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Apologies- within reason

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

I don’t know about you but over my 64 years I’ve met many people that don’t apologise for their wrong doing. Having observed this and was once married for 11 years to a narcissistic wife that never apologised once in all that time, I’ve come to conclusion that absence of apologies is excess of arrogance, stubbornness or both.

Whatever the reason it leaves the more apologetic one with lots of frustration because they, like most, run their lives with apologies as a basic form of expressing regret which is a conventional method of healing so we can move forward. Without that you live a marriage where you question your own judgements when apology is absent. Imo that comes from greater commitment with knowledge that without carrying responsibility for your own errors, the future of the marriage is in jeapody.

As my first wife and I had young children when we parted ways we still had to communicate for visitations and pick ups/drop offs and education concerns. This meant a continuous stream of talking flowed on so in effect that stubbornness went on for a further 14 years until the youngest was 18yo, when finally I needed to escape and severed all contact. That’s how bad an “attitude” can be.

That was 10 years ago. Yet the scars live on. Now if a friend or relative is in clear error I do like some expression of regret- if it is shown then I click into forgiveness mode quickly- most times.

What about an excess of apologies? Commonly found in people with low self esteem, these apologies reflect a domineering factor in your childhood whereby you were told “you are wrong” in an over domineering way- as an adult you continue to feel that guilt and guilt is s terrible backpack to carry around.


beyondblue topic guilt the tormentor

Those “guilt” rocks in that backpack should be thrown in the river, revert to normality and apologise only when you are convinced you have made an error.

Finally, I learned in training to be a young prison officer that in a group and you make an error (say you incorrectly made an accusation) then the correct action if possible is to apologise to that person in front of the same people. You might feel embarrassment but you’ll gain respect. In a jail it could save your life but respect is hard to gain amongst prisoners, that’s one way of getting it- is to treat people proper.

What is your take on apologies?


37 Replies 37

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Yes Topsy, I recall it. I also recall the song by Elton John and Kiki Dee - sorry seems to be the hardest word


it all does hurt 20x more but if the benefits didn't outweigh the negatives people wouldn't pursue love. I'm suggesting most people feel the risk of hurt is worth it. However, if we are ultra sensitive or scarred, then it's understandable we will run from the pursuit of love.

Life is short. We should protect ourselves from harm. If that means keeping away from love so be it. But I believe than isn't what the majority want to do.

What do you think?


Hello Tony, life is too short and only if we knew what we know now, some 30 - 40 years ago, I wonder how our life would have turned out, I know that my situation would be completely different to what it is now, but no one can say whether or not we would have struggled with any type of depression, hindsight is a wonderful word but it doesn't guarantee a happy existence.

Best wishes.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Tony...and everyone...🤗,

When I first moved into my own home, 6 years ago..my neighbour was so nice, made some donuts and coffee for us the day I moved in....The next day my dogs got under the fence and chased her chickens..okay she had a right to be upset but not to the extent she did...fast forward a couple of years...I had a couple of friends over, when I passed out...I came home a couple of days later..I was hanging my clothes out when my neighbour verbally attacked me because she wasn’t involved in with what happened to me a couple of days prior....

Anyway through time and patience with my neighbour we are getting along good....The only reason this is...is because I keep apologising to her..even for her own mistakes..You see, my neighbour is never wrong....After years and years of a way to self protect me, by apologising to keep the peace..I am doing the same with my neighbour...Am I wrong in doing this?...Yes probably, but it’s keeping the peace..

Yesterday, neighbour was painting her lattice work on the veranda, so I went over to help her...she thanked me and said to come over today for lunch...I have recently changed my eating habits, so I thanked her and said no....Well did she get upset...yes very much...she wanted to repay me for my help...I helped her because I wanted to..not for any repayment of my time or help....So I ended up apologising and said yes..I will come over for lunch tomorrow, which is now today....Right now I’m not looking forward to it because as I said earlier she is never wrong...and I feel exhausted by her conversations, because if I disagree with her....she can get loud....so I sit their like a little door mouse...agreeing with her every statement....

