Word Art: Apologizing

An apology usually means something. It is about sincerity and compassion. It is about empathy and love. An apology should never be given freely, easily, or too frequently because it loses its value; the purpose and effect of apologizing is lost. It is like anything else that concerns human appreciation: special acts or behaviors are deemed more valuable than daily occurrences. In acknowledgment of the value in saying “sorry,” it is critical to understand when an apology should or should not be given.

It is often difficult to apologize in the first place for some, but it is equally as challenging to stop apologizing for all negative situations or encounters an individual faces. The words “I am sorry” should only be muttered if the person apologizing truly means them. It should not be a phrase that is utilized as an excuse to get out of a situation or to lessen an awkward feeling. It is important not to throw the word “sorry” around because it can devalue our self esteem, make us feel taken advantage of and believe we are to blame due to illogical reasons. However, as an inferred note, it is acceptable to apologize for courtesy if a stranger’s shoe is stepped on or an accidental spill splashes its way on your date’s shirt.

Though there is a variety of instances that may encourage an apology, there seems to be one leading reason as to why it should be implemented: engaging in an act that does not coincide with personal morals.

When this occurs, there seems to be dissonance within the mind. Whether it is an argument with a friend or wrongfully teasing someone, if the behavior goes against a personal value, then an apology helps ease an individual’s guilt as well as tension with the other person involved. Furthermore, the apology becomes more sincere when it is properly constructed for the specific situation. An apology is not a one size fits all approach, but it can vary in length depending on the severity of the situation.

A long apology is heartfelt and meant for those who are closest to our hearts; it is an act of love, kindness and forgiveness. In this manner, “I’m sorry” simply does not cut it. The apology becomes the remedy for the issue between the parties involved. The apology should include details of the situation, understanding both views, and offering a conclusion that benefits both sides. It should be the product of working together rather than against one another.

On the other hand, a short apology is required in less serious situations. When you perform an action that only compromises your values a little, then the apology should be of that magnitude. However, these can occur almost daily in the workplace, school, or at home, so the words used need to be adjusted to avoid developing a negative view of the self. In other words, saying “sorry” is enough most of the time, but it can become redundant, depreciating its worth. It is then more advantageous to use the phrases “it is my wrongdoing that,” “it is my bad that,” “I was not justifiable in,” “I feel guilty for,” “I feel ashamed for,” and so forth. Moreover, it is also beneficial to reverse the feeling of culpability with gratitude: “thank you for dealing with me when I” “I am grateful that you understand that I didn’t mean to,” “I appreciate that you recognize I made a mistake when.” In these ways, the apology is implicitly stated, but still manages to emphasize its intent to fix a situation without degrading one’s worth or sacrificing vulnerability. This is especially crucial in instances where both people do not know each other that well and are still fearful in being completely open, yet respect and care for one another.

Most times, an apology can make all the difference in the world, but it is difficult to remember that at times. It is hard and daunting to admit to our faults. We are afraid of rejection and want to refrain from feeling that sacrificing our ego was a waste of precious time and energy. As a society, we have been taught to usually apologize in the form of “I am sorry,” but there are many other options. By choosing from such a variety, apologizing becomes less intimidating. We are able to free ourselves from feeling judged or humiliated because we are able to voice ourselves in a way that controls the amount of vulnerability we portray. This then brings us closer to strangers, to loved ones, to coworkers and classmates, to whoever it may concern. Apologizing becomes less of a task; it becomes natural rather than something on a checklist of other chores. The fear is lessened and we begin to reap the benefits of kindness, of keeping our morals in check, and moving on in a healthy manner that heals both the soul and mind.

Now, I could say sorry for writing so much, but we all know I’m really not sorry for that, so I shall say thank you instead.

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