It seems that taking responsibility for one’s actions and one’s life is not a given these days. Is it okay to avoid apologizing in order to appear stronger? Why do so many people feel victimized by their circumstances, and become so discouraged that they don’t seek to improve their lives?
I recently heard on the radio that it’s a sign of weakness to apologize to someone when you make a mistake. Forget about asking for forgiveness! Why does trying to correct an honest mistake make a person appear weak? I’m personally appalled by this kind of thinking.
Aside from not owning your mistakes, many people refuse to take responsibility for their own happiness and opportunities. Being a victim is a universal trend that kills the spirit and reduces productivity. Some justifications for victimhood may be….”I’m a victim of my childhood upbringing,” or “I’m a victim because of this illness,” or “I’m a victim because I haven’t had the opportunities that others have had.” I have even worked with highly sensitive people who feel victimized by their high sensitivity. That always makes me sad, since I feel that high sensitivity is both a strength and a blessing.
Everyone has their challenges in life, and I sympathize with that, but at some point, a person has to realize that they are responsible for their own future. There will always be people, however well-meaning, who over sympathize and inadvertantly enable victimhood. If you have someone like this in your life, it’s important to provide support that empowers the best in them, rather than validating or perpetuating all that is negative.
As frustrated as I get when I see people not taking responsibility for their lives, I do have hope for this society! I’m encouraged by people having the courage to admit and ask for forgiveness, despite the pressure of not appearing weak. When I apologize for something I’ve done wrong, I find that I always feel better in the end, even if it’s not always easy to do.
I’m also encouraged when I hear stories of people overcoming dismal circumstances and coming back stronger and better. When I’ve struggled through hard times in my life, I always at least try to make things better. No matter what, it’s important to keep moving foward, even if it ends up being two steps forward and one step back. Progress is progress!
Do you ever feel like a victim of your circumstances? If so, why so? How do you encourage others who fall into a victim mentality? Do you think not apologizing is a sign of strength or weakness? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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