Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Two little words with big meaning

Live and Learn | April 11th, 2018

By Melissa Martin
melissamartincounselor@live.com

“I’m sorry” are two vital words to be used in relationships because human beings are imperfect people living in imperfect environments.

Ask yourself the following questions: Am I an under-apologiser or an over-apologiser? Am I a balanced-apologiser? Do you refuse to apologize when you’re absolutely in the wrong? It’s been my experience that many individuals answer these questions with “It depends on the person I am with at the time.” Are you a selective-apologiser?

In other words, spouses and partners caught in a relationship cycle of conflict may withhold apologies out of anger, revenge, fear of paybacks, or to save face. If there is a smarty pants person (i.e., sibling, friend, coworker) in your circle who blasts you with “I told you so” after you apologize—that can be an obstacle to your response. And no person is right about everything all the time.

Guy Winch, author of a 2013 article in Psychology Today, writes “Apologies can vary greatly in their significance: When non-apologists bump into someone in a crowd, they might mumble a quick "I’m sorry" without giving it another thought. But the same person arguing with their spouse about directions might yell, “I’m telling you: The GPS is wrong! Take this left!” only to find out the satellite system was correct — and still adamantly refuse to apologize, perhaps calling on excuses such as, “You take the wrong exit all the time, too!” or “The GPS is wrong half the time anyway. It’s not my fault!”

Harriet Lerner is the author of the book, "Why Won't You Apologize?" (2017 reprint edition, Touchstone Publisher). For decades, she has studied why some men and women won’t give apologies.

An apology shows remorse and acknowledges the hurt you caused another person. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I perceive apologizing as a weakness? Does apologizing mean I made a mistake or I am a mistake? Why won’t I take responsibility and apologize when I hurt someone’s feelings, tell a lie, or behave like a jerk?

In cultures that have been studied, men apologize less than women. Are you apology-challenged because you’re male? Men need to learn to say the two crucial words “I’m sorry.” Saying “my bad” doesn’t count. Claiming you are apology-impaired because of your masculinity is an excuse.

Being able to apologize is actually considered a strength and not a weakness. Apologies have the power to validate feelings and generate forgiveness. Our words can hurt or heal. Communicating a sincere apology can repair a relationship rupture. Individuals with confidence at their core can apologize and move forward.

“An apology is the super glue of life. It can repair just about anything,” declares Lynn Johnston.

Ask yourself the following questions: Why do I hold onto grudges? Why does my tongue get tied up over saying the two important words? Do I value relationship more than my ego? Why do I need to change and offer genuine apologies when I’m wrong?

The next part of the apology is asking the offended person, “What can I do to make it right?” Making amends is about restoring trust in relationships. And saying, “I will do my best to not do it again” shows future action.

Lakesha Ruise asserts, “Apologize quickly when you wrong someone, because I'm sorry has no value in the grave.”

[Editor’s note: Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She resides in southern Ohio.] www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com]

Recently in:

Growing Together Opens New GardenBy Annie Prafckehttps://www.facebook.com/annie.prafcke20 May 2021On April 15th, Growing Together held a groundbreaking for the opening of its newest gardens at Gethsemane Cathedral. The space, which…

By Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu17 June 2021The Lehr Tabernacle near Lehr, N.D., celebrates its 100th Centennial with events on June 18-20, 2021. The Tabernacle, also known as Prairie Bible Camp, was featured in an…

2021 Summer Calendar Toby KeithMay 21, 7pmBismarck Event Center, 315 SOUTH 5TH STREET BISMARCKTickets $25-$175, pre-party starts at 5pm.Heart and Soul May 22, 9pmThe Aquarium, 226 N BroadwayR & B, Smooth Jazz, Funk, Neo-Soul and…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021Our opinion: Let’s work together instead of against each other.Think of where we are now in comparison to last year. Think of what we’ve learned since and how this is affecting our…

Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com29 July 2021This Is About the Religious-Rich-QAnon-White Supremacist-Trumplican CultThere are hundreds of thousands of cults in countries and societies around the world that have played or are playing…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021With Grand Forks being a hop skip and a cruise away from Fargo-Moorhead, our neighbors to the north have some great dining options. Whether you’re planning on spending a weekend or…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021“We have a guy that's been involved with the show for many years as a landlord and knew what it was like in the heydays. So he knows where he wants to take it.” says WE Fest General…

by Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com24 June 2021Mariem Perez Riera’s “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It” Stops in Theaters Before Date with “American Masters”On the heels of criticism for defending…

Alicia Underlee Nelson  alicia@hpr1.comDowntown scored a new mural from The Greetings Tour, a project that aims to create a mural in the style of…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…