Riddle me this – what's something we all like to receive, but never like to give? If your first thought was money, you're on the right track! Interpersonally however, there's something much less superficial we dislike giving, and that's the word "sorry." May it be a reaction to guilt, an offer of condolence or a realization of poor decision making, the word sorry brings forth a plethora of connotations that put our dignity at risk – a situation we never like to find ourselves in. Fortunately, if we concentrate enough and find the right balance of confidence and moral ethics, there are ways we can avoid ever having to use this five letter word.
1. Nothing Can Change The Past
As adults we have all made regretful decisions, and, fortunately, survived them. We know how to move on and to accept the consequences of the past. You know this, and the person you are dealing with knows this. So, why should we say sorry? There are ways to apologize for poor decision making without having to use the word sorry. Instead, recognize that you could have chosen a different path, but defend the reason you went the way you did. It will clarify the situation and help alleviate any heavy confrontation by leveraging the situation.
2. You Are Not Really Sorry For Anything
We are all on this earth enjoying a great life, and we all know that eventually it must come to an end. Our grievances during the stage of death are not to be taken for granted. We lose people that are very special to us, and as we age it happens at a much more prevalent pace. It is automatic verbatim for us to extend our "apologies" at the passing of a friend's relative, but, why? What exactly are we sorry for? There are different expressions we could use to alleviate stress. Try acknowledging the wonderful life they lived, and the fortune that we are all still here to enjoy their familial legacy. It respects the dead and gives homage to the future.
3. You Did Nothing Wrong
The truth is, it's hard to be in a relationship. When you are close with another person, your emotions and experiences are intertwined at a distinctly intimate level. When we err, we often find ourselves apologizing for nothing we did wrong in the first place! And the worst part is, we know it.
If we are in an asian culture, we would call this "saving face." But we don't have to save, or lose face, if we are mature adults who can see the forest for the trees. We are not children anymore, and part of growing up is developing mature and sound relationships. In this perspective, if we can propagate a relationship built on foundations of trust and honour, we will find that we will never have to apologize for anything because we know that the other person made their decision for a reason and we can understand it civilly.
4. Accepting Defeat Conversely
There are some things we cannot repair so quickly. Some decisions we make are impulsive, worthy of regret, made outside a healthy frame of mind, or a bit more selfish than we intended. That's ok – no one is perfect. Fortunately, if we can mature to a reasonable level and be able to accept the consequences of all of our decisions, we can recognize the long term effects and be able to act positively on it. Instead of saying sorry, to ourselves our to others, we can bow our head, consider the effects of our choice, and immediately begin reparations for a better, and wiser future.
Remember, every opportunity to say sorry is a learning experience.
5. Believe In Yourself
If you examine your circle of friends and acquaintances, take a mental poll of who and when certain individuals say sorry. I guarantee that you will find that your most confident friends say sorry less. Why is this? It is easy to write it off as arrogance – perhaps these people have personalities that come off as too strong, or their assuredness seems too poignant. But most likely they are not arrogant people – they are confident people. They have strong personalities because they are proud to believe in the morals they have grown into, and can defend their decision making with rational explanations. In the event of err, "sorry," will not be heard, but instead a sound and methodical explanation can be heard to back up their opinion. Whether you agree with them or not is up to your moral fabric, but they did not have to sacrifice their moral pillar to do so.