The 3 Stages Of Giving A Sincere Apology, As Told By A Former People Pleaser

by Arielle Lana LeJarde

I'm a people pleaser. I've wanted to be accepted by the ones around me my whole life. Hell, I went so far as to pledge a sorority to do so.

It wasn't until recently that I realized I'm worth more than trying to mold myself to be whatever other people wanted. I was the funny girl, the nice girl, the one who paid for other people's meals. Sure, these were things I enjoyed doing, but it was for all the wrong reasons.

When you're a people pleaser, people take advantage of you. They think they can treat you like sh*t because you'll do anything to keep them in your life. And for me, this was true. I allowed people to walk all over me, give me excuses and I'd pretend everything was OK as long as I still had “friends.” I let people treat me like sh*t because I treated myself like sh*t.

I'm done with all of that now. I'm done vying for acceptance for people who will never truly accept me. I'm done being an option to people who I make a priority. I'm done accepting half-assed, so called "apologies."

One thing I learned is you have to say no. You have to make decisions for yourself and stick to them, not to be an asshole, but because it's the right thing to do for you. Along with this, just because people are sorry, doesn't mean you have to accept their apology. You can say no to that, too.

I am open to apologies, and I am a very forgiving person, but only when the apology is real. Here are three parts to a true apology:

1. I'm sorry.

People think that saying sorry is all there is to an apology, but that's not true. While manning up and saying the words is a good start, it's just scratching the surface.

2. It's my fault.

The point of an apology is to take responsibility for what you've done. If you're not sorry, then don't say it in the first place. Even Justin Bieber says sorry because he knows he let you down.

The worst kind of apology is one that goes along the lines of “I'm sorry you...” When did this apology become about me? I thought this was about you and what you've done. I recently had someone tell me, “I'm sorry you feel that way.” Don't be sorry about the way I feel. If I were sorry about the way I feel, I would be apologizing. So, why are you apologizing for my emotions?

3. What can I do to make it right?

Some people can come up with a solution and say, “Here's what I will to do make things right.” But for me, the resolution of an apology is whether or not the person accepts fault, and accepts that the other person honestly doesn't have to. You're the one who f*cked up, so deal with the repercussions.

I think that a major part of being sorry means you're not going to do it again. How many times do you ask for forgiveness, knowing you're just going to repeat the same actions?

I need to stop apologizing for things I'm not sorry for. If you're not sorry for what you've done, then don't lie about it. Don't give someone a fake apology just so you can feel better about the situation, or so to make yourself look better to other people.

Being a forgiving person is an honorable trait, and it should be valued. But if you're not sorry for something you've said or done, don't apologize. If you aren't going to forgive, then don't accept an apology. It's as simple as that.