Apologies are very interesting things.
The importance of an honest apology for when we actually sway from our principles and/or damage someone or something should never be undermined. A genuine apology received can be deeply consoling. Likewise, the act of acknowledging wrongdoing can be invaluably humbling, educational, and therapeutic for the doer.
It’s also possible to over apologize. One way is by saying you're sorry for the slightest missteps, perhaps out of insecurity. Another way is by unnecessarily or even wrongfully apologizing for someone else’s less-than-tactful behavior.
To provide a more specific example:
Jamie repeatedly excuses Kate’s chronic tardiness even though she’s grown to find it insulting. Rather than draw a clean line in the sand, however, she continues to justify, and therefore apologize for, Kate’s behavior. Jamie’s inability to directly communicate her feelings might stem from a variety of sources, such as a fear of creating ripples. Unfortunately, real tension will only mount by not speaking up. She’s also doing a dishonest disservice to Kate, who might remain oblivious that her tardiness is offensive.
There are many reasons why one might over or under apologize, some of which can be quite complex and highly circumstantial or individualistic. Therefore, it’s not necessary to go into detail about precise sources. Yet, a beneficial practice we can all do is to look at the nature of apology and study our uses of it.
When is saying “ I'm sorry!” not really needed?
When do you make unnecessary excuses for others, such as friends, family, or partner?
When do you not apologize when you really should?
Remember, the practice of positive self-confrontation requires being as objective and practically empathetic toward oneself as possible! Embrace and evolve from what you find.
Yoga brings stability and calm into every discipline of Sophie Herbert's life. She is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student) and a Whole Living contributing editor. She graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art, where she nurtured her passion for documentary photography. It was during this time that she began her disciplined and diverse study of yoga in New York, Paris, and India.
Sophie has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India. She feels grateful to still visit and work regularly with the Deenabandhu Children's Home in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka. In November of 2010, she became an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back www.yogagivesback.org, a grass-roots nonprofit that helps destitute women and girls in India build more sustainable lives. Sophie has also shared her knowledge of yoga at the Prana Yoga Center in Astana, Kazakhstan. Currently, she teaches at the Park Slope Yoga Center www.parkslopeyoga.com in Brooklyn and privately. Sophie is also an avid cook.