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Why some people are unable to say sorry

Why some people are unable to say sorry

April 25, 2024

If we accept the fact that no one is perfect, we must also accept that on a daily basis nobody lacks reasons to apologize. Either by making the wrong decisions, by inability or by acting badly, it is very frequent that what we do causes discomfort in someone else, or has the capacity to harm him.

Normally, everything is solved by asking for forgiveness, and most of the time everything is solved in this simple way. However, there is a small portion of humanity that apparently does not know about that possibility. Certain people are totally unable to say "I'm sorry" . Why does this happen?

  • Related article: "How to ask for forgiveness: 7 keys to overcome pride"

The inability to ask for forgiveness when you play

The language is something wonderful: thanks to him, conflicts that could become entangled and cause discomfort and fights for years are resolved with a brief exchange of phrases. This happens because by means of the words we reduce the margin of uncertainty about what the other person thinks, something very important in the management of this kind of problems.

Saying "I'm sorry" for example, is a big step: someone recognizes that he has acted badly, to the detriment of the well-being of another person (or a group), which opens the possibility to compensate in some way . Regardless of whether this opportunity is used to be compensated, a minimum of justice has been done.

But nevertheless, so that every time someone does something wrong and is aware of it apologize , a condition that almost never occurs should be fulfilled: that rationality prevails over feelings. In practice, there are people who, even knowing that they should ask for forgiveness, are unable to do so ... without themselves knowing why.

So ... why are there people who find it so hard to admit to others that they have made a mistake, that they feel it, when they know it is so and feel bad about it? There are different reasons, but they are all related, and have to do with poor management of the self-image .

  • Perhaps you are interested: "Forgiveness: should I or should I not forgive the one who hurt me?"

The need to preserve self-esteem

All people structure their own identity from a series of ideas and beliefs about oneself. This set of descriptions of the "I" is called self-concept, or self-image. This self-image allows us not to go blind when it comes to relating to others and the surrounding environment, having a certain idea of ​​what our characteristics, weaknesses and strengths are.

But nevertheless, the self-image is not a collection of information collected coldly and objectively . Unlike. As what is spoken of in the self-image is oneself, all those beliefs have an obvious emotional impact on the person.

Thus, everything that indicates weakness, inability or unreliability when making decisions, has an impact on self-esteem, which is the value aspect of self-image, that which speaks about the value of oneself compared to standards that we look (and can be more or less successful). There are many situations that can compromise self-esteem , and many times, asking for forgiveness is one of them.

A delicate self-concept

Some people have such a delicate self-image that simply recognizing an error can cause their self-esteem to falter, however insignificant the error that is recognized. In a way, if a part of us knows that we have made a mistake and acted inappropriately, the self-image can remain protected as long as we do not recognize the error out loud. We can play to disguise the error of something else, blame someone else or, simply, not to name that sitil feeling of guilt that we feel.

But if we ask for forgiveness, all those thoughts and feelings caused by the mistake made are automatically labeled as what they are: our responsibility. And, in a matter of a second, we have to deal with the fact that our self-concept can not continue to exist as it did.

If the error for which we ask for forgiveness is small, this may mean that we are capable of making small mistakes that we do not care about and for which we do not apologize. If it is a serious error, it can mean a radical change in the way we see ourselves. Of course, most of us do not have too many difficulties when it comes to realizing that asking for forgiveness is something that speaks well of us and that, in part, makes the mistake attenuated. But there are those who can not afford to put their self-concept in the spotlight , expose it to the slightest scratch.

  • You may be interested: "Why women apologize more than men"

Humiliation or cognitive dissonance

It is clear that some people do not ask for forgiveness simply because they do not think about the welfare of others or because they consider that, from an instrumental logic, saying "I'm sorry" does not benefit them: think, for example, of someone with a tendency to the psychopathy that when getting off the bus pushes someone who will not see again.

But nevertheless, among those who are not able to apologize despite feeling bad about it , the most common is that one of two options is given: or they associate the apology with humiliation, with which their self-esteem could not bear to do something like that but they also have no way of expressing their repentance, or they have a certain delirium of greatness.

In the latter case, recognizing the error comes so in conflict with his self-image that asking for forgiveness would involve rethinking from scratch many of the aspects about his own life and about relationships with others: it is a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance.

In any case, it is clear that knowing how to ask for forgiveness in an honest way is a letter that people with a high emotional intelligence play. Do not do it if you do not have reasons for it, but when you know it's the right thing to do, it becomes a simple matter of knowing how to manage your own feelings (and know how to communicate that skill to others).

people who can't apologize (April 2024).

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