Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Learning How to Say "Sorry"

In any type of relationship, there comes the occasional need to apologize for something you’ve said or done.

Some people have great difficulty saying “I’m sorry.” For these individuals, having to apologize is a symbol of losing and surrendering. Of course, that is what a healthy relationship is all about – being able to be vulnerable. Nevertheless, people who need to learn how to say “sorry” are aware that this is one of their problems – they have likely been told this by people close to them over a period of many years.

While some men and women have a problem in not apologizing when they should, others have a problem with the way they apologize. These people say “sorry” and don’t really mean it or haven’t really taken inventory of why the other person is upset. At times, someone will apologize to you and say “sorry” as quickly and flippantly as if they were ordering a soda at restaurant – “Yeah, I’ll have diet.”

The next time someone is upset by something you’ve said or done, make an effort to apologize. At the same time, make an effort to say it meaningfully. Rather than utter the word “sorry” as if it is simply a sterile vocabulary word, go a step further and say why you’re sorry. Sometimes taking this extra step can make all the difference in the world.

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