by Andrea M. Darcy
Always apologising non stop? Feel sorry for everything that goes wrong?
Is apologising too much sometimes normal?
In the UK we say sorry to every person we pass as we manoeuvre our way around a busy shop. It’s a harmless show of politesse.
And yes, we all sometimes apologise profusely for practical reasons. Saying sorry to the bank manager you need a loan from, even if you don’t feel the mistake in question is yours, makes sense.
It’s when we apologise too much in our daily relationships or intimate relationships that things become more serious. It can be a sign of other issues that need addressing.
[Feel like everything is your fault, and struggling to see the point in things? Time to talk to someone can help – book an online counsellor now.]
Are these the reasons you apologise too much?
So why are you always apologising? Learn the different reasons we apologise and what they can mean about you.
You always say sorry to avoid conflict.
Dishonest apologising in the name of avoiding conflict generally means you have unresolved childhood issues. Sometimes it’s a case of growing up around violence, such as parents that were always fighting. or an alcoholic parent who flew into rages. As adults we do what we can to never feel that inner fear again.
Or perhaps your main caregiver punished or rejected you if you dared to not be a ‘good’ child.
Whatever it was that taught you to reject and repress your true feelings and thoughts, you will now suffer anxiety if someone is upset with you. In fact apologising becomes about feeling safe.
You are sorry for everything because you are unlucky and make bad thing happen.
Actually believing we are the root cause of all the terrible things around us usually means we lived through pretty severe childhood difficulties or childhood trauma.
Trauma robs us of our self worth and even identity. If we don’t find help to heal, we can move through our adult life feeling an unloved monster who is to blame for everything.
Your partner is amazing, so obviously it’s your fault.
Apologising because your partner is ‘perfect’ so you assume any issues are yours? This again relates to low self-esteem and poor core beliefs about yourself.
Putting others on pedestals and refusing to see their flaws can also be about a fear of being let down or making mistakes. Pretending things are perfect means we avoid getting hurt, or feeling stupid.
It might be that you were let down badly as a child, or punished if you made mistakes, so you’ve learned to block out reality. The problem is that nobody is perfect, and the other person might feel stressed by your demands they be so, and eventually walk away.
Note that if you have a tendency to always think people are amazing, but a few months later decide they were actually a monster? This is a sign of borderline personality disorder which is usually caused by childhood abuse.
You are apologising because your partner is right, you do everything wrong.
In a relationship where you started confident, but now find you say sorry for anything and everything? And at first you weren’t sure that was fair, but your partner always finds a way to show you how you actually mess everything up? How flawed you are? And let you know how lucky you are to be with him or her?
You are in a psychologically abusive relationship. Learn more in our article, “Ten Excuses That Hide Emotional Abuse”.
You don’t want the other person feel bad.
Take the blame to keep your partner happy? Want them to always like you, so you say sorry when you’ve done nothing wrong?
These are the red flags of codependency, where we take our sense of self from pleasing others instead of developing self-esteem within.
You are always apologising because you are always freaking out and upsetting others.
Always blowing up? Going from happy to furious? And after the storm passes, constantly apologising to cover your tracks?
This could be anger management issues related to unresolved childhood issues or childhood trauma that have left you with excess rage.
Rapidly changing moods can also be a sign of borderline personalty disorder. When you have BPD you have what is called ‘emotional dysregulation‘. You can’t control how you feel, and can go from zero to 100 in a few seconds.
You always apologise so other people don’t abandon you.
If you apologise for things you don’t actually feel you did, but you’d rather do that than be left on your own? You have abandonment issues and possibly anxious attachment. These can stem from a childhood where you couldn’t rely on a parent to be there for you when you needed them.
If you are so terrified of being abandoned you will manipulate the other person to stay – make up stories, pretend you are sick, or even threaten them – then it can again be borderline personality disorder.
You say sorry for everything because then life is easy.
Apologising to conserve energy could be seen as ‘being easy going’. But the refusal to engage that marks an ‘easy going personality’ can hide a deep-rooted fury at the world. Somewhere along the way something happened you couldn’t control, or that you were powerless to fight, so you gave up trying.
Note that emotions don’t disappear, they fester. Not facing up to your repressed anger leads to passive aggressive behaviour and can often mean troubles later in life, such as a midlife crisis.
How to stop saying sorry all the time?
As the above examples show, always taking the blame often relates to our unresolved childhood issues. Self help is a great start if we want to understand and heal our past and raise our self-esteem.
But finding professional support can be the best thing we do for ourselves. A talk therapist creates a non-judgmental, safe environment to explore our thoughts and feelings, and asks the questions that help you move forward faster.
Ready to raise your confidence and improve your relationships? We connect you to London’s top talk therapists. Not in London? Find a UK-based registered therapist on our booking site, or try one of our online therapists from anywhere in the world.
Still have a question about being sorry for everything? Post in the public comment box below. All comments monitored to protect our readers, we do not allow derogatory comments or advertisements.
Andrea M. Darcy is a popular health writer and found of the wellbeing site “Messy Divine”. Find her @am_darcy