You Stubbornly Refuse to Apologize….now I know why!

Photo by Kenneth Justice - All Rights Reserved (2013)

How many people have treated you like crap and never apologized?

Ever have any family squabbles (if you haven’t will you adopt me??) where the wronged party never gets an apology?

I have had family members gossip behind my back like its the bloody cold war and when I confronted the family member; like a little child who gets reprimanded they refused to talk to me.

How about this one; 3 year old Susie slaps little Johnny on his face for no good reason, and her parent says, “Susie, you need to apologize to Johnny” but little Susie defiantly grits her teeth and says, “NO!”.

Yesterday on NPR a new research study was discussed on the topic of apologizing.

Here’s the kicker, according to psychologist Tyler Okimoto, “We do find that apologies do make apologizers feel better, but the interesting thing is that refusals to apologize also make people feel better and, in fact, in some cases it makes them feel better than an apology would have,”

So that’s it then; by not apologizing for having wronged someone; it makes the offender feel even better than if they had apologized!

How sick is that?!

By refusing to apologize it “actually makes you feel more empowered

Well this pretty much sucks doesn’t it?

So here I was thinking that these people who have treated me like s**t and who haven’t apologized are all wallowing in misery but the truth of the matter is in the midst of their meanness they received a nice little dose of empowerment!

What’s the moral of this story??

–Treat Kenny like s**t, don’t apologize, and you’ll feel good about yourself.

Holy crap that sucks!

I think I’ll go crawl into bed right now……..



Categories: relationships

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118 replies

  1. Long gone are the days when being the bigger person have you that same sense of empowerment. I’m often too stubborn to apologise, and I can hold mean grudge. I can see the empowerment in those actions. But I’m a firm believer that there is just as much empowerment in apologizing.

  2. Hi Kenneth,

    Sorry for intruding on this post, but thanks for the “likes” on Shadows today.

  3. Everything you said is so true and I’ve actually apologized when I didn’t do anything wrong and still didn’t get anything back. Everyone needs to associate with people that aren’t going to treat them like crap =)

    • Frank, you’ve make a GREAT point….there have been so many times in my life where I apologized also (even though I wasn’t in the wrong) expecting that it would resolve the situation; but just like you said, I “didn’t get anything back” from the other person…they still acted like an ass.

  4. I don’t know how they don’t feel bad about it.

  5. take the high road whenever possible – I still think that’s the only way to go no matter what anyone else is doing. I try….

  6. ahh, the great apology. dont even get me started on my in-laws and apologies. It just aint gonna happen. They will never apologise!
    But. An apology is not about admitting fault, but about the relationship between you and that person. You apologise for hurting their feelings… It’s a respectful relationship. I am trying to teach my kids that, it is hard.
    Also, apologies are like forgiveness. If you can’t forgive the only person being hurt is you, the person who did wrong is carrying on like nothing happened.
    Empowerment by not apoligising, more like reinforcing the world revolves around you (which it doesn’t). and what kind of person are you to feel good about hurting someone else..?

    • Jennifer, Very well said……

      I could write a whole series of books about my in-laws who won’t apologize….but alas I won’t because I don’t feel like hitting my head against the wall.

    • yup. the whole brick wall. totally with you there. put it this way. we dont even talk to them anymore. (the parents that is, his sisters are ok)

    • Same here…although my door is open (and my phone is on) but they don’t seem interested in any relationship at all…its too bad cause I have children so you’d think the in-laws would want a relationship with the young ones…but oh well…such is life.

    • all on the same page. difference is, my kids don’t even like those grandparents, and the youngest doesn’t even remember them. We are waiting for the call too. but know somehow it wont happen in a hurry.

    • When I was younger I thought by age 30 I’d have all the answers….yea…that didn’t happen 🙂

      “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
      ― Plato, The Republic

    • that is how it goes… we all know everything and nothing all at the same time.

    • Hi Jennifer, and culturemonk,

      Good stuff. Apology is the other side of forgiveness. You can forgive someone all you want, but if they aren’t sorry for what they did, and are unwilling to apologize, the relationship will not be healed. It’s still good to forgive ’em. But it helps only you and your peace of mind, not them or your relationship with them.

      I wrote a piece about this on my blog. Even though I put it in general terms, it was based on my own experience of people wanting forgiveness, but not being sorry for what they did and therefore being unwilling to apologize for it . . . and yet still thinking that we could all just make up and be friends.

      Sorry, it doesn’t work that way!

