when someone apologizes to me i tend to say “no it’s okay” even though i totally agree that they needed to apologize and want to tell them they’ve been an asshole
I’ve done this for a while too. What I’ve found is that the “no it’s ok” thing is almost like an automatic reaction, it probably doesn’t come with any thought or feeling behind it. Probably because I am (and you are) generally an empathic person who doesn’t want other people to feel bad, even if they’ve been major shitlords to me. Secretly it’s also because I want people to like me, so I want social interaction to go as smooth as possible which has lead to not standing up for myself and sometimes being walked over.
So. What to do about it. Well the first thing is to have the self confidence to recognise that you matter and how you feel matters, this is a time where your feelings are the important ones and that’s ok, you don’t need to be looking out for other people’s feelings every minute of the day.
Second, understand that the fear people will hate you is irrational. If you have enough self awareness to realise you say one thing when you mean another, you’re probably already an emotionally-literate person who can look inwardly at themselves. You’ve probably known people who seem to have no understanding of other people’s feelings, they say and do things with no consideration for the other might feel, like a bull in a china shop. You are not one of these people. This person has come to apologise to you, so by saying “yes” rather than “no”, all you are doing is agreeing with and accepting them, they will not hate you for that.
Lastly, you’re aware that “no its ok” is an automatic response, so try to break that immediacy. Rather than jumping to console the other, take a moment (even if it’s only a second or two) to be silent and gather your thoughts. Have you been hurt or wronged? Do you deserve an apology (or if that’s too much to allow yourself, would you apologise if you had done the same thing)? When you have gathered how you feel, then you can respond. Yes, your feelings have value, you have been wronged and it’s right that this person is apologising. Accept the apology, after all they’ve had to navigate a minefield to risk apologising. Is there anything else you need this person to hear from you about the situation? Now’s the time to say it, while you’re both open about what happened.
The best thing is the more you look inwardly at how you feel and respond genuinely, the more confident you will be with expressing your true feelings. It absolutely takes practice and I am by no means fully there, but how I feel matters just as much as anyone else’s feelings, and by valuing my own I’m not de-valuing anyone else’s.