What do you think when someone apologizes to you? Do you accept their sympathy? Do you think they’re taking responsibility for whatever it is they’re saying sorry for? There are so many situations in which people apologize, and for a variety of reasons. One of my pet peeves is when I apologize out of sympathy and people take it as me taking responsibility for whatever it is and respond with, “it’s not your fault.” Uh, duh, it’s not my fault, I had nothing to do with that, I’m trying to express that I care about you and your emotional, mental, and physical state. Is it really that hard to just thank the person for their apology and move on with your life? I used to be one of those people, and then I realized it gets sort of obnoxious, sort of like not accepting a compliment, it’s hurtful to the person saying it. In general it seems that guys take, “I’m sorry” to mean “I’m taking responsibility”, while women take it more as “I’m sorry that happened to you”. Generalities are dangerous though, so I don’t want to say all guys are like that, because they’re not, and not all women are like that. I know several people that do each.
What about things you’re not sorry for? I don’t know when I realized that it’s important to be genuine when you apologize, I know that sounds like a “duh!” moment, but sometimes it hard to figure out how to do that. If I were presented with a situation in which I had to apologize to M, I would apologize for hurting him, but not for kissing someone else while we were dating. Why? I know it sounds cold-hearted on one hand, but at the same time, it would be a much more genuine apology than just, “I’m sorry”, that just leaves it opened ended. It could be for hurting him, or calling his family crazy, or avoiding him in the grocery store, it could be any number of things and that level of ambiguity is difficult for me. I’ve started apologizing for things I’m actually sorry for, and I try to do it as specifically as possible so I’m not giving them an apology I don’t mean and they know exactly how I feel.
Just something to think about.
P.S. I’m really glad that I will be somewhere it doesn’t snow next week!