10 Reasons Men Rarely Apologize: Why Is It So Hard For Guys To Say They’re Sorry?

They say that love means never having to say you’re sorry, but I think we all know that guys sometimes take this too far. Some of you ladies may have noticed somewhere between hesitancy and an outright refusal from guys to admit when they’re wrong and to attempt to make amends for it. While this is no doubt frustrating, there is a rhyme and reason to it. Here’s why men rarely apologize even when they really should.

  1. He doesn’t think he owes you one. A guy might sense that you want him to apologize, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. For the most part, a guy will only apologize if he actually thinks he owes you one. He might think that whatever he did wasn’t that bad or offensive and doesn’t warrant a formal apology. It’s a combination of stubbornness and stupidness, which are two of our worst qualities.
  2. He wasn’t to blame. Along those same lines, men rarely apologize because they rarely believe that they’re to blame for something. If something was an accident and unavoidable, you’ll never get an apology out him. You’re also barking up the wrong tree if you think he’ll give you a sympathetic apology. That’s not necessarily in our nature either. Unless he believes he’s 100% at fault, you probably won’t hear “I’m sorry.”
  3. It makes him feel bad. For some guys, giving an apology can be a sign of weakness. It’s an admission of guilt that we did something wrong. Naturally, it doesn’t feel good to admit this kind of thing to ourselves, much less to another person. In other words, we feel bad and will think less of ourselves if we feel compelled to issue an apology. It seems weird but it’s true.
  4. He’s had bad experiences with apologizing in the past. Like anything else in life, one bad experience doing something can make us wary to do it again. Believe it or not, it can happen with apologies. He might have been an over-apologizer in a previous relationship and was taken advantage of because of it or even rejected. He may not even realize it, but subconsciously, he’ll avoid going down the same path again.
  5. Actions speak louder than words. Most guys tend to live by the belief that their actions mean more than their words. As I’ve mentioned, there are many reasons why men rarely apologize. To avoid having to say the words, some guys will use their actions to let you know that they’re sorry. They may not tell you with words, but they will do their best to make up for any perceived transgressions.
  6. He’s scared. Let’s be honest: apologizing to someone is a little like putting yourself out there emotionally. As you may have heard, most guys don’t like doing that. He doesn’t know if you’ll accept his apology. He doesn’t know if his apology will be good enough for you. There are plenty of unknowns that can make him feel scared and a little insecure. We know that a lot of guys are afraid of commitment because they don’t want to put themselves out there, and apologizing can be similar.
  7. It feels forced. If a guy feels like you’re demanding an apology, he may be even more reluctant to give one. He’ll feel like he’s being backed into a corner and has no choice. That kind of apology will feel forced and insincere, which isn’t going to be good for anyone. It’s hard enough getting a guy to apologize when he’s actually sorry. He’s surely not going to do it if he feels like you’re making him apologize.
  8. It could lead to a bigger fight. As I said, much of what lies behind the reasons why men rarely apologize is that there’s so much uncertainty. Part of that is our fault for not doing it enough. However, we also don’t know if the apology will be good enough for you or what’s needed to fix the problem. Deep down, we fear that an apology, especially if we don’t fully mean it, will just lead to a bigger fight.
  9. It feels empty. I’ll be honest, some guys just don’t see the point of saying they’re sorry. It’s probably because a lot of us aren’t that in touch with our feelings. We look at an apology and think that it’s not going to change anything. The words might sound good, but what’s done is done, so what’s the point in apologizing if it’s not going to change anything?
  10. He doesn’t want to admit he’s wrong. We all know that guys are stubborn and never want to be wrong about anything. Well, an apology is nothing if not an admission of guilt and confirmation that we did something wrong. Even if we feel that way and know it’s true deep down, saying it publicly is another issue. In order to apologize, a guy must be willing to admit that he was wrong or did something wrong, which isn’t something he likely wants to do. Of all the reasons men rarely apologize, this one is probably the most common.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.