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Temi : I am So Sorry



dreamstime_l_58077732I hate apologies, and I can be ungracious about it because sometimes I think they are usually empty. Most times, apologies come after someone has done something particularly hurtful and they think extending a paltry “I am sorry”, giving hugs or buying gifts should make up for their wrongs. We are supposed to smile, the sun should beam rainbows, and we should start burping skittles because they are sorry.

I am not as ungracious as I appear to be, but my problem is this- at the time of the dispute that led to harsh words and actions, both parties had a choice. To be civil or not- one chose the former (the offended) and the other chose the latter (the offender). I am being simplistic with my argument as this is not how reality works, but this example should serve my purpose. The offender has done their worst. They have proceeded to insult you from the roots of your hair, the tips of your toe nails, right down to your lineage and your great grand father’s concubine. Afterwards, the offender shows up hats in hands, and extends the words “I am sorry”. Responses can differ depending on how soon the apology is proffered, however, one thing is certain; offering an apology does not mean that the offended person is obliged to forgive. In my opinion, the aim of an apology should not be for the offender to expect forgiveness, but to acknowledge their mistake and seek to make the person they have hurt feel better. No, I am not saying we should all walk around angry and unforgiving, but if you are not ready to forgive a person at the time their apology was extended, then you should not hurry your response for their sake. You should feel free to luxuriate in your anger for as long as you want until you are ready to forgive.

Jest aside; I don’t think an apology should be a fail safe against anger or angry responses and that is what it is most often used as. If you have done something wrong, then you should expect the other person to be angry and you the offender should be ready for blistering words that will follow. Often, this is not always the case. An offender will apologise and expect good feelings to resurface instantly; that is not feasible or reasonable. Anger and whatever emotion the offended person might be feeling needs ample time to be worked through and at their own pace. To expect them to rush that process is to cheat them. Firstly, they have been cheated out of the opportunity of cursing the offender blue and black during the initial argument and now they are not allowed to process and work through their emotions at their own pace?

Secondly, I think apologies are weak to the extent that a person should own their actions. Most times people blame the devil, their aunt in the village, the weather, their health or whatever excuse they wish to rely on for their bad habits. Don’t come back and try to blame the devil. The devil had nothing to do with your actions, the devil was probably chilling in hell poking Hitler with his pitchfork and was not giving any thought to you the offender at that particular time (doesn’t mean it cant turn its thoughts to you later). It goes back to the choice both parties had. I have a friend who has adopted the maxim “better to ask forgiveness than permission” therefore I know apologies from her are superficial. She meant to do what she did, and I find it insulting when she apologies afterwards. I know she is merely apologising to ease her guilty conscience and I refuse to forgive her instantly because I am not the balm of Gilead and therefore not inclined to make her feel better about herself. In my opinion, those are the worst kinds of apologies – the ones people extend to clear their conscience as opposed to acknowledge that what they did was wrong.

So what is the best kind of apology for then? Heart felt. The ones that don’t try to hide behind other entities; somewhere between the words “I am sorry”, a person acknowledging their wrong doing, not giving any excuses for it and realising its impact on the offended person truly helps. I am still working on this myself as I find I can be slightly defensive with my apologies. Further, do not extend an apology with an air of expectation. The offended person does not have to smile or tell you it is ok. The expectation of the offender is not the essence of apologising but the focus should be on the offended. Apologies done right are selfless. To sum up, think about your actions carefully because humble pie does not taste as good as giz-dodo, nevertheless when it is served to you, tuck in with grace and enjoy it.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

I like to believe that I am entirely focused on building a career as a Solicitor, but my love for Food and Yoruba movies poses a serious threat to this dream.


  1. Honeycrown

    February 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I enjoyed your article. Back in the days when I had time for people, I had time for disecting different levels of apologies. Few friendships did not make it this far because of “apology” palava. Now I find myself in a situation where I no even get friend talkess of someone wey go offend me. Lol
    On a serious note, I don’t have much friends and the few I have, have come a long way and we’ve all matured. If ever an apology is needed or I feel I was wronged, we speak up and it’s ironed out. And if you’re not a close friend or loved one, I won’t even waste my energy to get angry. Like I said, it’s all about maturity because most things that would have irked me in the past, don’t even matter anymore. And I’ve gotten to appreciate what my mom says, Na person wey don chop belleful dey get time to vex (meaning, if you’ve achieved all your goals, then you have time to be petty). Today, I have no problem apologizing and even if I’m offered an half baked apology or no apology, you’re already forgiven. It was hard at first but I’m so much better! Can I get a “Hallelujah”?!? ?

