Nitpickers’ debate: When should you apologize?

I was reminded over the weekend of another one of my communication pet peeves: people who never apologize. I’m an over-apologizer. I say “Sorry” more than I need to—probably more than I should. I don’t need or expect that of others. However, I do get annoyed when the person clearly responsible for dropping the ball neglects to apologize. I’m a forgiving person. I just want people to acknowledge their mistakes when they make them.

However, I wanted to put this up for debate because opinions vary widely on the issue. If you’re a fan of the TV show NCIS, you probably know that one of Gibbs’s rules (#6) is “Never say you’re sorry. It’s a sign of weakness. ” Elsewhere I’ve read that women tend to over-apologize, and that undermines their credibility and confidence. Others say that apologizing is just a form of conflict avoidance. Some people feel that the words “I’m sorry” have lost their meaning because of misuse and overuse. Others claim that the words aren’t spoken enough when they should be, further proof of the decline in basic etiquette.

But what do you think?

I encourage you to elaborate on your choice in the Comments!

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2 responses to “Nitpickers’ debate: When should you apologize?

  1. Seems simple to me. If you make a mistake and it causes problems for someone else, you should apologize. And you should apologize only when you mean it; if your apology isn’t sincere, it’s worse than not apologizing.

  2. Pingback: Should you apologize when you don’t think you did anything wrong? | Nitpickers' Nook

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