The hardest word to say in the English Language is…

SORRY

I am not sure why that is but too many people cannot seem to say that word. Sorry is only 5 letters long and yet so few people know how to say it. Pride and being right seem to be more important to the majority of people than humility and righteousness. Now speaking from anecdotal evidence and 21-years experience as a married man I can assure you that sorry may be hard to say but it’s vitally important to learn to say it. In any healthy relationship (esp. marriage) no one is always right or always wrong, and in almost every individual dispute in a relationship neither side is completely right or wrong. That is what makes it imperative that both sides apologize for their wrongdoing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of spineless wimp that always apologizes without reciprocity, when I am wronged I DEMAND an apology. I will simply not forgive until I hear that word, but then it will be like nothing happened. What is so striking is that it seems as if most people would rather pay money or open a blood vessel instead of saying sorry.

My wife is far, far more empathetic and sensitive and caring than I am (yes I am a lucky bastard that doesn’t deserve her) but despite this she had to learn to say sorry from me. Having said that, I usually end up apologizing way more because I have an innate talent for sticking my foot in my mouth. By extension our children learned the value of apology from watching us settle our disagreements and arguments by saying sorry to each other. I believe that the reason my kids are so kind and caring towards friends and classmates alike is due to the empathy one gains from apologizing. When you learn to apologize sincerely you learn empathy, you begin to understand everyone around you with greater insight since you have to be able to understand someone’s feelings to know you wronged them. I also believe that my apologies to my kids when I was harsh with them or I seemed to be arbitrary in my decisions (I never am but that’s a discussion for another time) engendered the great respect my kids have for me.

Note #1: Never start an apology with the word IF, that simply means you don’t believe you did anything wrong and you are apologizing for the person you are arguing with (which always struck me as bizarre). INSINCERE

Note#2: This post was never meant to sound arrogant or condescending in any way, it was simply a reaction to the venomous rhetoric I see on the Internet, in the Media, in the political arena, and even at my workplace. Apologizing more would be a subtle (and positive) form of social engineering. That may sound conspiratorial or Orwellian but empathy is never a bad thing for people to learn.

Note#3: I guess you could call me an apology apologist (ba-dum TISH).

 

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