No More Sorry, Not Sorry: Why We All Need To Apologize More Often
I'll wait, even if it takes years.
There is just something special, meaningful and freeing about an apology. Years ago, I read on a Dove chocolate wrapper that the phrases not used enough are “thank you” and “I love you.” The statement impacted me, and there's one more phrase I think we need to add: “I’m sorry.”
It feels as though we are becoming more and more of an unapologetic society. Sorry, not sorry. We say things like, "I am not going to apologize for who I am, whom I love, what I do, what I like..."
I get it; I feel the same way, but what about our actions and words that hurt others?
It seems we have become so unapologetic, we have almost forgotten how to apologize at all. It’s a hard thing to do, and now, more than ever, we don’t like to do hard things. We would rather cut corners, take the easier route, the faster road, whatever we can do not to break a sweat.
And, we also tend to not like confrontation. We don’t like to feel uncomfortable.
I hope we all learned the fundamentals of apologizing at a young age. Maybe, when you were at recess and you were mean to a classmate, your teacher told you to say sorry.
As adults, we aren’t on the playground anymore. We don’t necessarily have teachers and parents to run to when we are upset.
There have been times the little girl in me would be so hurt and upset, I would be tempted to contact the people who hurt me and demand an apology. Because, damn it, I felt like I deserved one.
Then, I remind myself it shouldn’t work that way. I won't ask for an apology, especially if it’s not sincere.
So, I wait.
I daydream about the day I would unexpectedly receive an apology, whether in a random phone call, email, text or Facebook message. Sometimes, I feel it will eventually happen, and when the daydream comes true, it feels amazing.
I have found, through my personal experience, that apologies open up doors for much-needed communication with another person.
Communication is key, right? You finally get the moment to explain how you felt, how it affected you and so on. I like to allow other people to tell their side of the story; it should be therapeutic for both parties.
There is a freeing feeling that comes with the apology because you finally get to say the things you have repeatedly rehearsed in your mind. The anger, disappointment, hurt and frustration start to slip away.
I want everyone to think and reflect back: Is there someone to whom you may owe an apology? Do you think it is about time you pay this person a call, a letter or an email? I know, it will be hard and uncomfortable, but it will be worth it.
It will be like that tough workout, when you want to call it quits, but you keep pushing and then feel accomplished after surviving it, after all. It’s like that load of laundry you know you need to fold and put away, but don’t feel like touching and then after the few minutes the chore takes, you feel a little less cluttered.
I will continue to hope everyone gets the apologies they deserve. I have received apologies I longed for and needed, and I wish for everyone to experience that same feeling.
Pick up the phone, put the pen to paper, or click “compose” on that email. Take the step to start. Say, write or type the big two words: “I’m sorry.”