Why Men Struggle To Apologize

/

Why Men Struggle To Apologize

What makes it so hard for a man to utter the simple words “I’m sorry”?
It’s a common fact that compared to women, men struggle more when it comes to apologizing for their mistakes, and blunders.

“I was wrong.”

“I’m sorry I said that.”

“I apologize for yelling at you.”

“I’m sorry I did that.”

When I work with couples I sometimes like to joke that men are born with only a certain number of apologies that have to last them their whole lifetimes. So they have to be very careful in how they spend them and therefore they won’t apologize unless it’s for something really, really serious, and then only under great duress.

What makes it so hard for some men to apologize? Why should they learn how to do it more often, more clearly, more cleanly?

Let’s start with some reasons I have seen men struggle with apologizing:

1) Admitting I’m wrong

If I admit I’m wrong, that I made a mistake, it means I’m somehow lesser in some way: less competent, less intelligent, less together.

2) “Yes butting.” 

This sounds like, “Yes I yelled at you, but only because you did ________ to me.”  A variation on #1, it seems to stem from a man not being able to take clear responsibility for what he did wrong.

Related: 5 Questions For Men In A Modern Relationship

3) Vulnerability and weakness

For me to say “I’m sorry” is for me to be vulnerable at the moment in front of you, to make myself open to you. For a man, this can feel very threatening and it can get conflated with being weak.

4) Differing emotional expectations

I think most of us expect the rest of the world to experience life as we do. If I wouldn’t be bothered by something, why are you? Men are often not as focused on emotional nuance as their wives and partners, so their internal response to her “ouch!” is often “What’s the big deal?”  It’s hard to apologize from that standpoint.

So men, what’s an apology and why should you give one?

I’m going to keep this simple.

1) When your wife and partner says you did something wrong, take a breath and try to actually listen. It will be really hard to apologize for something if you put up a defensive wall and don’t take in the necessary information to know what’s upsetting her.

2) Unless your partner is psychotic, there will be something truthful in what she’s telling you. No, it won’t be the whole picture, but it never is. Focus on the truth in what she’s saying.

3) Take responsibility. It sounds like this: “You’re right. I did that.”

4) Apologize. It sounds like this: “I’m sorry.” You have to use a sentence that includes the words “apology” or “sorry.”  Saying “my bad” under your breath doesn’t count.

Related: 13 Components of an Effective Apology: When A Sorry Isn’t Enough

Bonus points: See if you can put yourself in her place and imagine what it would be like to feel the way she’s feeling. It’s not, “Well you shouldn’t feel that way because I wouldn’t.”  It’s, “Wow. I imagine that really hurt your feelings when I ________.”

All any of us need when someone hurts our feelings or upsets us is to know that they really understand why what they did bothered us and are sorry for it. We automatically forgive as soon as we feel that and the resulting intimacy is greater than before the offense occurred. An ability to see where you went wrong and to apologize is hugely important, not just for relationships but for life.

Dr. Gressel can be reached via his website at joshgressel.com.


Written By Josh Gressel
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

Most men struggle with apologizing, despite knowing that they are the ones at fault. If you are one of these men, then it’s time that you stop correlating apologizing with being weak; rather people who can deal with their mistakes and genuinely apologize for them, they are the strongest ones out there.

Men Struggle Apologize Pin
Why Men Struggle To Apologize
  • Lack Of Individuation: From Codependent Chameleon To True Self
  • The Rise in Armchair Psychologists on Social Media
  • 30+ Inspiring Quotes About Forgiveness To Let Go Of The Painful Past
  • When You Are Your Own Abuser: 7 Ugly Signs Of Self Abuse That You Ignore
Up Next

5 Simple Phrases That Will Make Your Husband Feel Loved

Phrases Make Husband Feel Loved

He is the man of your dreams, and just like you, he needs admiration. But, how to make your husband feel loved? Here are some subtle and right words to say to the person you love.

There are so many articles written about what wives need to stay happy but rarely do we talk about what to do to make your husband feel loved.

It’s not that husbands aren’t important. It’s just that the old adage ‘a happy wife means happy household’ is very important to men. And the adage is accurate so they work hard to do what they need to do to keep their household happy.

And one of the things they do is to ignore their own needs and ask very little of their wives. And doing that over a long period of time can lead to their own unhappiness and resentment and can cause a marriage to really struggle.

Do you prefer being ‘normal’ than being extraordinary? Would you rather do your work and be done with it instead of leading a project? Then you just might have a delta male personality.

According to the Socio Sexual Hierarchy created by Vox Day (Theodore Robert Beale), the delta male is a normal man who contributes to society and is proud of his contribution. He may not be an extraordinary leader like the alpha, but he gets the work done and makes sure that society functions smoothly. 

Let’s take a deep dive and understand what the delta male personality is and what characteristics he has so that you can identify if you are a Delta male or not.

Men don’t feel emotional pain. Or so we have been taught. The reality is men can get depressed, anxious, and suicidal. Mental illness in men is an alarming issue and we need to pay more attention to the signs of mental health issues in men during this men's mental health month.

Men's mental health issues are a public health concern that affects millions of men across the globe, yet it is a silent epidemic that is desperately begging for attention. Adult men, especially men in their 50s, suffer from a range of mental disorders but they choose to stay silent. As men, our self-esteem and sense of self-worth is closely tied to what society considers to be a success -

  • Career accomplishments
  • Financial security
  • Social reputation
  • Ability to provide for the family

Did you know over 40% of men do not talk about their mental health issues? In fact, according to men's mental health statistics, most of them report seeking medical help only when struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Men's mental health is an increasingly serious issue that we need to talk about openly without any judgment, criticism or shame.

In our complex and flawed society, men still lack a safe space to talk about their emotional and mental issues. No, we don’t talk about men's mental health. We simply tell them to “man up” because “

Up Next

How Emotional Are The 12 Zodiac Signs?

How-Emotional-Are-The-12-Zodiac-Signs-Featured

We all get emotional at times, albeit some of us are emotional way too more than the rest. Some are well adept at keeping their emotional side a secret behind a strong exterior of practicality, while others have their feelings near the surface, all the time. Nonetheless, the way we manage our emotions depends upon our personality and zodiacs say a lot about our personality traits. So, let's find out how emotional are the zodiac signs!

Each zodiac sign tries to deal with emotions in a specific way and it will be an interesting and what we hope, even an insightful read to know how emotional are we according to our zodiac signs. Let's dig in.


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