apologizing too much

sometimes people Google questions that lead them to my blog.  only they are questions i haven’t actually answered or at least have not answered sufficiently.  this is one:

“is it right to be apologizing all the time in a relationship?”


you’re welcome.  have a nice day.

sharideth, you’ve really just given up entirely, haven’t you?


i haven’t.

“no” really is the answer.

okay, fine.  i’ll use more words.

if you are constantly apologizing one of three things is happening:

1.  you’re really not that bright and keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

2.  you are too much of a people pleaser and are apologizing for completely unnecessary things.

3.  you are being taken advantage of by someone who makes you apologize for everything.

i can’ t help with the first one.  sorry.  but i don’t think that’s the case with the person who asked the question.  i think it’s probably more likely to be one of the other two.

my son falls into the second category.  he’ll apologize for eating all the cereal that was bought specifically for him.  he tried to apologize to his sister for getting presents for his birthday when she didn’t get any that day.  even offered to buy her a bike with the money he got.

nope.  i’m not kidding.  Craig and i are trying to toughen him up a bit without completely obliterating his innate kindness.  pretty sure we’re going to fail one way or the other.

if your first instinct is to apologize when you even think someone might be mildly disappointed, knock it off.  it is not your job to accommodate everyone all the time.  it also makes you look like a wimp.  seriously.  it does.  kindness and generosity are awesome qualities.  some of the best ones even.  but when you are trying to make up for things that aren’t anywhere near your problem, you look insecure and simpering; which are not awesome.  it will also get you taken advantage of on the daily.

speaking of…

as for #3, bullies look for people willing to apologize for…well, everything.  if you do the right thing and it displeases them, they make you apologize.  if you tell the truth and it makes them defensive/uncomfortable/hurt, they make you apologize.  if they do/say things that hurt you, they make you apologize for making them do those things to you.  get where i’m going?

if you are doing all the apologizing, something is seriously wrong.  you may even hear the person you’re with say the words “i’m sorry” but it is always going to be followed by a “but” of Kirstie Alley proportions.  they will always qualify their apology in a way that somehow still makes you responsible for whatever it was they did.

being able to apologize when you’ve been a jackhole is an admirable trait.  it shows maturity and humility and a willingness to own your crap for the good of the relationship.  but when apologizing constantly makes you feel like you are begging for acceptance, you need to reevaluate your entire identity/situation.

*mic drop*

are you a people pleaser?

have you ever been made to feel like you should apologize for something you didn’t actually do or wasn’t wrong?


3 comments on “apologizing too much

  1. susan says:

    yep I’m a shocker – always find myself sorrying – and it’s a terrible habit. must do better. easier to seek forgiveness that permission it is true, but maybe better to not apologise either way.

  2. bethagrace says:

    I’m totally a people pleaser, but not an over-apologizer. My family is more the type that lets things simmer down and then just pretends nothing ever happened–unless it’s really big or something–thus I generally just figure an apology will be awkward and unnecessary for everyone, even if I’m the one who was wronged.

    That will probably come back to bite me someday.

  3. Regan says:

    I had #3 happen to me. I offended him by things incredibly minor, so minor that I usually didn’t know what I did until he told me. But when I couldn’t understand how I only offended HIM, and all my other friends were just fine with me, that’s when I realized that he didn’t really like me. He wanted me to be a different person, and he was using anger to make me into that person. And while I can be something of a people-pleaser, there’s no way I’m going to completely overhaul my personality for another person. So yeah, lesson learned. (Mud puddle stepped in?)

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