I’m one of those people who says “I’m sorry” so easily and so often that I regularly apologize for stuff that isn’t my fault or something that requires no apology.
That’s why I laughed so much during a recent episode of “And Just Like That…” when Charlotte wouldn’t apologize for knocking Harry over during a competitive tennis game. Things got heated when he confronted her with the number of times she says those two words, “I’m sorry,” to other people and she went off on him. Even though I do think he deserved that apology, I loved seeing her passionately explain herself. “Sorry, not sorry.”
As Ali Trachta describes in her review:“As any good marriage counselor will tell you, fights among longtime couples are rarely about the things that initiated them — this one seems to be more about mansplaining, insecurity and society’s expectation that women always apologize.”
I rarely ask for an apology, because, honestly, what’s the point. If someone doesn’t want to then it means absolutely nothing if you force it.
However, there’s one recent situation in which I’ve told multiple people many times that I deserved an apology from specifically named people and still, crickets. And that’s when I think, “Why can’t I even get the bare minimum two word forced apology?” Especially when everyone agrees mistakes were made in how a situation was handled and I deserved one.
I apologize when it’s difficult and embarrassing, when it means admitting an error or acknowledging inappropriate or unprofessional behavior. For me, accountability is absolutely necessary especially at work and in personal relationships. I am not perfect and when I screw up or do something I regret, I am compelled to “own it” and apologize even if I’m apologizing for my gut reaction to how someone’s words or actions harmed me.
At some point I should search my text messages and emails for “I’m sorry” to see how many times I’ve said it when it was actually needed because of something I did and how often I apologize to someone who’s actually done something wrong to me.
Ever since my twin sister moved in with me this summer, I’ve been more aware of how I apologize to people i care about. We both have unresolved issues with people who have hurt us and never apologized. As identical twins and best friends who live together during difficult times, we often argue and fight, but we also apologize and forgive.
Here are some great resources about how to say, “I’m sorry” both personally and professionally. And, of course, I also have a “I’m sorry” playlist. :)
You're apologizing all wrong. Here's how to say sorry the right way. (NPR)
5 Steps to a Sincere Apology
How to Craft the Perfect Work Apology
How to Apologize Sincerely and Effectively