• Michelle Zunter

You May Never Get The Apology You Think You Deserve — And You Don’t Need it



From the time we are very young we are taught that saying sorry is what you do when you have hurt or offended someone else in some way.


In many cases, NOT saying that you’re sorry to someone is considered a worse offense than whatever you’re supposed to be saying sorry for to begin with! Even if you’re not fully understanding what you have done to upset someone else, generally, especially as children, we are taught to say ‘I’m sorry’ regardless.


In our ‘I’m sorry’ culture, perhaps the entire meaning of a sincere apology has actually been lost on us completely.


Sure, it’s a plus to teach children manners and to apologize when they have physically hurt someone or said something cruel. Of course. Those are definite instances that should be followed up with an appropriate verbal apology.


But once we become adults, the ‘I’m sorry’ lines become a little more blurred. Relationships become much more complicated and reasons for offense are not as clear as we might like them to be.


You may never get an apology from someone you’ve been angry at for years over something they said that made you feel bad about yourself. This could be because they are an absolute jerk OR it could be that they had absolutely no idea that your feelings were hurt in the first place or that you took their words personally.


But there you are — walking around the world feeling angry that you never got an apology for something that upset you.


The reality is you may never get an apology and that has to be OK. You are the only one making yourself feel terrible if you’re still resentful over an apology you never got.


Throughout our lives people will mistreat us, people will say hurtful things, people will lie, people will betray us, and people commit heinous crimes that they are never sorry for. But if we measure our happiness and peacefulness by the number of apologies we get from people who have upset us in some way, the road towards personal contentment will be much longer than anyone would like.


Getting a heartfelt apology is awesome. But it is not always necessary. Being able to admit when you are wrong and saying that you are sorry is a life skill a lot of people can never seem to master. And the rest of us have to deal with that.


Oh well.


Walking through life kicking rocks because other people, family members, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, or ex-anythings didn’t apologize for stuff that hurt us in the past isn’t productive at all. The expectation of remorse or even a verbal sentiment designed to feel like remorse — in many cases — is simply unrealistic.


You can’t force somebody to feel sorry when they either don’t realize they should be sorry for anything or they simply have too much pride to apologize in the first place.


It’s OK.


Apologies are a nice sentiment and if done in the right way an apology can give someone a great amount of peace or relief. However, an apology can’t fix the way you may feel.


That part is up to you.


You may never get the apology you think you deserve. But you probably did learn some valuable lessons along the way. Sometimes apologies don't come via kind words, they just come through fruitful experiences.


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