So I’ve kind of always been one to grovel. In most of the heated situations that have occurred throughout my young adult life between myself and a friend, I usually jump at the opportunity to apologise so that I can make things all right and rosy again. Although having the ability to say sorry is a valuable one, it is possible to apologise too often. I will often find myself saying sorry for reasons I am unsure of, sometimes even when the circumstances are far from tense or argumentative. I do it so much that people tell me off for it; my response is, of course, to apologise for apologising too much. I think what I have done is I have gradually started to use the word ‘sorry’ as a way to gain validation and confirmation from others that I am acting how I am supposed to in order to be a good and valuable friend.
You may think that this is a completely idiotic and destructive way to navigate my way through life and relationships. You’re probably right. A close friend of mine could quite literally stab me in the back, and whilst gushing with blood my only concern would be to apologise for clearly upsetting them to the point of murderous rage, and ask what I could possibly do to fix things, because surely I must have done something dreadful for them to lash out at me in such a despicable way? No matter how much damage that other person may have done to me, I’ll do what I think I need to do to keep a quiet and drama-free life.
I know that this issue of mine closely relates to my absolutely crippling fear of losing the people I’m close to, as I have never been great with dealing with changes to my personal life. This excludes family members, as I feel that they’re less likely to stop talking to me for reasons such as forgetting to like their latest picture on Instagram or having to cancel on their dogs birthday party at the last minute. Those are exaggerated examples of why a friend could be upset with me, but you get the idea. Family are in it till death do us part – unless I go on a cold-blooded murder spree that puts Ted Bundy to shame. Then I could understand if they didn’t fancy going out to lunch with me anymore.
Basically, what I have begun to learn is this whole ‘apologising for the quickest way out’ thing really is not the best way to go about dealing with situations. Not only do I end up apologising for just being myself and most likely not doing anything wrong, but I end up with all this built up uneasiness inside of me. I have all this hurt and upset that others have (probably unintentionally) caused that I have pushed down deep inside me, because I fear that talking to them about it would lead to them turning on me. When, in reality, the worst they’re gonna do is express that they were unaware that they had hurt me, and then apologise for doing so.
A lot of people, maybe even you reading this, are the complete opposite to me. Many of us find it difficult to find it in us to apologise for something and take accountability for our actions. It may be hard to see that you have anything to apologise for. We’re all so proud and reluctant to admit when we’re in the wrong, that we will go to the greatest of lengths to avoid having to suck it up and face the truth. But saying sorry (when necessary) isn’t something to avoid. It isn’t something to run from. It doesn’t make you weak, or pathetic, or vulnerable. It makes you a good person, and proves that you are mature enough to take responsibility for yourself.
So in conclusion, it’s all about balance. Say sorry when you need to, but only if you actually need to. Take responsibility for your actions, but also understand that you shouldn’t feel the need to apologise for being yourself. That is, unless being yourself means being a serial killer or just a general asshole. Then I suggest reevaluating some things. Maybe try therapy?
I hope you enjoyed this post for whatever reason. I’m totally NOT sorry for how long winded and rant-like it turned out.
Okay, maybe I’m a little bit sorry.
Thanks for reading!