Men tend to be naturally assertive and will go to great lengths to avoid giving an apology because it is an act of submission. You have to admit you were wrong in order to effectively apologize or it's not a real apology. Humbling yourself is definitely a skill acquired over time and you have to gauge whether or not an apology is deserved. Sometimes it actually isn't even though people might think you owe them one like in the case of having a different opinion. All in all, it's more difficult for men to apologize because it's an act of vulnerability and perceived weakness. Yet, apologizing takes great emotional strength to accomplish genuinely.
Cultural Reasons Why Apologizing Is Hard For Men
Men are trained over thousands of years of evolution and social conditioning to be the aggressors. It is our job to push forward and achieve our goals by defeating obstacles. As warriors or business executives, success comes from doing thing that maybe aren't always the "right thing" but to succeed we can't look back and we can't feel guilt. Those emotions would be potentially deadly to our privative predecessors and will weaken our position among other men in our circles today.
Nowadays, most of us no longer live in fear of being physically harmed by others or feel the pressure to attack others to achieve physical dominance. This instinct however, to avoid appearing weak is still hardwired into our brains.
While many things have changed in American culture over the past few decades, in many other cultures, apologizing is still seen as a sign of weakness. This is especially true for men. In our society, men are supposed to be strong, stoic, and in control. We are taught that real men don't show emotion or vulnerability. Apologizing can be seen as a failure to live up to these cultural ideals.
This isn't just an issue for men, though. Women also face pressure to appear strong and perfect. We may worry that apologize will make us look weak or incompetent. As a result, we may avoid saying sorry even when it is the right thing to do.
It's important to remember that there is no one right way to be a man or a woman. It's okay to be the type of man that feels right to you as long as that doesn't negatively impact others around you.
Men And Apologies - How To Make It Count
Now that we've taken a look at why it is hard for men to apologize, let's take a look at how to make apologizing a bit easier and most importantly - do it in a genuine way so that you can make the situation better for both parties.
What Does A Proper Apology Look Like?
A proper apology is conducted with care and is usually best done in person to connect better. There's something more appropriate about an intimate apologetic space in the same room where you can see someone rather than through a screen. Texting is obviously a counterintuitive way to apologize, but it can be used for more minor occurrences. To make sure someone is truly sorry, pay attention to their tone, eye contact, and emotional expressions. Body language is also important so you're conveying a sense of openness and honesty. You may even benefit from touching the person you're apologizing to with reassurance.
How To Know If You Need To Apologize Or Not?
It's important to understand when an apology is warranted, and there are those who fish for apologies. You don't want to take the bait if someone feels disrespected by you simply voicing your free opinion. Examine the situation and use the golden rule as a frame of reference. If you do something to another person that would have been unfavorable for you then it's probably something that you need to apologize for. You should never feel sorry for having a different view of something. We all have to wrestle with the realities of life, and there are obvious moments where saying sorry is necessary like if you run into someone. Saying sorry can be in the context of an accident or purposeful events.
How To Teach Your Child About When And How To Apologize?
Teaching your child about the importance of apologizing is imperative because it helps them to take responsibility for their actions. This is one of the staple lessons of life that translates to many situations. One of the best ways to teach them is through instructional and illustrated books. The stories will give them real-world situations where an apology might be needed. These scenarios are useful because they will be recognized later when something similar happens in real life. They must also know when is the proper time to apologize because sometimes it can be too soon. For instance, if your child shoved someone on the playground they might want to wait for a couple of hours until the person recovers before dishing out apologies. They may have told the teacher and children will learn naturally through an adult orchestrated apology drill. From there they will learn to do it themselves with friends and family as necessary.
Encourage Sincerity When Apologizing
This is one of the biggest elements of an apology that needs to be in check. Many people give half-hearted or even empty-hearted apologies just to get out of trouble or appease societal norms. It's imperative that you encourage a child to apologize from a genuine place out of respect for any individual. Pride is a hard pill to swallow and in some cases, it feels like there are jagged edges. The struggle is especially potent when you're young because you're still learning to distinguish between right and wrong. Certain reactions from the environment will indicate that what you're doing is definitely wrong. For example, if you snap someone with a rubber band and they start crying that is an immediate sign an apology is necessary to make amends.
Remember That You're Not Always Right
Men can often struggle with apologizing because they rationalize and contort the situation in their favor. Remembering that your logic is not infallible is something that separates a man from a Gentleman. If you can master the art of self-analysis and give apologies when they're due then you'll be more respected. There are times in life where you're wrong and apologies are all about preventing more apologies in the future. When sorry is spoken, there is an unspoken understanding that you do your best to not do the same thing again. Otherwise, if you go on and immediately do it after saying sorry then you never really were. If you really care about someone then you'll strive to nurture their well-being.
Receiving Forgiveness Is Healthy For The Mind
If you have guilt about something particular then it might haunt you for a while until someone has forgiven you. This could be anything, and you generally will know when it's necessary if you trust your instinct. We all have a conscience with the exception of psychopaths who are actually incapable of giving genuine apologies. When you are forgiven it naturally lifts a certain emotional weight off your shoulders. It shows that the person is willing to trust you again and let go of what you did. They are also more likely to apologize to you when necessary too because no one is perfect. Men are especially difficult when it comes to saying sorry because the process involves deep emotions and submitting to the fact that you were wrong. Getting the right forgiveness alleviates the heavy burden of guilt that is often harbored and suppressed by men.