When ‘Sorry’ Isn’t Good Enough

We’ve all experienced a time when we thought that we deserved an apology. We may have even felt at times that we’ve gotten an apology that didn’t suffice.

“Say it like you mean it,” we say.

Or, “Well, sorry isn’t good enough this time.”

But we’ve also all been on the other end of it too. We know very well that when we do something wrong, we struggle to get the words out. We feel bad but sometimes it’s hard to swallow our pride and let humility lead the way. It’s so uncomfortable and embarrassing to admit we’re wrong, and what if the person doesn’t say it back? Awkward!

Knowing that we put ourselves through this thought tennis, it’s hard to imagine that we continue to give the cold shoulder to our partner, friend, colleague or neighbour when they offer their apologies.

But we do it.

We hold grudges, throw things, give the silent treatment and even post hateful things on social media.

When we just aren’t having it from someone who apologizes, it’s most likely that we aren’t in a forgiving space…yet. This is why it’s usually a good idea for both sides to retreat and cool down after a big blowout argument over a mistake. You’ve noticed that a ‘sorry’ in the middle of an argument will probably be shot down immediately with a ‘Whatever!‘. But a sit down talk a couple days later is more well-received.

This isn’t always the case, of course. Actually, it’s more common that one side gets to the apology phase way before the other gets to the forgiveness phase and trying to talk fails as well. Maybe still more time is needed.

But if right now you’re involved in an awkward stand off that’s making you tense and lose sleep, try and remember how hard it might be for the other party to apologize or forgive. Sometimes good

old-fashioned time is needed. Sometimes it’s something else that has to get taken care of. Flowers and gifts might not hurt. But whatever it is, ‘sorry’ is the best first step.

Here are three of the biggest tips on forgiving and apologizing that might help your sticky situation and get your relationship back on track and maybe even stronger.

Say it.

In all the kerfuffle of arguing and miscommunication, you may have forgotten to even try, “I’m sorry”. Sometimes the simplest thing can make a difference. Just look at the power of a haiku!

Mean it.

Saying sorry in a heated argument just to shut someone up probably won’t have the effect you’re hoping for. Everyone can detect a BS apology.

Also, forgo adding to the phrase.

‘I’m sorry, god!’ or ‘I’m sorry, ok?” cheapen the message. Especially stay away from, “I’m sorry but you…”

Remember, short and simple.

Believe it.

Remember that it’s not always the easiest thing to say. Give him or her a break and let it go. Or at the very least, allow the person to feel like you’re beginning to forgive. Is there really a pay off for staying angry?

The ‘Sorry’ Haiku:

Saying you’re sorry

Is so very important

The same as friends are

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments!

Have a great week,


Check out my life coaching services for thirtysomethings at ashewoodward.com

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