Is it so wrong to agree with her all the time and apologise for my wrong words in our conversation to keep the peace?...Most people would probably say yes...but I’m well and truely over any more conflict in my life....and will do anything to keep the peace and my neighbour happy...

Would love to hear thoughts on this....should I unlearn the way I protect myself...and start to disagree without apologising to her when I know she is wrong?...and then leave me open to an unhappy neighbour?..

My kindest thoughts everyone..


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi grand, I think it's different if someone is abusive.

If the neighbour is friendly but has some struggles being always right I can get letting it slide

I guess no one's perfect and we do let things go at times. The ability to say sorry is a good thing. I don't feel that I ever want to say sorry to ppl who abuse or harm, though

Hi rx, I think it's a bit of a red flag with ppl who would never offer an apology

We all make mistakes

My parent was like thay, never ever would say sorry and I found it mind boggling as a way to live. Like even for so,ethimg tiny, like being late etc, some ppl can't even say sorry. It seems to break their ego .

I think that's poor form, and a bit sad. I think sorry are allowed and OK in any healthy relationship.

It doesn't have to mean begging, grovelling, or extreme putting oneself down, but just saying one made a mistake, is healthy in my opinion.

l'm sorry they don't sleep. lt's crazy the way some people take themselves admitting a mistake or saying sorry so heavily , it doesn't have to mean anything like that. To me it's actually the bigger person that can say sorry.

Hi Tony. Most def' l'd prefer to love , love comes with risks , but it comes with many beautiful things too. for sure.

What l meant is that for good people with good hearts , it hurts you , them , to see you've wronged your loved one. lt's hard to see your loved one hurt especially if knowing you've accidentally or carelessly hurt them, and so that good person will want to say sorry.

l'm like this myself and the sort of person l love is exactly the same normally , although my ex had a lottttt of trouble saying sorry. Actually l'm not even sure if she ever did. My partner now has a far more sensitive and loving kind of nature and she could never not say sorry. My daughters the same , both beautiful hearted people.

Hi Grandy . That neighbour def; sounds like a problem child. Don't think l'd be apologizing too much she's obviously riding your good nature. How to handle her God l don't know , l know how l'd handle her , l wouldn't bother with her. l'd just be vaguely polite enough with someone like that enough to exist next door to them and go on with living my own life . Maybe they start showing a bit of respect maybe they don't , l'm lucky like that l wouldn't care which either way it went . But that's me.


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Grandy

The last paragraph of rx post would be my choice.

Hello, goodbye, lovely weather...is the extent of my communication with someone like that.

Thanks Geoff, sleepy and others.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Tony, RX...🤗..

I wish it was that simple to do that....but it’s not..

Thank you both...

Kind thoughts..


Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
I think you have to be true to your values and do what you feel is in your best interest long term. If being nice to people and apologising even if it isn't deserved fits with your values of treating everyone with respect then I think you are doing the right thing Grandy particularly if that enables you to feel more comfortable living near this neighbour. Of course if the situation changes and you are being pressured into doing things you really don't want to do then you do need to stand up for yourself.

Hi Elizabeth, that's a really great point.

Not sure if anyone here is into Acceptance Commitment Therapy?

It's all about living in line with Ur Values, ie the person u want to me, assertive, helpful, inclusive, welcoming

I think I'd understand peaceful as a value some may hold.,,

It is okay and understandable to do things to get closer to that value.

It doesn't sound so black and white to me, we do sacrifice sometimes being right to get along, but being abused also takes a toll on us....if we are always apologising for things we didn't do, I wander if inside it may lead us to feel more sad...I do think apologising is generally a great trait. It's just sad in the world that some ppl may take advantage of this, inherently beautiful, trait. I know I have been abused by others because I apologised often and was keen to please .

Any thoughts ?