Skip to content

10 Things Men Should Never Apologize For

10 min
Personal Growth  ✺  Manhood  ✺  Relationships

We should apologize when we find ourselves in error, especially when dealing with others. However, here are ten things I will never personally apologize for, and I don't think you should either.

As a rule, I try my best to admit when I am wrong and apologize for my transgressions because it's simply the right thing to do. Pride can get us into a lot of trouble, and it's never truly worth it. However, given the complex world around us and the many people for whom we can simply never please, there are some things that I will personally never apologize for, and neither should you.


Depending on our chosen profession in life or where we find ourselves concerning others, it can feel conflicting to take time for self-care. I am here to tell you that the line between selfishness and altruism can sometimes be razor-thin. The truth is we are all selfish to some degree. Whether you think that it is right or wrong is irrelevant. It is what it is, and I believe we ought to be selfish up to a certain point.

We cannot care for anyone else until we learn to care for ourselves. One of the most fulfilling things we can do is find ways to add value to others.

Guess what?

That selfless mindset is, in and of itself, selfish! That shot of serotonin and oxytocin we get when we do things for others and feel further connected to them is something we receive and enjoy for ourselves, and that's a good thing! It is life's way of propelling us to do good for others.

Serotonin and oxytocin are chemicals in the body. Serotonin supports a sense of pride, status, and gratitude. Oxytocin invokes feelings of love and loyalty.

But never apologize for showing up for yourself. You have purpose, meaning, and worth. Demonstrate this by occasionally taking care of yourself. This creates the necessary synergy in our lives to continue giving to others after adequately giving to ourselves. It's all about balance. Avoid leaning too much in one direction; find the sweet spot.


This one is a doozy... especially in today's world. Everyone's metric for success is different, whether it be money, comfortability, peace of mind, more time, any combination of these things, or perhaps none of them at all, but instead something different. The common ingredient for success in life is hard work and perseverance in the face of adversity. The best things in life are those we must work for because it makes our journey to achieve what we desire in life worth it.

Our successes are difficult to manifest, and sometimes, they take great sacrifice to achieve over potentially extended periods. No self-respecting person should apologize for the success that they have garnered. Don't sell yourself short or diminish your accomplishments if you have a dream and work hard to achieve it. If it is important to you and not destructive to yourself or others, relish what you have accomplished. If you've acquired success honestly and fairly (deep down, you will know this to be accurate, even if others don't), don't be sorry.


If you have a question, then ask it! Will it sound dumb? Perhaps... it depends on the question and the setting, but if you don't know something, the quickest way to figure it out is by being upfront about your uncertainty.

I wish I could tell you that everyone will be glad you asked about something you didn't understand. Sadly, many people get comfortable knowing what they know and forget what it was once like not to understand a particular subject, task, or concept. Still, ask the questions you need answered, and don't be afraid to do so.

Depending on what it is you have questions about, chances are that others have had those very same inquiries, and you aren't alone in your confusion. If you happen to be the only one who genuinely doesn't know (trust me, I have been there), then don't ever be sorry for that.

I recall the days I was in my Basic Division Officer's Course (BDOC), learning to drive ships in the simulator for the first time. I couldn't seem to "get it" like everyone else. One of my instructors yelled at me on a routine basis with frustration, not answering my questions, leading me to believe I was hopeless. But I asked anyway. Fast forward to my last deployment with the Navy, and I was the best ship-driver onboard my ship. I even pulled the vessel into various ports that no one else had with zero assistance from tug boats (not a common occurrence in our profession). Sure, to get to that point, I had to ask many questions and be made to feel like I was a fool, but in the coming years, I did my job and did it well. Being a professional when others need you to be counts the most. So, ask your questions and never apologize for it.


This one is near and dear to my heart. I have some issues with ceding to authority, and believe it or not, they got worse as I continued with my time in the military. Leadership guru John C. Maxwell says, "the leader makes the position; the position does not make the leader." This is so true, even in places like the military, where rank is vital to the hierarchal structure and order of the organization.

The point is that even great leaders need to be questioned now and again.

If an idea is poor, call it out, especially if it can negatively affect others or risk total failure of your organization's primary objectives. We have to be willing to take some heat in life to do what is right, and any leader or manager who is worth their salt will be glad that you could provide some forceful backup (even if they aren't willing to admit so).

Never apologize or be afraid to question a plan, idea, or action. History is rife with examples of how a little forceful backup and a questioning attitude saved time, money, resources, and even lives. Have the courage to be one such person and never feel bad about it because the alternative is feeling worse, living with the regret of not calling something into question when you could have.


