Why It’s Never Good to Over Apologize

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!

20 thoughts on “Why It’s Never Good to Over Apologize

  1. Cherie I love your post! In my case as a teenager not old enough to venture out on my own apologizing was the only way to keep peace. It was also my tool to survival. I am willing to make a wager that there are some kids being bullied at home that like me learned to survive by apologizing. Just some thoughts that came to my mind while reading this post.

  2. I love this one. I think some of us are wired to apologize and some people just are rude in general. Case and point, I was at a grocery story and a person almost ran me over. I said, “Oops excuse me. I am sorry.” The person just kept going and they were at fault! Common courtesy is both of you say excuse me but the person at fault didn’t. I remember thinking to myself I apologize way too much for things that aren’t my fault. I am really bad about that in relationships!

  3. I think the biggest thing here too is that bullies see you apologize as weakness. They see it as a sign of dominance over you and if you ever tell anyone else they will claim you were at fault, you were the one apologizing! By the way Mrs. White, I posted a blog a few minutes ago based on some advice you gave me in an email exchange and one of your blogs. I hope you will read it. You may get a kick out of it.

  4. That was the women in business lesson 101 – don’t apologize. Women are always saying “I’m sorry” as a preface to asking a question, interrupting a meeting/conversation, delivering bad news… The truth is that when women start a comment with I’m sorry they immediately state that they are subservient and inferior. I stopped saying that and taught my co-workers the same lesson. It was liberating.

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