, other people will start to fall asleep them with accusations for past mistakes for which they have not apologized.
- These people believe that having admitted their guilt, they will take all the responsibility on themselves and release the other side from it. For example, in an argument with his wife, offering their apologies, they will release her from accepting and guilty, despite the fact that usually in almost every quarrel both are to blame.
- Refusing to apologize, they try to manage their emotions. Most often, they are satisfied with anger, irritability and distance, while emotional intimacy and vulnerability seem very threatening to them. They fear that, by slightly lowering the barriers, their psychological defenses will begin to collapse, feelings of sadness and despair will flood them, which will leave them powerless to stop it. Perhaps in this they are right. But they are definitely wrong in showing these deep emotions (as long as they receive support, love and care) —that is dangerous and can harm them. Opening in this way is often beneficial and has a therapeutic effect, and also usually leads to even greater emotional intimacy and trust in another person.