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Does apologizing really make us feel better ?

Posted on Tuesday, 2 April, 2013 | Comment icon 31 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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It is often said that apologizing can have a positive emotional effect, but what of the opposite ?

Most people will have been in a situation where they've found it difficult to apologize at some point in their lives. It is often suggested that apologizing to someone can make one feel better, but given how hard it is for most people to do this there would seem to be at least some emotional benefit to not doing so.

In a recent study of 228 people, three researchers discovered that there were significant psychological benefits to not apologizing. "We do find that apologies do make apologizers feel better, but the interesting thing is that refusals to apologize also make people feel better and, in fact, in some cases it makes them feel better than an apology would have," said researcher Tyler G. Okimoto.

"To err is human. So is refusing to apologize for those errors."

  View: Full article |  Source: NPR

  Discuss: View comments (31)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by TwilightSilver on 4 April, 2013, 9:08
I apologise for both double posting and the spelling/gramattical errors in my last. I just purchased a new phone...getting used to it.......
Comment icon #23 Posted by HDesiato on 4 April, 2013, 20:38
If you're a person who can justify unapologetic behavior contrary to social norms and feel good about it - and get away with it -- repeatedly... you might - be - a psycho. Or a successful businessperson . Or both. Perhaps 1 in 25 are. " A study of more than 200 executives by researcher Paul Babiak found that almost 4 percent were considered psychopaths when ranked on the Psychopathy Checklist, a tool therapists use to assess this personality disorder. Babiak, whose findings were reported in his book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, found that in comparison, only 1 percen... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by regeneratia on 15 April, 2013, 23:29
Apologizing always makes me feel better.
Comment icon #25 Posted by JC2 on 16 April, 2013, 13:51
Comment icon #26 Posted by nothinglizx2 on 18 April, 2013, 8:29
yes to err is human, but we must learn how to become more than human. Not wear it as some kind of badge of honor or merit. It is not, for we have lost much of the use of our brain through the error in being human, we were meant for so much more.
Comment icon #27 Posted by George Botha on 28 April, 2013, 11:46
There are some fairly involved types of apology situations, such as apologizing for unfaithfulness (for instance: was it just harmless flirting or was it something more deliberate?). However, two main types of apology are generally encountered. Firstly, apologizing for misdemeanours which are obviously ones own fault such as lying, stealing or just taking liberties with rights and privileges. Secondly, apologizing for losing ones temper, being harsh or acting discourteously. One would be downright foolish not to apologize for the first type. The second type is a lot more complex. In a lo... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by libstaK on 28 April, 2013, 12:06
There are alot of things in life that I wish I could go back and apologize for. Not apologizing hasn't made me feel better, not one bit. Finding a way to broach the subject and apologize after the fact is not always as straightforward as we would like, definitely an ego/pride issue but also an "opening old wounds" issue with people who will shrug it off for the sake of their own pride with a "meh, don't even think about it" or some such. I don't understand how someone can feel good or "better" when they know they are wrong but don't own up to i... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by Darkwind on 28 April, 2013, 12:17
If you want to have friends one needs to learn to apologize. I value my friends and family if have wronged them I have no problem with apologizing. I even apologize to my dog or cat if I step on them and they seem to understand it. I don't generally a apologize if I don't see I am done wrong, but I have been know to say "I am sorry, I guess I expected more from you than you are able to give." That usually opens the door for communication or ends the friendship. Either way I had the last word.
Comment icon #30 Posted by DigitalDreamer on 18 March, 2014, 15:15
Pretty egotistical to center your verbal interactions around whether or not you got the last word
Comment icon #31 Posted by nosuchthing on 20 March, 2014, 6:03

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