Do you apologize?

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SilentDawning
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Do you apologize?

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Oct 2020, 09:16

This came up in a marriage counseling session a while ago. The therapist asked my wife if she apologizes. He said some people don't. I have seen this a few times in different people -- they commit obvious wrongs, but then never apologize. Their version of repairing the relationship is to get back on a cordial, friendly relationship with the person, never addressing the wrong or any sorrow associated with it.

I was wondering if I could ask this of the people here. Do you apologize? If not, why not? What goes through your mind when you wrong someone, recognize you made a mistake, and want to repair the relationship? Why don't you apologize?

If you apologize, how important is it to you that others apologize to you when you are wronged by them?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Minyan Man
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Re: Do you apologize?

Post by Minyan Man » 04 Oct 2020, 11:33

I am sure there are moments when I should apologize & I don't. Maybe because I didn't think that I offended someone.
But as a general rule I do apologize. Sometimes I have to think the situation or moment over because I want to be
sincere in the apology. I don't want it to be just words because it is expected.

I have an old friend that I've known for at least 70 years. There hasn't been a time in my life where I remember meeting him.
We went to grade school through high school together. We still live close by & see each other once a year. In high school, we
were considered "partners in crime". Recently I felt that I needed to make "amends" to him so I decided that the next time
we met, I would make a belated apology. We went to lunch one day & at the end of our meal, I said that I wanted to apologize
for something. It caught him by surprise. My feeling was that the trouble we got into in High School was because I asked him
to do something. If anyone asked the same question, he would of said no without thinking twice.

I'm sure there are some on this forum I should apologize to. I have a tendency to be impulsive & shot my mouth off. The older
I get the more aware I am that apologies need to be made. As I've said before, there are times I have to think it over first, before
the apology come. If there is anyone here that I've offended, I'm sorry.

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Do you apologize?

Post by Roy » 04 Oct 2020, 13:10

I do apologize and I believe everyone should.

I believe apologies are critical for addressing the inevitable hurts and offenses that come from living in a married partnership.

I try to model apologies for my children and I am gratified seeing them give what appear to be sincere apologies for their mistakes or actions that they regret.

Sometimes I have given an apology and a justification. This goes like this - "I am sorry for what I said or did and I want to explain why that action made sense to me at the time." My wife has helped me to understand that this is not a full apology.

Sometimes I also apologize with the expectation that the other person will apologize for their part in the hurt feelings. When this does not happen it can be hard. My wife is someone that often does not respond to these sorts of reciprocal apologies. When my wife is upset she will usually need time after I apologize to a) forgive my hurtfulness and b) feel sorry for and/or apologize for her part in the hurtfulness. I will usually wait until the next day after my apology and if she hasn't brought up the subject unsolicited I will usually bring it up and state that I am still feeling hurt by some things that were said. At that point, she is usually in a better place to offer an apology of her own.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SilentDawning
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Re: Do you apologize?

Post by SilentDawning » 04 Oct 2020, 19:35

My wife doesn't apologize. I can be frank about things that happen that she is completely responsible for, and how they hurt me, and she never apologizes. The effect it has on me is to feel unloved. If someone can hurt you, be made aware of the hurt, but then not appear to have any consciousness about it, then to me, it symbolizes a lack of love in the relationship. But she has always been like this. When I ask for her reasoning on it I don't get an answer I can quote back here. It is a kind of non-answer.

I don't dwell on these things now (even thought it might seem like it due to this post). It just happens to be something I think about.

I had a bit of a falling out with someone in the community after she called volunteers from my non-profit (including me) "bystanders" in the work. We had actually done quite a lot for the event we were pursuing. Her statement hurt and made me lose resilience when the speeches mentioned everyone who helped with the event except my organization and the five volunteers within ear shot. We donated a lot -- a system, parking equipment, a tent, parking direction, a chalk art artist, how to get 501 (c ) 3 status fast, a lead for a $1000 grant. And that's all I remember. I am sure there was more.

When I raised the bystander comment, the whole thing was reframed as a conflict over the percent our organization would take from the surplus of the event. If all she had done was apologize for calling us bystanders, and acknowledged our significant contributions, I would not have had to pursue the percentage question.

I didn't talk to this person for one full year -- when in the past we spoke monthly or bi-weekly about many issues, some community related, some deeply personal. I initiated a meeting to repair things, and she wanted to simply catch up on the last year, and just remained silent when I brought up the bystander comment as the trigger for what she thought was a "nasty note" I wrote (email) explaining how we weren't appreciated. It was as if she had never made the "bystander" comment. Her comments made it sound like it was all my fault that the relationship had deteriorated.

Hence my question of people who don't apologize. Why don't you? What runs through your mind when people raise issues that may have hurt them that you did, whether intentionally or now?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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DarkJedi
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Re: Do you apologize?

