Why Is It So Hard To Apologize?

Just a few days ago, I wrote a post about the two magic words “Thank You” that can work wonders.

Today I kept thinking about the other magic words “I am sorry” that are as powerful as “Thank You” and can work wonders as well in a different way. And wondering why people don’t use them when they should.

Back in July, I paid and registered my son for the in-house basketball with a local athletic association. I never heard anything back from them after the registration.

Last year, my son had already started orientation at the end of October. But so far this year, nothing happened. So I got concerned.

Today I emailed the basketball program coordinators/directors of the athletic association to inquire about it and to find out when the in-house basketball would start.

To my surprise, I was told that the in-house basketball for my son’s grade level was canceled  in August due to low enrollment.  They tried contacting me back in August, but the email address and the phone number I gave them did not work.

Honestly, I was not happy to hear the news. We were looking forward to this basketball program to start. This is the only sport my son really likes and wants to do. I wanted him to get some exercises. I even tried to register him for SEMS swimming program two months ago, but there was no space available for his level. 

Now he couldn’t do basketball either.

I was more than not happy, I was a little upset.

Why didn’t they notify me earlier? How could both of my email address and phone number not work? I know both from the heart and won’t give them wrong information. They have my registration form with address too. How much effort did they put into contacting me?

There is really no excuse in my mind. In this day and age, finding someone is so easy and quick. I am in the local phonebook. I am also on the Internet. It won’t take much time and effort to find me and verify my contact information.

What upsets me more is the fact that I contacted the same people in September to cancel my daughter’s in-house basketball registration. And I told them I had to cancel one of my kids’ registrations because I could not drive them to their practices on the same date/time and at different schools. If they canceled my son’s program, they should have told me then when I contacted them. Now they are telling me that they couldn’t notify me about the cancellation because my contact info didn’t work. How should I think of that?

What upsets me even more is the fact that no one said a word of apology. How hard is it to simply say: “I am sorry for what happened.”

I understand that the athletic programs are mostly run by volunteers who have full time jobs and familes to take care of. I appreciate their sacrifice when they help with the programs and volunteer for the community. I know we are all humans which means we make mistakes. I do too. It’s all understandable.

But how hard is it for someone to say: “I am sorry?” That’s really all I wanted to hear. Even if they did everything right, and no mistake was made, it would still be a nice gesture to say: “I am sorry for any inconvenience this has caused for you.” Everything would be just fine.

But no such words. 

It hurts and saddens in some way.

To say these magic words, all it takes is a little bit of humility, responsibility and courage.

When we apologize sincerely, we can heal wounds, remove negative feelings such as frustration, resentment, anger, and transform our moods instantly.

Even my seven year old daughter seemed to understand that. You can read that story I shared in this article: The power of the written word

1 Response

  1. Hello Qin Tang, this article is inspirational. Humility, responsibility and courage are great things that can be done by great people. So let us make it a challenge to ourselves to be great and do these three keys to say the words of apology.

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