When a stranger bumps into me, my first instinct is to say, “Sorry” and then continue walking. I am guilty of apologizing profusely for different things even if I am not at fault. I think it is easier to give an apology than to directly seek one. However, when you always end up feeling like you are in the wrong, it takes a toll on you. Questioning yourself as to whether you should have done or said something in the moment. It is a vicious mental cycle that you should not put yourself through every time you may think you should be sorry.
1. Did Nothing Wrong
I admit I am a sensitive person. There are moments when I react rather than respond to triggers. By the time I realize that the conflict is not worth the silence, those close to me tend to apologize first. I end up feeling worse, as I know that they are not at fault. Do not apologize when your actions are not the problem or cause.
2. Do Not Mean It
If there is no positive intention or you act without thinking how the other person feels, an apology will be meaningless. Do not apologize just so that you can move forward. Only say sorry to the person when they are ready to either accept it or listen. Empty apologies have no value.
3. Things are Beyond your Control
What is there to be sorry for if you did your best? It is okay to feel empathetic for someone having a tough time. However, do not dwell on this. You feeling sad for them, is not going to help them. Instead of apologizing, support in whatever way you can. Sometimes just listening does volumes compared to, “I’m sorry”.