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Why is it so Hard to Say "I'm Sorry?"

Updated on June 7, 2010

We all make mistakes and, despite our best efforts, none of us are perfect. So why is it so difficult to mutter the words “I’m sorry?” I have watched countless relationships go down the drain simply because those two little words were impossible to say out loud.

There are several different reasons that saying “I’m sorry” is so damn hard to do. First off, when you say “I’m sorry” you’re admitting fault. I don’t know a single person who enjoys admitting they were wrong. In fact, I know many more people who will never admit they were wrong just so that they can avoid admitting that they were at fault. Realizing that you were wrong and made a mistake is not fun. I know, I've had lots of practice.

I think another reason it’s so difficult to say “I’m sorry” is because we’re scared of our apology being rejected. We’re risking the recipient of our apology not forgiving us. Not being forgiven or losing a friend can be scary, especially when it comes from someone you still love, care about and want to maintain a relationship with. Depending on the severity of the event that led up to an apology being needed, often times we risk losing the people that mean the most to us. This can sometimes be such a terrifying gamble that just not saying “I’m sorry” seems easier than what we could possibly lose. In a sense, doing this is just staying in a state of denial. I know that for myself, I tend to think that if I don’t admit that I’ve done anything wrong and don’t apologize then, essentially, I haven’t really done anything wrong- If there is no admission of fault, then there is no need to take responsibility. If it were only that easy! In the long run, this will only cause more damage.

Many people view apologizing is a sign of weakness. Giving an apology is like being the "loser" and the person receiving the apology is the "winner." Apologizing can make us feel vulnerable, or feel like we’re losing power or even control. Sometimes it's our pride or ego that gets in the way.

It comes down to this-Apologies aren't supposed to be easy. That's why, when done right, they are so powerful and rehabilitative. It's hard to admit that we've hurt someone's feelings or caused someone pain, whether it's intentional or not. It's also hard to see ourselves in a less-than-positive light. It requires taking off the blinders we wear and facing our flaws. We all want to feel safe with the people we allow into our hearts. We want to know that the people we are close to care about how we feel and are willing to admit their flaws. When we don’t take responsibility for our mistakes we become untrustworthy and unreliable. Saying “I’m sorry” shows those you love that you care enough about them to take responsibility for your actions. In the end, making things right is way more important than being right.

I’ll leave you with one last thought-----> Have you ever regretted not saying "I'm sorry?"


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    • profile image

      Naime 4 years ago

      It is so hard to do so

    • profile image

      Melgamina abd 6 years ago

      i 100% agree

    • profile image

      sheila 7 years ago

      yieh.., im so sori 4 ol d mstkes.., i knw ivd olredi 2ld u dz.., bt 4 d thngs dat im wrong nd i didn't say sori 2 u.., dn now im telling..., IM SO SORI.., i hope 1 day well b both ok not a lovrs anymore coz im not expkting 8 yet 2 bt kah8 as frndz nlang.., i mz u babe.., jejeje

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

      Good hub....."I'm sorry," isn't said nearly enough and is rarely meant. :)