I know this sounds like an simple concept, but honestly apologizing is truly one of the hardest things to do. Most of us do not like to acknowledge when we are dead wrong and/or had a role in a disagreement. But, with true introspection, apologizing should come naturally. Not wanting to apologize is a deep rooted issue, let’s pull back those layers.
As many issues are, this is often times rooted in childhood. In the black community especially, there is an unspoken rule between parents and children that the parent is always right (even when they are wrong). If a child feels disrespected or hurt by their parents and spoke out against it, it is seen as being rude or having “back talk.” In this sense, the child is forced to apologize to the parent who has wronged them. When a parent is wrong, children have to just get over it. This cements the idea from a young age that apologies for wrong doings aren’t necessary. It correlates adulthood with correctness, we don’t have to apologize for our actions because we are never wrong. We must break out of this mold are were placed in through the teachings of our parents.
Now let’s look at personal relationships. I can guarantee you that there were times when you and your significant other had opposing views on a topic. Maybe those opposing views led to a disagreement and/or an argument (yes there is a difference, we’ll talk about that next week.) When it comes to opposing views, us as humans do not like to think that our opinion is wrong. However, when an opinion doesn’t fall in line with the actual facts, at some point you have to understand the other side.
Now let’s say you and your significant other go out to the club and they start receiving attention from another person. The perception that can come off is that your significant other is possibly flirting or engaging with someone other than you. However, the reality of the situation is that they’re really not interested or trying to disengage with them. So who was in the wrong here? You, who perceived that their significant other was flirting or your significant other who in reality was trying to disengage? The answer is both! But why? One cannot change ones perception of how they see things. Granted what you saw was not a true reflection of what may have been actually going on, but it’s still your perception and the fact of the matter is that the actions presented was your significant other engaging with someone that wasn’t you.
In this scenario, an apology is needed from both sides. Maybe some hurtful things were said in the moment on each part that came from a place of hurt and miscommunication, so it’s necessary to apologize to your partner for those things.
I think this example is kind of confusing to follow. It is hard to grasp the point you want to get across. I would suggest using a different one.
We are not perfect human beings, we all make mistakes. It’s okay to say that you were wrong because we are all wrong as some point. I can guarantee you that a simple apology will eliminate further miscommunications during a disagreement. And if you have an issue with apologizing and can’t see your wrongdoing in a situation, have a conversation first to gain some clarity. Once you gain that clarity and understanding, it will then be easier for you to accept your role in what went wrong and apologize.