Why you should never regret apologizing

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The idea of apologizing to someone may be perceived by many people as a manifestation of weakness of character and a way to admit that one is guilty. Children who are raised in families where genuinely apologizing to others is not a common practice often grow up to become adults who scarcely or never apologize. There are people who never say, ‘I’m sorry’, simply because they think the word is pathetic. Yet, apology is vital in human relationships.

​It is inherent in human nature to consider his/her interest first before those of others; although, this does not mean that we are incapable of showing empathy, nor does it mean we are incapable of understanding the sufferings of others. Humans are just naturally inclined to seek comfort and avoid pain because pain is awful and comfort is pleasant. Humans also tend to be ignorant about a lot of things because none of us is born all-knowing. Our egocentric nature and lack of omniscience therefore make it possible for us to offend other people knowingly or unknowingly.​

When we realize that we have offended other people one way or another, the decent thing to do is apologize and acknowledge our wrong. The mere act of showing apology simply indicates our level of respect and empathy for those we wrong. In other words, it shows that we value other people and consider their feelings. It’s a way of showing that we regret to have caused them pain; we are remorseful of our selfish, rash actions. We don’t want them to suffer because of it; their peace of mind and self-esteem matters to us. We are unable to feel at peace with ourselves because we have hurt somebody else. Therefore, apology is a form of necessary closure; a way to make your soul feel at ease.

One should never regret apologizing, even if those we apologize to choose not to forgive us. The essence of apologizing can be to admit one’s fault, show one’s respect and humanity, show that you understand that other people may be hurt by your action, or bring about a closure that enables you to move on in peace. As long as one is at fault, one should apologize even if the other party does not accept it. It’s in your place to apologize if you ‘think’ you’re in the wrong. But it’s in their place to decide whether they wish to forgive you or not. If they forgive you, that’s good for both of you. If they don’t forgive you, it’s just what it is, and you can choose to move on without having to worry about it.​

Now, apologizing doesn’t necessarily mean that you admit that you are in the wrong; although, it is necessary to apologize if you are in the wrong. Apologizing is a way of showing that you actually care that other people are hurt or in pain because of what you did, even though you did what was best for them. In other words, it’s an acknowledgement that, even if you were mostly in the right, you did not do enough to take account of the other party’s feelings or interests.