Why is it so difficult to apologise? I’m not asking for myself. I’ve made mistakes in the past. Small ones at work. Bigger ones at home. I’ve treated someone poorly before. I’ve lashed out when hurt or when I considered something unfair. I’ve been an idiot before.
We all make mistakes, small ones and big ones. Sometimes we know it right away. Sometimes it takes us a while to realise what we’ve done.
There is no life without regret over having done or not done something. We consider those things our mistakes as well. And perhaps that is justified.
Making a mistake is par for the course. It’s inevitable. It can happen anytime. It can happen to anyone. We can all be idiots sometimes.
So, when mistakes are such an integral part of life and so common, why is it so difficult to rectify them?
Some mistakes cannot be remedied. Usually, those tend to be of a life-altering nature, though. You can never undo something you’ve done anyway. That is not possible. It’s the first thing we need to realise. Well, the second thing. The first thing is to realise how common mistakes are.
We make mistakes to learn from them. Generally, we don’t want to repeat a mistake. It’s somewhat embarrassing to make the same mistake twice, though not always avoidable. But once we recognise our error, we should always try to a) make it better and b) not repeat it.
The latter seems easier. At the very least it’s possible.
But making it better does not always seem to be possible. There are mistakes that can’t be fixed. Should that keep us from trying? If we have made a mistake and want to change what happened, shouldn’t we at least try?
Granted, you have to realise that you made a mistake and you have to want to make a change.
The very least anyone can do is apologise. It may not be enough, not by a long shot. But it can be a start.
Why does it seem impossible for some people to even say sorry? Is it their pride? Or do they truly not know what they’ve done wrong or that they’ve done anything wrong?
I’ve been in a place where I had to apologise. I know it’s not easy. For various reasons, it can be very hard to say sorry. It depends on what happened, of course. I’ve hurt people, not with the intention of inflicting pain, but with the intention of protecting myself. I hurt people fully knowing and accepting that my behaviour was likely hurtful.
I’m not proud of that and I had good reasons at the time. But that still doesn’t justify inflicting pain. In the end, I felt rotten about it anyway. And I tried my utmost to apologise, without asking for forgiveness. Incidentally, forgiveness is not something you ask for. It’s something that is given freely or not at all.
I’ve made small mistakes, too, and I owned up to them. I am still making mistakes all the time. And when that happens, I swallow my pride and own them and apologise. And then I try not to repeat them.
This is how I have chosen to live my life. That doesn’t make me any better or worse than anyone else. Everyone has to choose for themselves. And nobody has a right to judge.
I know that some things are very difficult to apologise for, perhaps nearly impossible. It certainly depends on how guilty or responsible you feel for what happened. Not every mistake can be fixed. But again, shouldn’t we at least try?
I believe, not trying to make things better, whatever happened, is only making it worse. And you have learned nothing.
If you can’t own up to your mistakes, you will continue to make them over and over again. And others will suffer because of that. I know I couldn’t live like that. But perhaps that’s just me…