(It’s Not) Hard To Say I’m Sorry

Today is Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the year in the Jewish religion. It’s our “Day of Atonement”, meaning that we are apologizing for the sins of the past year and seeking forgiveness. A big part of Yom Kippur is saying “I’m sorry”.

Saying those two words is very easy for me. Although I have perfectionist tendencies (ya think?), I have absolutely no problem admitting that I have made a mistake. In fact, usually when I discover I’ve made an error I completely overcompensate in the apology department because I feel so terrible about it. (That’s an issue for another day. Or for a therapist.)

I consider myself lucky to be able to apologize with ease. “I’m sorry” can smooth down ruffled feathers, mend fences, and start to heal broken hearts. Not everyone has the ability to apologize easily, and that can cause problems both internally as well as in relationships with others.

It makes me wonder what it is that makes this simple act so easy for some but not for others. Is it in the genes? Is it how we were raised? Our life experiences? How others treat us? It’s probably a combination of all of those things.

Where do you stand? Are you like me, or on the other end of the spectrum? Were you once able to say “I’m sorry” easily but now have difficulty, or vice versa?

On that note and in honor of Yom Kippur, I want to apologize to any of you who I may have hurt or offended in the past year, and hope you’ll forgive me. For my Jewish readers: I hope you have an easy fast.

May this new year be happy, healthy, and prosperous for all.


  • Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

    I think it is very much how we’re raised.
    I have a hard time going back and saying it after the fact. If something happens and an apology is needed in the moment, I can usually do that without issue. But going back to an issue after I’ve realized I did something wrong is way hard for me.

  • Laila @OnlyLaila

    Such a powerful and important day. I had this conversation with my sister recently. She would stop talking to people for YEARS if they offended her in anyway. Over time she has learned there is power in letting go and forgiving those who have done wrong. I think it’s a combination of how you were raised and life experiences. I also think that there comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to learn to let go and let God.

  • Shannon

    I’m with Lisa. It ‘s hard for me to go back and apologize. I do believe in a stubborn gene, and I’m pretty sure I have it, but I do think it is possible to overcome it with growth and experience and reflection.

  • Liz

    See also: silent treatment <—- I'll take a good old-fashioned "Hollah at me, or something" over being on the receiving end of one of these…oy!

  • Grandma W

    I also think it is a combination but I like to forgive in 99% of the time especially since I feel that life is to short. I think it hurts you more to be mad or upset with someone than to just say your sorry and forgive but you don’t always have to forget.

    May this be a good and health year for all.

    Grandma W

  • Stephanie K

    Personally, I think of atonement is more than just SAYING “I’m sorry”, that’s easy to do. But, changing your actions so that you don’t do whatever you are apologizing for in the first place, that is a bigger thing. That is making you accountable for your actions.
    I’ve always been told that actions speak louder than words. If I keep, lets say, hitting my husband n the arm every time I pass him yet follow that up with an “I’m sorry”, am I really sorry, am I atoning for my past transgressions or being flippant? If though, I stop hitting him in the arm every time I pass him I think it’s that changed behavior in me that speaks louder than the words.

  • Dwana

    Sorry comes easy for me … sorry, partner, if I have in any way offended you or let you down this year 🙂 so do we wish Happy Yom Kippur? Either way, love and best thoughts on this important day for you! *hugs*

  • Michelle

    Yep, I agree that a lot of it is how we’re raised. And how comfortable and happy with ourselves we are. If we’re confident in ourselves, we can admit we’re wrong. When we don’t have that faith and trust in ourselves, we deny that there’s anything wrong, yes?

    I’m good at apologizing when I’m wrong. Too bad it doesn’t happen more often. JUST kidding!