      Here’s the piece, if you’re interested:
      Repentance: The Unpopular Partner of Forgiveness

      For my part, if someone is not sorry for what they did, I’d rather they didn’t offer some false apology. I’d rather know the truth. If they aren’t sorry, and would do it all over again if they got the chance, that’s valuable information to have about them, isn’t it?

      Thanks for a good piece, culturemonk!

    • I so agree with this. We have this issue with hubby’s parents. One sister has chosen her path with them, no forgiveness, no apologies and all is happy with their lives. But she is doing therapy and has all sorts of issues, so I spose it doesn’t help anything either way there.

  7. and thanks for checking out my blog 🙂

    • Any blog that has “coffee” in the title I check out 🙂 Surf my blog for a minute and you’ll find my shameless pictures of coffee houses that I frequent! And I enjoyed your posts, specially the one on the topic of what your immediate friends and family are reading.

    • thank you. I shall take a closer look. I like what you have had to say so will follow – can then peruse at a more leisurely pace, with coffee in hand, of course 🙂

  8. Culture Monk, thank you for discovering my blog. It gave me the opportunity to discover, explore and Follow your blog. Hope we both enjoy.

  9. I think that when people don’t apologize, they really don’t think they did anything wrong. It is borderline stubbornness to but I think that is the crux of the problem when there are no apologies for bad behavior. Sometimes you have to just sigh and move on.

    • Good point. I would add the caveat that I know a few people who haven’t apologized for being a** h**** and the longer they go without apologizing, the more I think they believe they weren’t wrong. Its as though their stubbornness has recreated reality in their minds. Does that make sense?

    • Exactly, that made perfect sense. Its kind of like a mental game or maybe even a disability on their part to not know that when they open their mouth or do an action, it causes consequences, good or bad. When it is bad, they lack the knowledge to see that an apology is necessary. So if they don’t know that they were wrong, they could go on forever with not even a hint of an apology.

      I have a family full of these kinds of people 🙂 Gotta love em though! However, I am guilty of being this way (family genetics) but I really try hard to recognize when I’ve made a mistake and try to change it. Some others, not so much.

    • Ha ha its hard to love them sometimes! But I know what you mean.

      I’ll be honest….until I heard that interview on NPR the other day, I had never really thought to deeply on the idea that the people who have acted wrongly towards me; are actually receiving a sense of empowerment by not apologizing to me! I never would have thought it!

  10. very nice I loved it

  11. Every non-apology is just building up the wall between two parties. Such a shame. I wonder how many people think they’re being the ‘stronger, better person’ by sticking to their guns and NOT apologizing? Do the apologizers see themselves as weaker? Curious.

    • “walls” is a good term. Seems like especially within families there are a lot of walls that need to come crashing down.

      I don’t know about most people, but for me, I don’t think I feel ‘weaker’….but I do know its easier NOT to apologize unfortunately.

  12. How did you read my mind??? Yesterday someone threw a take-away drink out the window of his car window in broad daylight with not a whit of self-consciousness. I pulled up beside him and said, “Sir, I think you dropped your cup back there” and he said, “I threw it” and immediately flashed double middle fingers. Wha-a-aa??? Of course I retorted that he threw it because he was a (fill in body part). But, yes, he HAD to know that he was wrong and seemed to really get off on not acknowledging it. GRRRR!!

    And I know what you mean about family. We might just be distant cousins….

    • Ha! You’ve got guts dude….It drives me nuts when people throw trash out their car window but I don’t have the cajones to do what you did!

      It seems everyone in our society wants to fight…even when they are in the wrong; like the dude u confronted. You definitely deserve prop’s for standing up to him.

  13. We are currently all ruled by subjective, self-promoting salesmen, who objectively value nothing. They imagine that fear and greed are exact opposites, when in fact fear (of pain) is really only (the ‘greedy’) hope (of no pain)!

    In our culture, Salesmen – including our “education” salesmen – teach (abuse kids with) this notion: “Remember, kids – there’s no wrong answers!” while ignoring that if that’s true, then there’s no right answers, either. It’s all part of their adversarial BUY(you)LOW to SELL(me, to you)HIGH strategy, where they pretend they can have rights without responsibilities, while their “opponents” only have responsibilities, not rights; in fact, they want the right to remain irresponsibly wrong.

    They ignore the fact that, contrary to their own myths, the ends do not ever justify the means; but, in stead, the means only ever really define the end results – if you lie, murder and otherwise steal to get your way, in the end, you’re not a great “success” regardless of whether or not you’re the last one standing – you’ve really only defined your self as a lying, murdering thief!

    And all salesmen are terrorists, too – they advertise fear to sell us the ‘greedy’ hope of relief from their own initial threats.
    And, like infantile delinquents, they turn negligent mistakes into criminal negligence, by preposterously asserting “Screw You! I meant To Do That!” when caught out in a lie (lying is the ost basic form of theft – it’s the theft of the Truth)! Which is both how and why they have been trained to never apologize.


  14. A fine post here! I just have to remind to myself everyday that what really counts is what I am doing and not what I might expect from others to do. To this extend apologizing is the natural thing for me and if I don’t get anything back, well I try to not associate with these people anymore. There is a fine line between tolerance and being a victim. Of course you can try to just not care, but if you have developed certain sensibilities, some things are bound to hurt you everytime, even if you don’t want to care. I have been reading two fine books that have extended chapters about relations by Robin Skynner and John Cleese: “Families and how to survive them” and “Life and how to survive it”. I think that they are very helpful.

  15. *thinking* I like these piece! Simple and str8 4wrd!

  16. I will always apologize if I learn that I was wrong. Sometimes, even if I still believe I was right about something, I will apologize if it would resolve an issue because sometimes, I just don’t want to argue about it. You know? Oddly enough, not everyone feels the same as me because I have given out ten times more apologies than have been given to me. What is odd about that, you ask? Well, i am always right 99 percent of the time. LOL

  17. And here I thought when my friends didn’t apologize it was because they never realized what they did was wrong or hurt me…Hrm. I’m feeling a mite paranoid now!

    It was a good point that the person mentioned about apologies being about relationships between individuals as much as right or wrong. That might help me keep calm next time I’m obliged to apologize when I don’t think I’m in the wrong. (Like trying just to end things already.)

  18. Have you read the book by Gary Chapman….something like the “five apologies” or five stages of apologizing. I read his Five Love Languages and a little of the apology book. The book says that you have to admit you were wrong, say you’re sorry, do something to make it better and never do it again? Or something like that. Anyway, it says that some people only do one of those things so it doesn’t seem like an apology to the wronged party. Like if I JUST apologize but do not follow it up with retribution, the person wronged may think I’m not genuine. Or if I JUST do something to make it better without ever saying I’m sorry, it may also be mis-interpreted. Did you grow up not being allowed to curse? I ********* did too!!!

  19. Sigh. This really hits me square in the chest. I have had this long standing issue with my mom. She has only perhaps once or twice, ever apologized to me for any of the many arguments/discussions/disagreements we have ever had. Does this mean that all of these incidents were my fault? None of them hers? Impossible! Well, I have come to know that her upbringing was so crappy, that she has carried around some very unhealthy ideas – burdens, really, and I understand where she comes from.
    Still, i have this thing about apologizing. I try to do it as often as I can. Even just to say, “I am sorry we are having problems.”
    Dammit! Just acknowledge the situation by saying “sorry”.

    • Maybe its the generation they come from….I’ve noticed I’m more likely to get an apology from younger people my age rather than people who are in the 50+ age group (sorry to throw anyone older than 50 under the bus!)

  20. Coming back to say, that you should never expect an apology. It is just extra weight if you do. And if it comes it would be much better. Also an apology should not be given out like throwing a dime to a beggar. It is more insulting then, actually far from an apology.

    • There is a lot of wisdom in what your pointing out; if we spend our life waiting for an apology we’ll end up staying stuck in the past….good point you make

    • I get what you mean about not expecting an apology, it’s just that some people never seem to be able to acknowledge that a misunderstanding has occurred. And not wanting to throw them out like dimes to a beggar… well, that doesn’t mean to NEVER toss one out there. It’s not insulting to me – it’s honoring me as a person with feelings.
      Still, I am in agreement with you – I just haven’t had to eal with being insulted with too many apologies. lol

      BTW – I really like and appreciate this blog, not that I have found it.

  21. That is classic and seemingly so typical of society today. My pet hate is email etiquette – send an email and those that think they don’t need to reply – aaaaahhhhhh. I have a motto though – keep smiling as you never know who is looking. 🙂

  22. You stopped by today. I really appreciate that you did.
    Somewhere along the comment trail, you said, “I’ll be honest….until I heard that interview on NPR the other day, I had never really thought to deeply on the idea that the people who have acted wrongly towards me; are actually receiving a sense of empowerment by not apologizing to me! I never would have thought it!”

    What people say about having a sense of empowerment by not apologizing is pure bull butter. If some folks really do feel so, they are sick puppies.

    And “I” apologize for all the animal analogies.

  23. My first blog was about apologies – they are a tool to restore relationships, not a means to pointing out who is right or wrong. Too man people have lost sight of that. 😦

  24. hello, the topic reminded me of a cliche-esque warning given to Japanese travelling aborad – if you find yourself involved in an accident, make sure that the first word you utter is NOT “sorry.”
    An anecdotal point of cultural difference aside, I think one needs to be strong to be able to apologise. The so-called empowerment gained from refusing to apologise is thin, in my opinion, compared to the power already existing in the individual who can apologise. Thank you.

    • Yes, I agree with you, Dr. Kats. I also think, if the relationship is important, to be conciliatory and trying to repair a wrong, is the way to behave appropriately. In fact, relationships are so much better if they are about being your “best” self for your good and the good of the other.

  25. A very interesting post–one of the things I learned about not apologizing–especially if I was in the wrong–is that the resentment continues to build and it can color everything else in my life. Why would I want to carry all that garbage around? Yet, I have on more than one occasion-by apologizing I am trying to let go and move on.

  26. I don’t understand the study. I always apologize, sometime preemptively. Because I don’t like to hurt anyone and sometimes I inadvertently do.

    I like this post! You are funny when you are mad about something. It’s quite refreshingly real.

  27. It’s a 2-way thing. Speaking for adults here (not children, they are still realitively pure). If you have to ‘apologize’ it means you did something ‘dumb’ prior. True? True. Now, take that step back in time. WHY did you do that ‘dumb’ thing … on purpose? If so, of course you ahve to ‘apologize’ later! You see, at every second in your life you are making decisions etc. and you have to make those decisions with all you heart. If you do that, really really deep, you NEVER have to apologize. Because what for? … So, just do the right thing NOW (and NOW is always) and the problem goes away;)

    Doesn’t mean things are always good/happy … oh no, when I didn’t sleep well in the morning I can have a bad temper. But the trick is I know that so I’m paying a bit attention … and when I make a bad remark, I’m the first to realize this and muffle it away with a ‘sorry’ or perhaps a box of chocolate or whatever.

    It’s a bit as with a mean dog. Don’t look it into the eye and most dogs won’t create a problem. But if you look such a dog in the eye, there is imediate tension. That’s why I say it is a 2-way thing. When there is a lot of ‘apologizing’ in your life do realize that you are prolly 50% of the cause;)

    Just my .02 cents (make that .01 cent … all this rubbish I wrote. Oh, btw, thx for the like on my blog;)

    — Max

  28. Thanks for liking my post (on – no, it’s OK please don’t apologise.
    ; David

  29. I could tell you stories about non-forgiveness and grudges that would bring tears to your eyes.

  30. Love what you wrote! We can all relate, I am sure! You do have a sense of humor! LOL

  31. I think I do understand what you have written here and I can see how it feels when people behave badly and treat others mean. I have met many people who behave in exact same manner and have no curtosy to others. But I think I have learned in life that tit-for-tat does not bring peace and we also become one of them if we mirror their behavoiur. At the end of the day it is us who can make the difference and not blaming ourselves for how we are treated by such people (as you have already mentioned they have their reasons to behave like this).

    Good post dear…and thanks for visiting my blog..I will keep browsing your blog 🙂


  32. I read a good book last June…and then read it again in July and August…and am thinking I need to return to it again! RECONCILIATION by Thich Nhat Hahn, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, who lives in Plum Community is southern France. In his book he explains that when people hurt us, it is out of their suffering…and if we find someone has hurt us, we need to go to them and gently tell them that they have hurt us…when someone hurts us they are acting out of ignorance…I found the book so comforting…and each time I re-read it, I find something new…layers of truth! Namaste! [a greeting used by Buddhists. Namaste means,”I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love of truth of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me we are one.”
    Namaste is a common Hindi greeting or salutation. We honor our Hindi friend Avinash from India and all our Hindi friends in India and around the world.

  33. When I was younger, teens and early twenties, I didn’t apologize, because I did not want to admit that I was wrong. As I got older and had a little more sense, I realized that there was nothing wrong with admitting that you were wrong. Being wrong is part of the learning process. If you never did anything wrong, what would you learn. Mistakes if acknowledged, hopefully make us better persons and make are relationships with others better. People who don’t apologize fit 3 different categories for me. First, they are afraid to admit that they were wrong. Second, they believe without a moments hesitation that they were right. Third, they are so self-centered, they don’t recognize there are people around. I think I’ve said enough. Thanks for visiting and the like of my post “Smiling Daffodil Bud.

  34. I think the ‘not apologizing is empowering’ is just an illusion. It actually means you don’t have enough confidence to be honest with yourself (and by default, with others) and you won’t own up to your own actions. It indicates a lack of self-esteem if anything. Those who can be humble and apologize, are the real powerful ones, because they have the guts to own up to their own actions. My two cents 🙂

    • Mindy,

      I agree….it is an illusion; but they ‘feel’ empowered…

      In our minds (the person they owe an apology to) we pity them and feel bad that they aren’t ‘big’ enough to apologize for the wrongful behavior.

    • I agree with you! Not everyone on NPR holds a monopoly on truth or accurate facts–how many people did he interview? what was the population composed of that he interviewed? What was the human experience of those he interviewed? Nevertheless, his conclusion certainly has helped us all rethink what we mean about apologizing or not apologizing…so much so…that I returned to Culturemonk’s blog to read more of how people responded to this query. WHY? Because I have been hurt…and I apologized…and wondered WHY the other person didn’t…lol

  35. Sometimes it does suck to have to apologize, but it’s the right thing to do and in the end your heart and mind can feel at ease that you did something noble, plus the person whom you apologized to will feel that you cared enough to take such a huge step. It’s sad if someone feels empowered by holding onto an apology. That just makes them, in my opinion, a mean spirited person. When I am wrong and an apology needs to be said, I do it wholeheartedly so the person I’ve wronged can feel better as well as myself. It takes too much energy to hold grudges. Just say I’m sorry and be happy.

  36. Politicians and white collar criminals, it’s too late to apologize. I don’t want your apologies. I want justice.

  37. We have the opposite problem in our house – I’m an OCD apologiser. I can apologise for the weather. My kids are learning from me: they’re always saying sorry for stuff and they’re 2 and 4. I remember never being able to say sorry at that age – not sure what happened. I think it’s a little word that makes a big difference, but you can overdo it. I mean, how can it possibly be my fault that it’s raining on our day out or that we’re stuck in traffic? Nuts.

  38. That was interesting, being the take on “apologizing” or lack of – empowers some one or not. It is in my own opinion that if an apology is made to empower or to accept an apology to feel empowered then the whole act and concept is empty, it means nothing. To apologize is to humble oneself for a mistake and to assure the other person or persons that the apology is sincere in all pretense. Those that are being presented with the apology should in kind accept such an offering with equal humbleness and understanding and forgiveness. And at that point both parties continue on an altered path of working together, collectively and with understanding. As far as the comment in regards to the politicians … accept the apology and don’t vote for them again … this also sends a message to other politicians.

  39. bravo,bravo,bravo! its all true and its all quite sick and its all part of this brave new world!

  40. Hi Culture Monk. I’ve been treated badly by friend and foe for years. I’ve got hardened to it and developed thick skin and a hardened attitude. Thank you very much for liking my poem ‘ Narrow Lane’. Best Wishes The Foureyed Poet.

  41. Love NPR myself. This “discovery” makes a lot of sense. I know many people who get caught up in being right, that it becomes seemingly impossible for them to apologize. There are people in this world who would rather reinvent the past than accept and move past a wrong they committed or were compliant in. Waiting for an apology can keep us stuck in the past…just as the one who is avoiding taking responsibility is. Thanks for posting!

    • Sfriant,

      I’m an NPR addict: Fresh Air, Diane Rehm, michelle norris…every mon – fri! (don’t care for Car Talk on saturdays though….glad they are retiring)

  42. Thank you for writing about this topic! I hope that Karma moves pretty fast because there are definitely people who won’t be accountable and won’t accept that they need to apologize. It is amazing how many people feel entitled to bad behavior!

  43. Jumping into the deep end of the pool here. When I find myself apologizing for my presence, my being, my identity, then I know that I need to stop and rethink the entire situation. I once was asked to apologize because a young lady got her feelings hurt over my exclaiming about her lavish use of perfume. I have severe allergies, I can’t tolerate strong cologne or perfumes. When I walk through the cloud of scent wafting behind the person 10 feet ahead of me, I go into sneezing and coughing. And yet, this person took offense at my reaction to her freedom to wear as much perfume as she liked.

    • I can relate to “Tori G” with the scents thing. I get severe migraines from being around people that feel the need to “bathe” in perfumes / colognes. Can’t go in some stores because of the strong scents. But to apologize for this … that is a little delicate. I for the most part try to simply excuse myself, go in another direction – something to avoid the person or persons. Sometimes I will “grin and bare it” and simply suffer. But in extreme cases I will be as polite as possible – with a polite apology and explanation for leaving. If that hurts a persons feelings … then take a bath with soap … use some deodorant and be done with it. And if they insist so on the need to wear such scents – then learn how. Kind of annoyed for having to apologize for someone else’s ignorance.

    • Tori,

      your story reminds me of a professor of mine from college who taught one of my substance abuse classes.

      On the first day of class, before he even opened up the syllabus, he instructed us to not wear any kind of perfume, cologne, and no deodorant or anti-persistent either! He claimed he got severe reactions to anything scented….

      by week 3 it dawned on us that if we wore something we might get of class early….from then on, all of the students who would sit in the front row would douse themselves with perfume & cologne and he always let us out more than an hour early!

    • love this, Culture monk! LOL…made me laugh and I certainly need to laugh at 1:27am…I truly did!

  44. Culturemonk, I love that you wrote what you did…all the varied reactions made me think deeply about apologies. Great in-depth study! Love it!

  45. It does does not take much effort for any one to appologise if they are in the wrong. It takes a big person to stand up and appologise. The trouble is some people will never do that they have to be always right. Good on you for writing your blog in the depth you did.

  46. I can relate to this so well! I have so much family drama I have no need to watch soap opera’s I live one. On apologizing, I have in the past held fast to many hurtful grudges but in only making myself the most hurt one for doing so I have apologized not for my strong beliefs but for the words or actions I used in defending them. I won’t apologize for standing up for myself and that’s what I get so downed for. Some people don’t deserve to have you in their lives, even if they are family.

  47. Maybe it works on people depending on their personalities. I know I would never feel better if I don’t apologize for a misunderstanding.

  48. This is interesting — I wonder if holding grudges is something that makes people feel better and that is why they do it? Or maybe not apologizing backed them into a corner and even though they feel bad, they don’t want to stop.

  49. I have the same thing with members of my family but nowadays I don’t let it get to me. My journey is mine and theirs is theirs. Chances are, they have lessons to learn and I can’t let them affect my happiness anymore.. 🙂

  50. “Making” a child apologize when they have no remorse is more damaging, I feel, than allowing the one who did the wrong to finish being angry with a vehement, “NO!”. I have seen too many people make their child say they were sorry when they clearly weren’t. What does that teach? It makes absolutely no difference if you actually FEEL what you speak, just say the words and it is all over.
    I don’t think so.

    • “Xuerpage”, maybe I am misreading what you are trying to convey, but what I am getting from it, is that there is no point in teaching children right from wrong, in helping them learn the difference from speaking/expressing themselves or offending/hurting some without remorse. You teach a child to “apologize” with the lesson that they hurt and or offended someone and what the apology itself conveys. And then teach them the right way to convey, to speak what is on their mind.
      But to assume that there is no point in having a child say they are sorry because the really aren’t isn’t teaching anything except selfishness and narcissism. Children know a lot more than what many adults give them credit for. A child strikes out with a verbal assault because they are upset – fine … but now it would be a good time to explain that there are other ways of expression and this is the beginning of teaching how to apologize. I think part of today’s problems are just that … people many people don’t understand remorse, how to apologize, lack of respect for other peoples feelings and I can go on for half a day with this … if you are offended by this … my apology to you, but at the same time I hope you can re-examine your thinking and your statement.

  51. Perhaps I should have phrased things differently. Of course children should be taught right from wrong.

    My point was that making a child apologize when he or she is still angry enough to yell, “NO!” is not in the proper state of mind to simply echo the words being given to him or her. Yes, when the child has done something to hurt another person they should then be taught right from wrong and definitely apologize when some kind of understanding has been reached. My difficulty is with the parents who see the wrongdoing and insist on the apology without any of the teaching allowing the child to calm down from whatever happened. That is when, I feel, that a child is just repeating things because he or she was told to, not because it is right to apologize when someone else is hurt.

  52. This post definitely opened my eyes. Like you I was thinking that folks were wallowing in regret. I was wrong 🙂 Oh well, onwards and upwards…!

  53. Thanks for liking my recent post on my blog, regarding the Boston Marathon.

    May I lend you some insight from personality type psychology? To give a heartfelt apology makes us feel energetic; to refuse to give one makes us feel empowered. Consider this analogy that my teacher Vicky Jo Varner gave me citing another author: our conscious thought processes are like high-frequency sound or light and have more energy; our unconscious thought processes are like low-frequency sound or light and have more power.

    The problem is that the high-energy stuff is more positive than negative and the high-power stuff is more negative than positive. And it’s the high-energy stuff that’s the most wholesome for us and others, but we can’t do without the high-power stuff either as a backup.

    In effect, the study you quote is reinventing the wheel. People have been talking about this issue since man began to think about why he is the way he is… that is, for millennia.

    Fellow Citizens of the Human Race: We have to break our addictions to those low-frequency thoughts at the expense of the high-frequency ones. And there’s a way to to bring ALL those thoughts, high-energy and high-power, together in the right order so that they aren’t competing for dominance, but rather, are like a spectrum that brings and keeps us in personal balance and harmony, like a complete musical octave. It involves the subordination of the ego, that which “has the oversight” of all our conscious and unconscious thoughts, to a Higher Power. In its light we had BETTER apologize when we’ve done something wrong, because it’s not just other human beings we have to be concerned about. We are held accountable to make things right as far as we can, just as everyone else is. But we can only act on our own behalf.

    A Christian – and I am a Christian – would point to the words of the apostle Paul and others about what such ego-surrender involves, such as what begins Colossians 3. And I will leave that and much else on this topic of apologies and forgiveness as “an exercise for the student”.

    Thank you for your time. 😀

  54. Ye Gods & Little Fishes!!!!! I am so glad I am not the only one who feels this way. It is one thing not apologizing, but the thing that really bugs me is the other person not acknowledging they did something. And then I am told I am only imagining
    it , doesn’t understand what I am saying and that I am making a big deal about nothing. Bingo, I know I am not imagining it and it is true! I also realized that I need to be right and an acknowledgement means I am right. This person needs to be right, to acknowledge and apologize means being wrong – that can’t happen. Plus, all that negative energy is turned inward and it becomes toxic to me. It means I have to learn to let go of wanting to be right and to trust myself about who and what I am rather than look for approval and validation from another person. Don’t give your power away to anyone else; your need for an apology and keeping a grudge means you have given your power to that person.

    Great subject and I love the comments of others – that is so cool!

    Thanks so much for liking my posts.

  55. Most of my family members are very loving. I am sorry that you have no support system from them.

  56. This is only half of the real story, Culturemonk. The sense of empowerment that one feels is actually a direct result from being asked to apologize. If someone hurts you, and you tell them to apologize, then they can always refuse. No one can be forced to apologize, and in that sense, refusing to apologize is a way to maintain their own autonomy.

    But they have to be asked. If you do not want them to apologize, if you don’t need it, then in a sense, you don’t need them. The sense of validation that they feel by refusing to apologize is the same sense of validation a person might get from being needed. But if you don’t ask them to apologize, then the only thing that is left is the ugliness of their own actions.

    This is one reason why “turning the other cheek” can be quite useful in power politics. Men like Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. understood this. And the benefits of the action are useful, even today.

  57. That sucks. Bu you could biff now old Susie (also now big) in the mouth and refuse to apologize. Making yourself feel better. 😀
    Suggest though you run like hell cause she’s bigger and maybe meaner now, what with all that empowerment she’s received. Just a thought…

    Thanks for the ‘Likes’!!!

  58. Empowerment or no, I think the main reason to apologize, even if you don’t feel you did something wrong, is to keep some communication open. Sometimes it is hard to want any kind of future in the relationship but that is a mistake. You can’t tell what the future will bring. I have sometimes refused to apologize when one was demanded from me to my face, and I refused because what they really wanted was for me to admit that I had been wrong to do what I did. But if I had had it to do over again I knew I would do the same thing, so an apology in that case seemed dishonest. I could apologize for the pain I had caused but not for causing it. But in that instance, refusing to apologize left me depressed and feeling anything but empowered.
    This is more complicated a thing than I thought.

  59. Oh, my goodness. What an interesting study…

  60. Because in today’s world the mindset is “it’s all about me and MY feelings and even when I am wrong I am right.” It’s sick. Apologizing for our wrongs builds humility and through humility comes good character but that goes against the Jersey Shore Me, Me, Me mentality running rampant like a disease. We can’t change society, only ourselves, so let’s be humble people filled with humility who are not afraid to apologize and maybe at least a few people will follow our examples.

  61. I heartily agree with you, especially since it’s an issue I’m dealing with right now. You mentioned family members gossiping behind your back. How would you feel about a ‘loved one’ posting directly to or in a published book? I’ve had it happen to me.

    Apologizing does start communication. I apologized last Monday for what I might have said at an office party on Friday. I said “I believe, what I said was inappropriate.” The response was “Next time you’re going to say something inappropriate, let me know, so I can pay more attention.”

    Thanks for liking my poem “Coffee”. I’ll be following your blog. We probably have similar complaints.


  62. Hi Kenneth, pleased to meet you, and thanks for visiting my site and liking the “Quick Glimpse-NYC” post. It’s greatly appreciated. Now on to your post here – terrific rant, and many familiar situations! Like many above, I think many people just don’t realize they’ve “wronged” or hurt someone – totally oblivious of feelings. And, sadly yes, a close relative is that way. Never apologizes. I/we just move on and say “that’s just the way it is”….

  63. Hi Kenneth, I know you read one of my first attempts at blogging back in March. I waited to reply until I’d completed this particular blog, which is practice for my next one in which I share the business knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years. I like accumulating knowledge since it’s an asset I can give away or sell and still retain possession of it.

    From reading a few of your comments I think you’d be an interesting person to follow; I esp. liked your “rant” about the rudeness of the customer telling a cashier he/she should loose weight. I live in NYC and it’s hard to zip my mouth shut at times.

    Thanks for reading my blog post. Keep up the good “ranting”.

  64. President Obama has apologies to the whole world.

  65. I didn’t read the comments…but I did read a book last night that said all the famous (well pretty much everyone in jail) criminals such as Al Capone, Dilinger and “Two Gun” Crawley…”wrongdoers blaming everyone else but themselves”. So basically do not as for an apology “correct or condemn” because the person will automatically justify himself and condemn you in return. Moral of the story do not criticize, condemn or complain (It gets you no where). Wrap that one around your brain. 🙂

  66. In the short term people might feel better for not apologising but what happens in the long run?
    If you damage someone’s feelings or break their trust eventually they will adjust their behaviour accordingly.
    If you can’t be trusted they won’t tell you anything, won’t help you in a crisis or loan you money when you need it.
    So if you’re not going to apologise make sure you’re a pretty self sufficient person.
    My best friend’s sister refused to apologise to her for ruining her wedding. Refused.
    She didn’t care that she hurt her sister’s feelings. They stopped talking, they used to be pretty close.

    When the non-apologist’s husband fell ill she couldn’t call her sister for emotional support.
    She knew she had burned that bridge.

    What a shame.

    • I’ve only just seen this post and it made me incredibly depressed to learn that it actually makes them feel better when they don’t apoligise…Then I read your post Kate and I 100% agree with you! I’ve had a few people over the last year break my trust and refuse to apoligise, yet they keep coming back when they need help and I refuse to help them any more and they’re stuck with those that they claim they don’t even like…Well done geniuses!lol

    • There’s an article in Psychology Today that might help you a lot on this problem. It certainly helped me. It’s called “Why Some People Refuse to Apologize” and it’s really helpful when dealing with people like this. It gives you a sense of why and what they’re thinking, what is misfiring in their brain, and maybe where they’re coming from. In point of fact, people who habitually refuse to apologize feel THREATENED by the idea of apologizing. It SCARES them. The article gives you an in-depth appreciation as to how this works.

  67. There’s an article in Psychology Today that might help you a lot on this problem. It certainly helped me. It’s called “Why Some People Refuse to Apologize” and it’s really helpful when dealing with people like this. It gives you a sense of why and what they’re thinking, what is misfiring in their brain, and maybe where they’re coming from. In point of fact, people who habitually refuse to apologize feel THREATENED by the idea of apologizing. It SCARES them. The article gives you an in-depth appreciation as to how this works.

  68. *Men don’t apologize. They blame someone or something else.

    Thanks for liking my poem Colorful Questions. I appreciate it. There are over 250 other poems on my blog, WordMusic. I do hope you come back for more!

    Brent Kincaid

  69. Reblogged this on examplewordpresscom62751 and commented:
    We all need to become more loving and less angry to heal our souls and the souls of others. I’ve been at it with the help of God for 70 years.
    H. Robert Rubin, still truckin


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