I’m going to keep this article relatively short.
A couple weeks ago, some stupid and unnecessary actions from a couple of my friends got me thinking about the way men apologize. Many times, pride and anger prevent most men from apologizing.
The wildly successful men’s website Art of Manliness posted an article eight years ago entitled “How to Apologize Like a Man”. It was a pretty good article, so I’m not going to repeat here what was already written.
However…(you knew there was a “however” coming, didn’t you?)
There were a few things missing. Yes, the Art of Manliness article captured how to apologize, when to apologize, and when not to apologize. But it left off a few important things to NEVER do. Allow me to quickly address three things that were missing from that article.
First, never apologize for feelings…neither your feelings nor anyone else’s feelings. If you ever look me in my face and say “I’m sorry you were offended” or something like “I’m sorry you’re upset”, I will kick you in your kneecaps. That’s not an apology. That’s you feeling condescending. Men should only apologize for their actions. If you screw up, apologize for screwing up.
Second, never be a “Sorry But”. You should never EVER place the word but after the word sorry. (For example, “I’m sorry, but I was just having a bad day” or “I’m sorry for saying what I said, but you just pissed me off” or “I’m sorry for what I did, but it was because of what you did to me.”) It’s an insincere way of trying to justify your f**ked up actions.
Third, never demand forgiveness. Even if you apologize profusely, even if you are sincerely sorry, even if you do everything in your power to make things right…the other person doesn’t have to forgive you. Ever. Forgiveness is a gift, and it’s ridiculous of you to think that you somehow deserve a gift just because you’re you. It doesn’t work like that.
I told you I’d keep it short this week. Hopefully you’ll avoid these NEVERs when it comes to the demonstration of sincere contrition.