We all know people who just can’t apologize — well here’s why

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Are they just stubborn? To be clear, even the most conscientious among us occasionally fails to apologize. For these people, admitting wrongdoing and offering an apology is too psychologically threatening. People who cannot apologize often have such deep feelings of low self-worth that their fragile egos cannot absorb the blow of admitting they were wrong. So their defense mechanisms kick in — at times, unconsciously — and they may externalize any blame and even dispute basic facts to ward off the threat of having to lower themselves by offering an apology. When they double down on their wrongness by blaming circumstances, denying the facts, or attacking the other person or people involved, non-apologizers can make themselves feel empowered rather than diminished. In order to take responsibility and apologize, our self-esteem needs to be strong enough for us to absorb that discomfort.