seems to be the hardest word”. There’s a song by Blue and Elton John with this title. It’s probably true and yet, why is sorry so difficult to say sometimes? Then again, why do some people seem to be apologizing all the time? Let’s dive right in.
I’d like to share a personal perspective and then see how it may apply to a broader audience. Up until a few years ago, I used to apologize almost all the time, even for like the smallest things where apologizing wasn’t really necessary. For example, I’d make a mistake at work or see that someone would get upset/angry from something I did/said. Then, I’d assume automatically that I was at fault somehow and urgently felt the need to apologize. Does this sound familiar to anyone here?
Somewhere along the way, maybe because of my former boss (who kept reminding me not to apologize), this behavior of mine changed. Nowadays, I rarely if ever apologize. Like, I could count the number of times I said “I’m sorry” this year on my fingertips. Is this better or worse? Who can say, it’s just not the same as before.
Anyways, in the past couple of weeks or so, I’ve felt the need to apologize for a few comments I made on other people’s blogs but ended up not doing so. Maybe because this modified behavior has been hard-wired into my neural mechanisms. Not exactly sure how it works or what’s going on in our minds sometimes, but it’s quite fascinating, no?
This brings me to another point – seeing others apologize. It doesn’t exactly feel good to see someone else apologize for something which is actually quite trivial. Moreover, they did nothing which is “technically” wrong, so I try to imagine what’s going on in the other person’s psyche and why are they apologizing? It happened several times recently and it’s quite flabbergasting, to be honest.
On one hand, I just want to reach out and give the other person a hug. Let them know it’s ok. On the other hand, it’s a bit concerning and maybe there’s something deep inside a person which propels them to apologize repeatedly. Like a distorted self-image, how one may feel at fault, worthless, worse than they actually are in reality. Occasionally, I’ve struggled with this too, and it may have transpired in some of my posts here.
In conclusion, there are most likely situations which do deserve an apology, in its sincerest form. Likewise, there are also other moments in our lives which do not require anyone to say, “Sorry”. It’s ultimately a judgement call, which requires perception, a certain aptitude, and brushstroke of wisdom. I feel that a person who truly embraces one’s self knows instinctively when the right moment to apologize is. I don’t know if I’m there yet, but always fighting and working to get there. Would like to leave you with a quote which popped into my head while writing this; thank you for reading and sorry for rambling (just kidding):
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson