I have been wondering about the subject of an apology for a while now, saying sorry and all. Why do people apologize? why do we say sorry? should we even bother? what should be the “summary checklist” that would constitute post-whatever to apologize or not?
I never questioned logic of an apology. To me, in very simple terms, saying something I felt wasn’t appreciated by the recipient, or I have been notified by the recipient it wasn’t enjoyable (lol), I would pretty immediately say I am sorry. But one of the situations I found myself in few months ago changed the meaning of “I am sorry” 360 degrees for me. You know these words are worth less than the toilet paper you use to wipe your arse and flush down the toilet when the eyes of the person saying it are empty of any remorse, guilt or sadness for what they apologize for.
Different cultures, different religions, different customs, different ways… Years of conditioning at your home by your parents, grandparents, or other members of family, what to say or not, what to do or not to others, what is considered an insult or not a nice thing to say or do to another person. But how do we decide what is insulting and causes offense? we are all different, and what I find inappropriate might be absolutely fine for someone else, but not ok another time.
You say, oh come on mate, there are plenty of things you just can’t interpret in more than one way! But that’s not what I am talking about.
I am talking about the fact that I can not physically, or by using my Jedi skills – “the force” – or by any other means natural or unnatural control how another human being is going to take in what I am saying. I have no control over someone’s else mind and understanding of the world, phrases, opinions, etc. so how can I actually apologize?
It is always I (you) who will feel angry, it is I (you) who will feel sad, it is I (you) who will feel insulted by what another person says or does or whatever, because I am (you are) going to take it that way. I (you) make a decision that what has been done, said, whatever, is not with the agreement of my world view.
But in the real world, no one cares that much about the other side of the situation, that is how you get an argument, otherwise we would only be practicing the art known as “conversation”.
I am not sorry for my own opinion and that’s all I am presenting at the point of conversation, even if it is different to your point of view, and if I explain that I am by no means trying to insult or hurt you by saying or doing what “I think”, I am diffusing the situation, am I not? No, not everyone is as understanding as that… I am still learning the art of not allowing things to get to me, simply because the other person is NOT ME, therefore they are different, they think different, behave different, etc etc.
Now how about this: what if you were to say or do something with full intention and knowledge that the other person is not going to appreciate what you are about to unleash? why would you have to apologize for that either? You already insulted someone by doing it all on purpose and throwing a “sorry, I really didn’t mean that” is going to change f**k all for the other party, who was already smashed in the face with your verbal diarrhea or got hurt by your actions (or lack of it).
You can say: but you not always have a great control over every situation, sometimes the characters, the opinions, the facts are all conflicting and will ask more effort of you to bite your tongue, besides if someone else is attacking you first why should you back down or whatever? Yes you do. You always have control for your own actions and there is always more than 1 choice, always!
The art of a (any) relationship between people in my books is to understand that it is two or more way “operation”. Frequently there are more than 2 energies bouncing around.
Tell me, how easy it is to just throw some words around when you come back home from a tough day and just take it all out on whoever is available? sit your ass down, flick the tv on and say “fuck it, I am doing nothing now” (not saying you should do that sometimes)?
Tell me, how difficult it is going to be for the other party to be on the receiving end of your shitstorm and keep self-control if they too had a bad day and all they needed is you storming in?
Tell me, how difficult it will be for the both of you to keep your agitation and energy levels to yourselves, not letting it all out and do something to discharge elsewhere rather than explode in each others face?
So allow yourself to forget the past quicker than your racing pulse in a heated conversation; and most of all don’t be a selfish c**t and respect the fact that you are living with “other” humans around you, beings that have different feelings to yours, different life experiences, different knowledge, different beliefs and different way of expressing themselves.
I am learning all of that every day, and will do until I die, and hopefully one day I can say “I can’t remember the last time I apologized”.
It’s not easy to take and keep it all under control, but if you prefer easy than you don’t grow, ever.
So are you… REALLY sorry?
Because I know when I am and I apologize appropriately.