Many would tell you these are the two most important words in relationship, and that saying sorry is very important. Some will tell you that you should use these words more, rather than less.
My response is: “really?”
Can you actually be saying sorry too much in a relationship?
The words “I’m sorry” are relatively unimportant for the long-term, in your relationships.
I know that’s a big statement. But the reality is that words mean very little in comparison to your active effort to repair damage that’s already been done.
The act of actually taking responsibility for your past actions is worth a lot more – and holds a lot more value – than just saying sorry.
Sure, you should say sorry, it counts for something.
But I don’t think there is such a thing as using the words “I’m sorry” too little.
I think rather, that there is such a thing as caring too little to make a change or to treat your partner better.
saying sorry too much in a relationship
Many women lash out and cut deep with their words, then proceeding to torture themselves with guilt, and then say that they’re sorry.
Then, once again, they lash out, cup deep with their words, torture themselves with guilt. Then say sorry. And then lash out with their words, and then….
The pattern repeats itself continuously, over and over. You have to break the pattern, and develop alternative ways to deal with a problem, or even a new authentic temperament.
So let me ask you this:
Do you think this cycle holds any real value for the hurt partner?
Or is it worth a lot more if you instead actually change your behavioural pattern?
Sorry As A Cover Up
The words I am sorry are often used as a cover-up. I’ve done it before, and I’ve seen others do it too – this is how I know.
The words “I’m sorry” are often just that – just words.
Words mean little without true resolve to change something, or to do better next time.
MORE: Read my article about he SAYS he misses you, but…
There was a time in my relationship where I had not treated my man fairly, and I was saying sorry – and in the middle of it, I had to stop myself.
Later, I thought hard about it. I thought hard about the words and why I was really saying them.
Saying Sorry Too Much: An Approval Seeking Strategy
I came to a conclusion that, throughout my life, in certain relationships, I had said I was sorry out of a need to re-gain the other person’s acceptance and approval.
I made myself believe I was doing “the right thing”, but really, I was just trying to desperately re-salvage lost connection.
In other words, I was still coming from a wholly selfish place.
Do you know what I mean?
It’s like, I hurt the other person to start off with, and now I want to take even MORE from them by hoping that my apology will bring them closer to me?! This is fickle.
Sorry As A Way Of Serving Guilt
So, after stopping myself midway through the apology, I started to ask myself what would be a better way of doing things.
I realised that, often, the words “I’m sorry” were helpful (depending on who the person is, and what they value), but never made the REAL difference in repairing something I’d done that was hurtful.
The real difference goes something like this:
We mess up somehow – we act in a way that is less than authentic and less than acceptable.
And rather than hating yourself for it or indulging in guilt, the better thing to do would be to even say nothing at all, but to:
- Hold space for them. Truly listen to the other person’s pain; and
- Just be with them.
Whether it’s your man, your mom, your sister, your best friend, or your colleague.
I’ve discovered that the times in which I’ve done that from a place of honesty and sincerity, it is a natural behaviour regulator.
This is because by having empathy, by feeling the other person’s pain, you naturally force yourself to act differently next time.
This way, your mind and body remember the pain they experienced and you develop an association (a bodily memory or neurological memory if you will) that allows you to adjust your behaviour towards them in the future.
This action also makes it so that repairing lost trust is purely YOUR responsibility – Up until a point where it’s clear that the other person isn’t interested in trusting you at all anymore.
In most cases, a person who is hurt just wants you to care more, and love them more. Even if they seem to be pushing you away.
Just to clarify for the purposes of this post:
Caring and ‘loving’ someone more doesn’t have to mean that you suffocate them, but rather, that you come from a place of authenticity and you place yourself wholly in their shoes by actively listening and caring – without question. No strings attached!!
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Putting “I’m Sorry” In To Context…
That being said, I believe that there are a number of people who say sorry authentically. And of course, it’s possible to say sorry purely out of 100% consideration, compassion and love for the other person.
I think that the words “I’m sorry” said in this way takes a high level of selflessness.
The problem for many is that as children, we had mommy or daddy take us by the hand, lead us up to little Johnny or Sarah, and force us to say “I’m sorry” when we broke their toy or called them a bad name.
Even when we didn’t want to say sorry. Even when we didn’t mean it. Even when it wasn’t coming from the right place in our hearts.
And this is ingrained in to us over and over and over and over throughout our childhood until it became a natural and subconscious reaction to something. Sometimes, as a matter of etiquette, saying “sorry!” is fine.
For example, if you step on someone’s unsuspecting toes on a crowded bus, it’s only good to say “oh sorry!!!” – right? Just to indicate some consideration towards them.
The words “I’m sorry” are not as important as our intentions and actions, our resolve, and what we have to give. Some people just say they are sorry because they feel they have to.
What Is More Important Than Sorry?
Honestly, there are a number of things that are more important than saying sorry too much in a relationship.
There are many things that will have a greater effect and influence upon your relationship than using the “I’m sorry” phrase. I’ll list a few below:
- Working on yourself. Constantly striving to strip away your fears and masks so that you can present yourself with authenticity and character. When you do this, you’ll often say the words from a place of total authenticity, and they will MEAN more to the other person.
- A humble intent.
- Your actions in the long-term.
- True compassion.
These actions are where the real vale lies. And if you want to be a high value woman, I highly suggest you focus on these things, rather than the simple words “I’m sorry”.
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Do you agree with my views?
Do you think saying sorry is important?
What other words or actions could someone say to you or do that would have a greater and better impact?
Has anyone ever apologized to you and it didn’t feel like it came from the right place? Perhaps you thought it didn’t help because they didn’t mean it? Please share your thoughts and experiences with me below!
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Renee is the founder of The Feminine Woman & co-founder of Shen Wade Media where we teach women how to show up as a high value high status woman whom easily inspires a deep sense of emotional commitment from her chosen man. Together with her husband D. Shen at Commitment Triggers blog, they have positively influenced the lives of over 15 million women through their free articles and videos as well as 10’s of thousands through paid programs through the Shen Wade Media platform.
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