From the time we’re toddlers, we’re taught to apologize when we do something wrong. Although this is a good thing, if it’s overdone, it can backfire.
After having been bullied and abused for so long, targets of bullying tend to apologize way too much. Sadly, what often goes with being targeted for bullying is constantly getting blamed for virtually everything that goes wrong, which is why targets are often programmed to apologize for things that don’t need an apology.
With targets of bullying, the apologies are often a knee-jerk reaction that comes from extreme fear. The incessant apologies are ways to appease the bullies and make them go away and leave him alone. And bullies know this.
They know that the apology isn’t heartfelt and that the target is only trying to keep them from harming him again, which either gives the bullies a rush of power or makes them angrier and more determined to hurt the target.
When you’re a target of bullying, you’re often forced to take accountability for things you had nothing to do with or that were beyond your control. So, you get into the self-defeating habit of apologizing, thinking that it will protect you from further abuse. But even if it does save you from being brutalized, it will eat away at your self-esteem.
If you’re a target of bullying, I want you to understand that not everything that happens is your burden to carry.
Anytime you make unnecessary apologies, you’re taking responsibility for things that aren’t your fault. And when you give bullies apologies that are undeserved, you take accountability for their deplorable behavior.
Also, you only make others around you believe that you really are in the wrong when, in fact, the bullies are the guilty ones. You only make it so much easier for your bullies to shirk responsibility for their evil deeds. It gives the bullies the impression that they have power and control over you and that you will always surrender to them.
Even worse, people lose respect for you because it conveys a lack of confidence and gives these bullies the okay to continue bullying you. You unknowingly decrease your value and look pathetic. You send the unspoken message that you’d rather be agreeable than honest.
And whenever a situation arises that warrants a sincere apology, others will only take your apology with a grain of salt.
But when you refuse to apologize where an apology isn’t needed, it’s a sign of greater self-esteem and increased feelings of power. It also shows that you have more dignity and integrity.
It pays to know when you should and shouldn’t apologize.
And for Pete’s sake! Never apologize for feeling hurt or angry at someone else’s abuse! Never! In these situations, you have a right to feel the way you do! Let no one tell you how you should feel when you’re being treated unfairly!
0 thoughts on “Why It’s Never Good to Over Apologize”
As a professional woman it was very difficult to be recognized as a person to be taken seriously. This was hampered until I realized that if you start a conversation with “I’m sorry…” you were immediately placing yourself in the category of incompetent because you have already apologized for some mistake as of yet unidentified. It is true that being bullied can lead to excessive apologies but it is also true that girls are taught to apologize much more frequently than the boys and this persists into adulthood.
Great point! And it’s a sad reality given that females have been abused and taken advantage of down through history. This is not to say that some men don’t get the short end of the stick. But through history it has been women. Now, in the USA, in my opinion, we have it pretty good, or at least I do. But even now in a few other parts of the world, women are viewed as second class citizens and treated inhumanely. My heart hurts for those women.
I am sure this write-up of yours would give a lot of confidence to many people, especially youngsters, who develop low self-esteem due to bullying.
Thank you. That’s my goal!
Words written from experience Cherie. Insightful post!
From very painful experience. Thank you so much.