Thursday, September 25, 2008


A few years ago I was taking a Survey course and kind of got into it with the instructor. I don't remember what it was about, but something he had said set me off and I got an attititude. I don't hide my emotions, at all, so he and everyone in the class knew I was pissed and I didn't care.

Later that week, of course, I felt horrible and embarassed. It was so bad I thought I might not even be able to finish the course, because I was so embarassed by the way I had acted. Even though I may have felt justified in my anger, I knew that my behavior had been completely inappropriate.

So, I called the instructor and apologized. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done, but I knew if I wanted to go back to class the next week without feeling like a complete idiot I was going to have to apologize. Turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. The rest of the semester was great!

I bring all this up, because I'm wondering why some people have such a difficult time making apologies. There have been a couple of times this week that two different people have done things or said things that were just completely inappropriate, but instead of apologizing they just act as though they haven't done anything wrong. Is it possible they don't recognize their bad behavior? Or is it that they can't admit they're wrong?


Desmond Jones said...

I've seen it both ways. Sometimes people (and the younger they are, the more likely it is) just have a blind spot as to why in the world anyone would be offended by (fill in the blank). Until someone does the same thing to them, and then maybe they'll get it a little better (altho it's still completely likely that it looks totally different as the offend-ee than as the offend-or).

But a lot of times, it's just that people can't bring themselves to take on the humiliation that goes along with apologizing. Or, they're embarrassed, and just want to pretend it'll go away if they ignore it. And the folks they've offended are too embarrassed (or pissed) to call them on it, so it just sorta sits there, poisoning things, while everybody tries to ignore it. . .

But, you're absolutely right - it is absolutely worth the effort to restore the 'disrupted' relationship.

And all the moreso in marriage. I wonder how many people end up getting divorced just because they, or their spouse (or more likely, both of them) could never apologize, or forgive. . .

FTN said...

Hmm. I don't know. I've never been wrong.

Okay, I'm kidding. I've had to apologize many times, and I usually make a point to do so if I think it's needed. Particularly with women -- nothing against women, but I've found that sort of transparent apology is often more needed with them, or they'll be upset for awhile.

Which, to me, makes apologies among guys mean that much more -- because it is rare that we apologize to each other.

Cocotte said...

I find it incredibly difficult to apologize to certain people. I think it's because some people are just not approachable. So, it would be the fear of not having the apology be accepted, and thus not be forgiven; that is the scary part for me.

C-Marie said...

I think most people are comfortable with avoidence. They tend to allow time to sweep it under the rug - they believe all is forgotten and they move ahead like nothing has ever happened, mostly thinking You have forgotten as well. And based on the severity of it, sometimes some things can be "swept under the rug" but I believe in accountability - be responsible for your words and your actions. It goes a long way.