    • whocares

      February 22, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      @Honey Crown- amen amen! looooooool. Nah, apologies matter to me o. It goes back to a sense of fairness for me. If I wrong a person I will apologise openly and freely- I get easily irritated with people, so I can make very cutting remarks and I know that. So I am quick to apologise and not hold grudges. I think it is absolutely unfair when people don’t do the same or give me some half baked apology. Its not a matter of pride, its just self respect. If I can lower myself and apologise to you without reserve, please why cant you do the same properly when you hurt me, or why are you giving me a “gba je kin simi” apology? Its the little things like this for me that lets me know who I want in my life or not (personal life ie) It is such a small thing to people but it is huge as well. My best friend is my best friend to this day because she does not have a mean bone in her body. We will fight and whilst I am still there fuming and foaming, she actually acknowledges her wrongs and apologies. It humbles me every single time and it is one of the reasons I treasure her so cos she cares for my tiniest feelings and I do the same. If there is anything I have learnt from her its probably that. Dont let people walk over you just because you dont have a lot of friends o.. its about your sense of self.
      in business it does not matter one way or the other- just keep paying me my money and give me the opportunity to learn I will keep puckering my lips to kiss asses up and down until I achieve my goal.


      February 22, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      My problem with people like you is thinking that apologies magically make everything okay. Sometimes sorry is just a word, no matter how timely, public or genuine it is. It doesn’t always take the sting away. You’ve acknowledged your flaws, don’t you think it would be a lot better to learn to be more patient and tolerant and be mindful to make fewer hurtful remarks, than to make them and say sorry? I used be a lot like you but I’ve learnt that sorry is not a magic wand that waves everything away. I’ve cut people off no matter how sincere the sorry, it just didn’t make any difference. I’ve also apologized till my throat got sore and still got cut off. Just goes to show…

    • Whocares

      February 22, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      @thelma- how’s about we proceed from the point where I don’t walk around every minute of the day being a bitch to people and saying things without proper thought? I gave an example that I have the propensity to be a irritable and I said what I do -apologise when Iam in the wrong. In no way am I attempting to outline my character or divide it up neatly in a pie chart. It was solely restricted to the context of the article and the response I was giving. So, unless you and the snow Queen share the same magic mirror how can you know what “people like me are like enough to know you have a problem with us? I don’t think apologies solve everything, but it will have to suffice until I have perfected this humanity business and evolved to being Jesus and Budha combined.

  2. Jay Jay

    February 22, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I used to forgive a lot and most people took advantage of that and abused it. Learnt my lesson the hard way so i don’t easily forgive these days.

    • Akosua

      February 22, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      They don’t deserve it.Forgive them anyway!

    • Jay Jay

      February 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Akosua, medaase 🙂 Ohemaa na ete sen? Mefri Ghana o 😀

    • k

      February 23, 2016 at 12:27 am

      The key is to forgive but never forget. When you adjust your tone and expectations from the very 1st offence, you will never be the fool everyone takes for granted because they feel they can get away with anything. All they have to do is say sorry. No! bye, with your half baked apology.

  3. DAME

    February 22, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you o Author, i hate apologies ehen…because i believe just as you rightly noted some people had the intention to perform the acts and only say Sorry because it is expected of them.
    And some feel so entitled to it that immediately they say sorry…all the negative emotions you were feeling should immediately leave
    Me , i tell my friends, lovers and the likes…please do not apologize to me cos it was interntional

  4. sapele girl...

    February 22, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    learning mode….reading every comment….

    thank you Temi A

    apology is not currency

  5. hauwa

    February 23, 2016 at 6:18 am

    @Sapele girl, Yes ooo. Team learning squad. On d issue of saying sorry, I am d soft kind of person who forgives n totally forgets till ur cup is full. Then, the backlash u will get, no be for here. In other news, @ WhoCares, please how did u learn how to write n respond like that? LOLEST! I am a fan abeg. I am impressed by d level of intelligence (rudeness n authority) jare.

  6. molarah

    February 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I wonder what offence inspired this post though, lol. Trying to psychoanalyse the reason behind a “sorry” can sometimes be an effort in futility. The offendee is a different person from the offender – different mentality, different past experience, with a different lens from which they view the world. Otherwise the offense will never have come up in the first place. So, the idea that an apology must be ‘heartfelt’ or whatever might mean different things to the both of you. In reality, accepting an apology or forgiving someone should not have much to do with the offender or how sincere their apology is, but about the offended deciding to create space for peace in their lives, moving on and not holding on to any resentment or bitterness. Thus the choice lies with the offended. My two kudi.

