There are plenty of times when an apology or saying “I’m sorry” is appropriate. There is a difference between the two. “I’m sorry” acknowledges a wrongdoing or mistake as well as expressing sympathy. “I apologize” is more formal and acknowledges hurt feelings and offers more emotion. For example, you could say, “I’m sorry for your loss” or “I’m sorry I dropped your sandwich” or “I’m sorry I stepped on your foot”. When you need to convey more emotion in your apology, you would say, “I apologize for saying those hurtful things” or “I apologize for burning down your house”. (Haahaa … that would be the least I could do!)
When you apologize, I needs to be authentic and sincere. Willingness to see the other side will make it easy to be sincere. Name your mistake or wrongdoing in your apology and allow the other person to share their feelings with you. That does not mean debate what happened. Try to change your wrong behavior; personal growth is always a good thing.
But there are things that you should never apologize for, so long as you are not harming someone.
- Telling the truth.
- Saying no.
- Your priorities, even when the priority is you.
- Ending a toxic relationship.
- Taking time for yourself.
- Pursuing a dream or a goal.
- Being who you are. Be true to yourself. That includes religious beliefs, sexual orientation, heritage, where you are from, etc.
- Feeling emotions. It’s okay to be sad; it’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to feel angry; it’s okay to celebrate.
- Apologize for something that you have already apologized for.
- For someone else’s wrongdoing. You taking the blame allows them to be a coward.
… and NEVER apologize for loving someone!
Gottsman, Diane. The Protocol School of Texas. Apology Etiquette: The art of the pardon. 16 Sept 2019. Apology Etiquette: The Art of the Pardon – Diane Gottsman | Leading Etiquette Expert | Modern Manners Authority