Our personal beliefs and convictions are important. As previously stated, when cultivating relationships with others, the objective in life should never be to appease everyone. For some, it can be easier than others, but if you think a certain way, whether it is a particular religious persuasion or a general set of values and principles that guide you through life, never feel that you must apologize for those beliefs.

DO NOT shove them down other people's throats in an attempt to force them to see the world as you do (no one likes that). Instead, live your life in a manner that does not detract or diminish from other people's lives. More importantly, find the people who see the world as you do and cling to them. After all, being together is always better.


We all have hopes, dreams, aspirations, and a vision of our place in the world that makes us feel our best. The key to understanding those dreams is to recognize that everyone has them, regardless of how simple or exquisite they may be. For some, achieving these dreams is more complex than for others, but they exist nonetheless. Never apologize for what you want for yourself or the people for whom you love. It is YOUR life, and only you can control what you do in this world and, more importantly, how you react to it.

History is replete with naysayers who tried to stand in the way of other people achieving what they saw for themselves in their mind's eye when they lay their heads to rest each night. But as I have stated before, we must work tirelessly to achieve the best things in life. If you have a dream to do something, be a part of something, or become something, only you can ever know what it means to achieve it for yourself, and you should never apologize for what it means to you and for wanting to accomplish it in the first place.


Never accept disrespect. We don't need to fixate on "getting even" or fighting "fire with fire." Let's turn the other cheek as often as possible to seek the higher path. However, don't take abuse from people and allow yourself to become (or remain) their punching bag, no matter where you find yourself. There are ultimately two types of people in this world: those who let life push them around and those who don't.

Seek the truth, always, and do your best to deliver it when you can. Hold others accountable and set the record straight as often as possible because your reputation may be on the line, but always defend yourself. Though it is certainly cynical, it is undoubtedly true that there are nasty people out there who will take whatever they can and as much as they can from you. Please don't give them the satisfaction of doing so.


If you are working hard to achieve something and other people try to diminish your efforts because they feel insecure about themselves, don't apologize. An excellent example of this is when we politely turn down an offer to eat something that doesn't help us achieve the goal of losing the weight we want. As polite as it may be to accept the offer, other people aren't the ones seeking our fitness and nutrition goals, and thus, they will never be the ones to accept the consequences (good or bad).

This is an overly simplistic example, but the idea is the same for many aspects of life. Don't let people pressure you to do certain things. If you have particular goals or ideas in mind for yourself, say NO and do so warmly, then move on. Those who don't respect it don't respect YOU, plain and simple.

People who achieved greatness in this world never did so by pandering to others and letting people decide what was best for them. Again, there are two types of people in this world, and trust me when I tell you that those who allow life to push them around never truly unlock their full potential nor have the life they truly want.

Having the discipline to become what we want to be in this world takes some grit; when other people witness it, it can cause them to feel insecure about themselves. The truth is, their insecurities shouldn't be allowed to affect your trajectory in life. So don't let it slow you down.


As I have repeatedly stated, not everyone needs to be in our lives. Knowing when to cut these people out is seldom easy to do. Still, when we learn to recognize the difference between those who add value to our lives and those who subtract value, it gets easier with time and becomes more and more necessary to achieve the life we seek.

Knowing when to distance ourselves from the toxic people in our lives (a.k.a. "cleaning house") helps us mitigate dysfunctional experiences to meet our needs in the long run. In doing so, you will find that your productivity and overall happiness will increase.


Boundaries must be established virtually everywhere, whether at work, home, friends, family, etc. Boundaries are how we control the good things that flow into our lives and keep the bad things out.

"Any confusion of responsibility and ownership in our lives is an issue of boundaries. Just as any homeowner sets physical property lines around their land, we must set physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual boundaries for our lives to help us distinguish what is our responsibility and what isn't." -Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

To successfully set boundaries is to choose the life we want for ourselves and those we love. To establish healthy limits with others (and ourselves) is what it means to take control of our welfare. There is tremendous power in saying NO. We must prioritize saying no to things we do not want in our lives to better say yes to things that can and will enrich our lives for the better. Bottom line up-front: boundaries are essential and we should never apologize for establishing them.

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

Henry Cloud: books, biography, latest update
Follow Henry Cloud and explore their bibliography from’s Henry Cloud Author Page.

The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential: Maxwell, John C.: 9781599953632: Books
5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential [Maxwell, John C.] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential



Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox.