If we accept the fact that no one is perfect, we must also accept that in everyday life, no one is short of reasons to apologize. Whether it is for making bad decisions, for inability or for doing the wrong thing, it is very common for what we do to cause someone else discomfort or have the capacity to hurt.
Usually everything is solved by apologizing, and most of the time everything is solved in such a simple way. However, there is a small portion of humanity that is apparently unaware of this possibility. Some people are totally unable to say “sorry”. Why is this happening?
The inability to apologize when he touches
Language is a wonderful thing: thanks to it, conflicts that could take root and cause discomfort and fights for years are resolved by a brief exchange of sentences. Indeed, through words, we reduce the margin of uncertainty about what the other person thinks, which is very important in dealing with this kind of problem.
To say “sorry” for example is to take a big step: someone recognizes having acted badly, to the detriment of the well-being of another person (or of a group), which opens up the possibility of compensating by somehow. Regardless of whether this opportunity is being used to be compensated, a minimum of justice has been served.
However, because whenever someone does something wrong and realizes it, they apologizeHe must fulfill a condition that hardly ever occurs: that rationality prevails over feelings. In practice, there are people who, even knowing that they should apologize, are unable to do so … without knowing why themselves.
So … why are there people who have such a hard time recognizing in front of others who were wrong, who feel it, when they know it is so and feel bad about it? Have different reasons, but they’re all related, and they have to do with poor self-image management.
The need to maintain self-esteem
Everyone structures their own identity from a series of ideas and beliefs about themselves. This set of descriptions of “I” is called a self-concept, or self-image. This self-image allows us not to become blind when it comes to relating to others and the environment around us, having some idea of our characteristics, weaknesses and strengths.
However, self-image is not a set of cold and objectively collected information. On the contrary. Like what we talk about in self-image is self, all of these beliefs have a clear emotional impact on the person.
Thus, anything that indicates weakness, inability or unreliability in decision-making has an impact on self-esteem, which is the evaluative aspect of self-image, which speaks of self-esteem. self-worth in relation to certain standards that we set for ourselves (and this can be more or less fair). There are many situations that can compromise self-esteem, And many times, apologizing is one of them.
A delicate self-concept
There are those who have such a delicate self-image that just acknowledging a mistake can cause their self-esteem to falter, no matter how insignificant the mistake that has been acknowledged may be. In a way, if a part of us knows that we made a mistake and acted inappropriately, the self-image can remain protected until we acknowledge the error out loud. We can play to disguise the mistake from something else, putting the blame on someone else or just don’t name this stupid guilt we feel.
But if we apologize, all of those thoughts and feelings caused by the mistake made are automatically labeled as what they are: our responsibility. And, in a second, we have to grapple with the fact that our self-concept cannot continue to exist as it did.
If the error we apologize for is minimal, it may mean that we are capable of making small mistakes that we don’t care about and don’t apologize for. If it’s a big mistake, it can mean a drastic change in the way we see ourselves. Of course, most of us don’t have too much trouble realizing that apologizing is something that speaks well for us and that, in part, alleviates the error. But there are those who cannot afford to put their self-image in the spotlight, Expose it to even the slightest scratch.
Cognitive humiliation or dissonance
Of course, there are those who do not apologize simply because they do not think about the well-being of others or because they consider that, in an instrumental logic, saying “I am sorry” does not bring them any benefit. benefit: we think, for example, of someone with a certain tendency for psychopathy who, upon getting off the bus, pushes someone you will never see again.
However, among those who can’t apologize for everything and feel bad about itThe most common is to be offered one of two options: either they associate the apologies with humiliation, so that their self-esteem couldn’t bear to do something like that but they also have no means of expressing their repentance, or they have a certain delirium. of greatness.
In the latter case, acknowledging the error is so in conflict with one’s self-image that to apologize would involve rethinking from scratch many aspects of one’s own life and relationships with others: it is a known phenomenon. under the name of cognitive dissonance.
In any case, it is clear that knowing how to apologize honestly is a card played by people with high emotional intelligence. You don’t have to do this if you don’t have a reason for it, but when you know it’s right, expressing it becomes a simple matter of how to properly handle your own feelings (and how to communicate. this skill to others).