Many of us were raised to demonstrate good manners—say “please” and “thank you,” do not talk with your mouth full, knock before entering (the validation of that rule is a story for another time), avoid interrupting someone while they speak—but somehow, somewhere along the way, being a passive, fault-bearing pushover was incorporated into the unwritten list of appropriate social behavior for men.
This societal defect is due to the fact that many of us younger men were also raised to get in touch with our sensitive sides (i.e. feminine sides). Gone now are the masculine influences that helped mold the exemplars of the past, who demonstrated to the world that masculinity was, indeed, expedient.
Deprived of these role-models, society continually labels all who openly exhibit masculinity as chauvinistic, misogynistic cavemen who are trapped in the past. Thus, we are not only encouraged to act like women, but we are also shamed if we act like men. And what is our generation’s sensitive-side response to this attack? “Sorry.”
I have seen a myriad of those who, instead of saying, “excuse me,” and walking through a crowd, decide that the better alternative is to say “Sorry!” to everyone they pass. If the minuscule inconvenience of taking a step back while someone walks by warrants an apology, then I must spend the entirety of my future apologizing to the countless victims that I have wronged (in addition to all the women that I did not check my privilege with).
A quick observation reveals the apologetic nature of most individuals: we all know at least one guy who, upon being told that he apologies too much, apologies. But what of yourself? Are you inclined to apologize for inconsiderable offenses? Is apologizing your initial response to any uncomfortable situations? Do you frequently shift blame onto yourself and feel the need to apologize for issues that you were uninvolved in? In any case, this unnecessary usage of the word sorry must cease.
The First Issue
Incessant apology displays weakness. It displays that an individual always assumes fault for anything that goes wrong. Most importantly, it reveals a fear of displeasing others. This is remarkably detrimental to the improvement of oneself for two reasons.
1. You Will Be Taken Advantage Of
If people who apologize frequently are those who do not want to displease others, they must also be inclined to do whatever is asked of them. The individual infrequently receives help from others, yet he is eager to assist one in need, regardless of what his relationship with the person is.
Over time, this passive individual may gain a reputation as the guy who helps everyone. Once this has occurred, he will be even further compelled to make others’ lives easier, and thus will dig himself into a near-inescapable tomb, where he will wallow in self-pity and curse his inability to say “no.” The one who fears displeasing others will always end up displeasing himself.
2. You Will Become Stagnant
If the entirety of one’s life is spent helping others’ every need, no time will be spent improving himself. A motivational speaker is of no use if he cannot implement what he teaches into his own life; accordingly, the proverb, “Physician, heal thyself (found in Luke 4:23),” may be rewritten as, “Counselor, advise thyself.”
In other words, attend to your own issues before attempting to resolve the same issue in others. The one who fears displeasing others will always end up regretting that he neglected self-improvement for the sake of helping others, who now surpass him in quality.
The Second Issue
Saying “sorry” too much signals instability. It demonstrates that trivial matters are overwhelming to an individual and that his go-to method for dealing with the anxiety is to demean himself. Instead of recognizing the situation as insignificant, he easily distributes one of his most valuable possessions—a genuine apology.
One who never uses profanity will always be taken seriously when he does implement profanity. In the same manner, one who rarely apologizes will convey sincerity when he does so. As men, our apologies should be reserved for only the gravest of mistakes. If you say that you are sorry after sneezing, how can anyone be sure that your apologies for more important matters are sincere?
So, when is it appropriate to apologize? Instead of dealing in absolutes, I will defer to your personal experience as the method of discernment. A safe assumption, however, is the following.
A = number of times you think it is appropriate to apologize.
B = number of times it is actually appropriate to apologize.
A > B
Consider the following two dialogues:
“I understand. I will make sure that I arrive five minutes early to the next meeting.”
I would expect the first response from an entitled, millennial receptionist who sashayed into the room, Starbucks in hand. The second response, on the other hand, conveys a genuine intent to correct the mistake. Essentially, the second response accomplishes the desired task—without the need for apology! Such is the objective of the masculine man.
When a society becomes permeated with those afraid to speak the truth, the result is what we see in America today: a politically-correct, tolerance-forcing majority that determines acceptable social behavior. Although this may sound similar to a DIRECTV advertisement (don’t perpetuate a blue-pill society—get rid of unnecessary apologies), the message is that seemingly trivial matters such as this accumulate and lead to much greater problems.
In a world where men are encouraged to get in touch with their feminine sides, we need to remind society what true masculinity is, sans-apology.
Read More: How To Build A Beta Male