This post is mostly going to be about what NOT to apologize for and instances of what may be proper times to apologize. Most men today are too apologetic for things that are not their responsibility or don’t need to be apologized.
In fact, I would counsel men to never say the word “sorry” ever again. “Sorry” just has such a bad connotation because it is an ubiquitous word that is used by nice guys in reference to offending womens’ feelings. This is why this series is named “apologies” rather than “sorries.” Plus sorries looks like a weird word.
When not to apologize
The most often time I see nice guys apologize are in these circumstances:
- They’re having trouble speaking properly.
- They’re having difficulty constructing or setting things up.
- They make a simple mistake that only causes a minor inconvenience, if at all.
- They bump into someone or get in the way.
- They don’t do something nice that they usually do (e.g. hold open the door).
None of these events are places in which you should apologize (and eliminate sorry from your vocabulary).
You can say “excuse me” if you bumped someone or were in the way. You can make a joke and say “it looks like I’m having trouble with pronounciations today!” You can say nothing. You can tease such as “excuse you” when it was you doing the bumping. There’s lots of things you can do without apologizing because many of these aren’t something that you should apologize about.
Obviously, these are just a few instances of when nice guys say sorry so take note when you apologize for such things and don’t do it.
Also, don’t act ashamed either. There’s nothing to be ashamed about.
When to apologize
When you actually do something to create dissension or strife in a relationship. Now, this is one of the hard things for most nice guys to learn.
Being called mean, or a jerk, or not nice, does not mean that you should apologize.
The cues men should take from women are from their actions. For example, if they’re smiling and punch you while calling you a jerk this is a good thing. If they want to be around you more, if they touch you more, if they smile more, if their interest level goes up, etc these are all signs that teasing or challenging is good.
Now, it is possible to be too harsh with teasing, and when that happens you’ll tend to see a woman start to drift away and distance herself from you. This is your cue to turn it down. However, if you continue to do this and didn’t realize it then it can sometimes create obvious dissension and strife within a relationship. This is at a point where you may tell her that you were being too harsh with her.
As Jenny/Sis noted in the bottom of the comments of the socialization of men and women, depending on how a woman was raised in terms of family dynamics a woman may shy away from too much teasing for whatever reason. This is where it is important to look for the action cues in the opposite sex.
The point that should drive this home is that while you are not responsible for her emotions, if you want to be married or are married then you are responsible for being considerate and/or understanding.
Thus, I would only apologize to a woman when there is a clear and obvious gulf between us that was created by something I said or did to where there is obvious tension and strife. This is going to be very rare for a nice guy, so I would generally avoid apologizing if you’re a nice guy trying to become un-nice.
Therefore, keep in mind that we’re not just to be aware of ourselves and our desires but to also be aware of our relationships and to foster them so that we grow closer to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
We were all created by God with different preferences and hobbies and interest for occupations and the like. Never be apologetic about what you like and what you don’t like. This is to be bold about what you prefer. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, if you lie about it then that’s a sin.
Likewise, we are to be unapologetic about our faith. Is there any reason to be ashamed of our belief in God and Jesus? Aren’t we also to stand against the world?Part of what it means to become a man is to understand and get comfortable with yourself and who you are in Christ.
When you are apologetic or ashamed about the things that you enjoy or like then you’re going to be timid, shy, and wishy-washy when confronted about it. No man or woman likes someone who is lukewarm about what they believe and what they prefer. It is better to choose what you like and what you don’t like then try to compromise.
Not satisfied with your body? Do something about it with diet and exercise. Don’t complain as it’s a sin.
Not satisfied with your hobbies? Find a new one, but don’t complain.
Don’t have a good relationship with God? Read the Scriptures, pray, meditate, fast, etc.
The things that we potentially have reason to be unsatisfied about should be motivation to implement change in our life. You are a steward of the Temple of the Holy Spirit and thus you have a responsibility to treat it as such.
Learn how to talk about your faith and beliefs in a confident manner. Learn how to talk about your preferences in a confident manner. Learn how to do things in a confident manner, even if you’re just starting to learn them.
Then you will start to understand the mindset that is required that will bring you out of Churchianity — the cult of nice.