  7. Joke adegoke

    February 23, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    @whocares I love the way you write

  8. nwanyi na aga aga

    February 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    This is one of the reasons I do not like apologizing to ppl.. I hate after over coming my self pride, humbling myself to meet someone with my apologies I will now hear sorry for yourself because you think you are offended? See my take on this apology issue is even if you are not ready to forgive be gracious about the apology. Apart from a select few, it takes people a whole lot of pride swallowing to come and apologize, cos they too were offended in whatever case it was, in their own side of the prism they feel hurt, for them to own up that they are the cause of the issues you have is enough for you to be gracious in acknowledging the apology. Don’t come and form “opeke angrismus” and decide to yarn the opata of “Sorry for yourself !” or ” Dont say sorry to me! Keep your apologies to yourself!” Those are silly words. And people that ever used it on me never get apologies from me again, they are free to leave. Naked we come to this world, naked shall we leave! And as strange as it is, when you now refuse to apologize and grand stand, those people forming I am offended, I cant accept your apology comes to apologize. Loooool! As twisted as it is, I have identified my friends that have this strange complex of being ungracious with apologies while I never apologize to them. I just merely form to be more angry and they apologize..Looool! Then I will retort with if you are the one now, you will say “I dont want your sorry but I wont do it to you” I accept then I start smiling.
    Just like one day I asked a friend with that funny trait to drive me to a place,she came was calling me but my phone was on silent by the time she came up I had wasted 15mins of her time. Chai! I thought of apologizing but I knew the chick hates apologies, so I just kept a straight face like I didn’t see her missed calls, she came and asked me angrily why I didn’t pick her calls. I just kept quiet after some minutes, she asked me why I was not dressing up. I just with the deadliest voice I could muster said ” I detest insults, I detest it when ppl act like they are my God because of help, If you knew you didn’t want to help me, you should have just said so, than coming up here with an angry disposition, how did I wrong you, cos I didn’t know my phone was ringing, do you think I did it on purpose? biko if it does not please you to drive me, leave it, I will ask another person..Looool! It was her turn to apologize, she started saying “ahn ahn now na wa o, I was just stressed that I had to climb up na when you told me that you will dress up as soon as i called you. Do you know how long I stayed in the car waiting for you?”..I just formed vex dressed up, she still apologized. i just said in a quiet voice its ok I understand..while smiling all through in my heart. Thank God her cray cray was far that day. On a good day she would have just turned and gone home, but i knew she didn’t want it to be said that she is forming with her new CRV..hahahahaha!

    • Temi A

      February 23, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      lmaoooooooooooooooooooo. You are a deadly someborry. lmaooooo.
      Ahh thanks for commenting guys.. No one vexed me o but it was a moment of introspection that led to the post (very rare in my case as my thinking cap and I don’t get along most of the time. lol)

  9. Teekay

    February 23, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Yea i can relate to this post because i hate apologies… Probably because i know at times i say sorry just to end the conversation and not drag the matter.. But am i really sorry at that moment ?No? So when someone tells me sorry i try to analyze rhe sorry before i accept.
    But what ve learnt is that, that alone is too much of an headache. Just accept the apology if the person keeps on doing the same thing he apologized for then its either you discuss about it(if thr person is important to you) or you just cut all form of communication with thr person without it looking like a fight. Just to have peace of mind.. People will alwayz get on your nerves, but we should learn to manage them without it becoming an issue..
    Thank you for the post

  10. oluwadunsin

    February 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    whocares, thank you o,it is as though I typed that. I can’t stand people who don’t apologize,honestly. Once I offend you I apologize immediately, why can’t you reciprocate then? I feel it’s pride that makes people unapologetic, when you feel you’re to big or I’m too small for you to apologize. Like I usually say,telling someone sorry won’t drain your bank account so pls apologize when you are wrong even if you offended a kid.

  11. le coco

    February 25, 2016 at 10:41 am

    i have learnt the art of apologising..EVEN WHEN I AM NOT WRONG… and forgiving the person who isn’t even sorry. i guess it has a lot to do with my personal growth… i just cant shout any more.. my life is too peaceful and blissful to be holding grudges… to think its the same me that can hold grudge for Africa.. lol… i just dont care anymore.. if the issue is so serious, i would rather not have any communication with said person… but other than that.. accept the apology and forgive the person for the sake of peace and happiness, Because happiness is the ultimate goal afterall..
    Fantastic article..

  12. Munachi

    March 11, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    It is really sad and highly appalling when people assume that I’m sorry can entirely erase or solve an issue caused by them, I have been a victim a couple of times and it is not funny and errrrrrm I am not saying we shld nt apologise when we are wrong buh then we shld try preventive measures by being less hurtful with our attitudes or manner of speech than the curative method of “oh I’m so sorry it wnt happen again yet before buhari prepares for his next journey u are at it again…. most times iam sorry doesn’t cut it

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