In the comic strips, people are always joking about how men cannot apologize when they are wrong. In reality, this character trait can affect both genders. For some reason, it seems like it is more common with men. Research studies have shown that en are more likely to have problems saying, “I’m sorry,” than women do. There are a number of reasons for this, and all of them can make having a relationship a bit harder than it would be otherwise.
1. He Doesn’t Think of Apologies the Same Way
Have you noticed yourself saying, “I’m sorry” after bumping into someone or asking the wrong question? Often, people just blurt out an apology without even thinking about the fact that they have nothing to really apologize for. In a relationship, apologizing is a way to boost the relationship and make amends. Guys might not apologize because they think that it is ridiculous to apologize for something that they do not think is their own fault.
2. He Thinks Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Men are not raised to show their feelings or express themselves emotionally. If your guy is like most men, then he may have been raised to show his beliefs, emotions and support through his actions instead of his words. He thinks that doing extra chores after a fight or bringing you flowers automatically shows that he is trying to apologize. If you suddenly notice that he is doing the dishes after every fight, then he is already trying to apologize—you just did not realize what he was doing.
3. He Doesn’t Think an Apology Is Necessary
At the University of Waterloo, researchers conducted a study on apologies. They found that men are less likely to admit to wrongdoing. This basically means that your average guy has a higher threshold of wrongdoing that has to be reached before he will ever apologize. Forgetting to text when he promised to just doesn’t reach his threshold. His idea of an offensive behavior that necessitates an apology is just drastically different than your idea.
4. He Does Not Want to Feel Weak
Apologizing is essentially admitting that you were wrong. It causes you to lose face and can make a man feel like he is weak. He feels like apologizing to you will make him seem less confident or capable in your eyes. Because of this, he tries not to apologize unless he absolutely cannot help it. To you, his failure to apologize makes him seem weaker. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be this way in his eyes.
5. He Has Emotional Baggage
When children are growing up, their parents teach them to apologize and accept responsibility for their actions. Most people get over this or learn that apologies are necessary. In some cases, the guy retains emotional baggage from having to apologize to their siblings. They vow that they will never do it again, and they unfortunately keep this promise during their next relationship.
6. He Cannot Take Responsibility
You commonly hear people say, “Yes, I did this, but it was because _____.” Your guy formats his answer this way because he wants to avoid accepting responsibility. If he just admits what he did was wrong, then he has to actually take responsibility for his actions.
Learning to Apologize
If your boyfriend never apologizes, then there are things that you can do to gradually change the situation. Calmly talk with him about how you feel. In some cases, the guy does not realize that he is doing anything wrong. Explain how you thought his actions were offensive and that they hurt you. Then, let him talk. He might have a reason for his actions, or he might want to express his confusion. If he never realized what his actions would cause, then he may be confused that you are hurt.
Do not demand an apology because this will only make him resent you. Instead, just calmly express your feelings and accept any apology that comes graciously. You do not want to confront him or make him grovel. This is not a chance to make him learn a lesson or feel worse. You want him to learn that apologizing is what adults do, and that you will calmly accept his apology when he offers it. If he learns that you are willing to accept his apologies calmly and move on, then he will be more likely to apologize in the future. You may also want to let him know that you appreciate his apology.
If he is not someone who naturally apologizes, you have to be patient. Look at his actions and his intentions. If you are certain that he never intentionally hurts you, then the problem is just an inability to apologize. It takes time to change this habit, so be patient with him and communicate honestly with him.