Never Apologize in the Presence of Bullies

A sincere apology and owning up to any error often show great strength and bravery. It takes a person with integrity to apologize for any wrongdoing because few people will admit they are “wrong.”

However, no matter how sincere or genuine, an apology or admission can also be taken as a sign of weakness in the presence of bullies or anyone who lacks integrity. We all live a life based on trial and error. In fact, put another way, life is trial and error, and to grow and mature as a person, one must own his/her mistakes and wrongdoings.

Admitting mistakes and giving a well-deserved apology to someone we have transgressed against is a sign of honor and integrity. Only not to those who lack those qualities!

Yes, you should have an open mind. You should be empathetic, generous, and kind, but only in the presence of and to the people who reciprocate the same toward you. On the other hand, in the presence of bullies, extending those virtues is next to impossible and can be downright dangerous! Here’s why:

1. A bully will take your heartfelt apology, turn it against you, and steamroll you with it!

Because he will only take it as further evidence that he’s right, or worse- that you are a terrible person, clumsy, stupid, take your pick. Your apology or admission will only serve bullies’ plans to assert control over you and keep it.

To a bully without a conscience, any apology made by their target only looks like a waving white flag of surrender. Therefore, you must make sure that you’re in a safe environment before extending one. Here are a few examples:

Victim: “I was wrong, and I’m sorry.”

Bully: “Damn right, you were wrong! Oh, you’re sorry, alright- a sorry sack of crap!

Victim: “Hey! What’s your problem? I just apologized!”

Bully: “Screw your apology! Your apology means nothing! You only apologize to cover your own butt and keep people off your back!”

When you’re a target of bullying, it’s too easy to get into the bad habit of over-apologizing. And you do it emphatically, even when an apology isn’t necessary, to appease the abuser and avoid being harmed.

I have learned that your apology should be more indirect with bullies because a direct apology will only make you seem weak to a bully and assure her that she has power over you! Here are a few examples of indirect apologies, and they’re what has worked for me:

“Oh, relax! You’ll be alright.”

“You’ll forget all about this by the end of the day.”

“You’ll get over it.”

The above examples may seem callous, unfeeling, and cold. However, it allows you to express empathy without accepting blame.

Always remember that bullies lack integrity and a conscience. Any of the two shown in the presence of those who don’t have it will be shot down. Apologize, yes! But do it without taking any blame. Do it with POWER!

Sorry? What Do You Have to Be Sorry About?

Don’t apologize for being who you are. You’re just the way God made you.

Don’t be sorry for being a woman, a man, your race, nor having brown hair, blonde hair, blue or brown eyes. For those are the things that make you you. Be happy and secure with it.

Don’t apologize for being a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, nor for holding certain values- for valuing your god and family. For those are the things you hold dear.

Refuse to be sorry for wrongdoings committed by others. You cannot control others’ actions, nor should you be expected to pay for their sins. That is between them and God, and they’ll be judged for it one day.

You’re not responsible for any sins other than your own.

Too many people self-loathe and feel guilty for things they haven’t done, which only strips away their happiness and peace of mind. And if you allow others to heap false guilt on your head unjustly, what do you think they will do next?

Take charge of your happiness and your life. And know that anyone who tries to force you to feel something you shouldn’t feel or do something that is either degrading to you or that you don’t want to do, you should have no more to do with them.

Continue to love yourself. Apologize only for what you’re guilty of and to the person you transgressed against. And if that person doesn’t accept your apology, that’s on them, and you should love yourself enough to get on with it.

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!