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Oct 2020, 04:50

I do apologize when and where possible. There are circumstances where I don't apologize. For example, if I don't know I have offended or done something wrong. The remedy for that is to let me know I have erred (and probably how). I also don't generally apologize if I don't believe I should - that is, if I don't believe I have erred or caused harm. That's pretty rare but has happened. Those things said, I will say I sometimes find it harder to apologize to those closest to me (family).

SD your post kind of reminds me of that 70s "love is" sort of fad. I do recall one of those being "Love is never having to say you're sorry." I don't fully disagree with that, but just because you don't have to doesn't mean you shouldn't.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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AmyJ
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Re: Do you apologize?

Post by AmyJ » 05 Oct 2020, 05:35

SilentDawning wrote:
04 Oct 2020, 09:16
This came up in a marriage counseling session a while ago. The therapist asked my wife if she apologizes. He said some people don't. I have seen this a few times in different people -- they commit obvious wrongs, but then never apologize. Their version of repairing the relationship is to get back on a cordial, friendly relationship with the person, never addressing the wrong or any sorrow associated with it.
Getting back to a cordial relationship is not necessarily a bad thing, it depends on what that looks like in terms of actions after that incident and that person's self-worth.

If I am ashamed of myself and not feeling of worth inside myself, I am more likely to try to hide mistakes under the rug. That is the same type of pattern I have seen in others.
SilentDawning wrote:
04 Oct 2020, 09:16
I was wondering if I could ask this of the people here. Do you apologize? If not, why not? What goes through your mind when you wrong someone, recognize you made a mistake, and want to repair the relationship? Why don't you apologize?

If you apologize, how important is it to you that others apologize to you when you are wronged by them?
I think that there are 2 parts of an apology that really matter:
1. Identification of action and the negative impact of that action on a person. NOTE: This ties into authority (who can make the referee call on the action), protocols (are these protocols established and effective enough), the amount of pain and loss directly resulting from the action(s) and how many people they directly impact.

2. The bid for connection - either party may be trying to use the apology as a starting point for re-connecting. When my husband and I fought, for many years the only way for us to fix it was for me to apologize first. Even if his apology-worthy action was more serious then mine, that ball did not start rolling until I apologized and started the conversation. Over the past few years, I have started not apologizing first to get it over with - the boundary I have set is looking at my conduct based on my personal ethics and deciding for myself if the situation merits an apology. It gets interesting because there are times that stretch for about 1/2 a day where my husband is upset and expecting an apology and I do not give one. I make it clear that I am happy to talk, but I am getting on with my life and not mad at him - just not smoothing things over because I didn't do anything deserving that apology smoothing over.

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Do you apologize?

Post by Roy » 05 Oct 2020, 15:31

SilentDawning wrote:
04 Oct 2020, 19:35
My wife doesn't apologize. I can be frank about things that happen that she is completely responsible for, and how they hurt me, and she never apologizes. The effect it has on me is to feel unloved. If someone can hurt you, be made aware of the hurt, but then not appear to have any consciousness about it, then to me, it symbolizes a lack of love in the relationship. But she has always been like this. When I ask for her reasoning on it I don't get an answer I can quote back here. It is a kind of non-answer.
I am sorry about that SD. My mother in law was similar. She would never apologize and if anyone pointed out her failings then would somehow find a way to hold that against them. After she passed away some journals of hers were found that described her disappointment in and blaming each of her children for the strain on their relationship. There was literally a section for each (now adult) child and she could not see her part in any of it. I learned a few lessons from that experience. 1) She, herself, was miserable even in her self justification and 2) she did not have the ability to conceptualize any perspective but her own.

I feel that this gives me a measure of charity in that I am generally not miserable - in fact I quite like my life and I feel that I have the ability to empathize with others. My MIL had very little ability in the emotional depth department and that is a sad, sad thing. Why she was like that I do not know. Did she have an illness (narcissisms)? Was it hardwired into her brain? Whatever the reason, it is apparent that she did not see any option but to be the very difficult person that she was.

Having empathy on someone for their difficult nature is not the same as letting yourself be taken advantage of. It is a difficult row to hoe and I can only imagine that personal boundaries would be super important.

Incidentally, She also could not forgive. I speculate that the ability to apologize and the ability to forgive both use similar emotional "muscles".
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Minyan Man
Posts: 1999
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Do you apologize?

Post by Minyan Man » 06 Oct 2020, 10:57

My wife doesn't apologize very much either. Even when she can make accusations & judgements that are very hurtful. She does have
some mental & emotional issues she's dealing with. (That's what I keep telling myself.) I've noticed that there are times when she tries
to make up for the hurtful remarks. She does that by doing a kind act, a faltering remark or buy a special gift. But never say: I'm sorry.

I would prefer the apology.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Do you apologize?

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Oct 2020, 09:33

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who was a Bishop. He said he was in a meeting with a mission president. The mission president really got on my friend's case in a meeting -- to the point of being out of line. Everyone was shocked, including my friend.

At a subsequent meeting, the mission president walked up to my friend and said something complementary, how he appreciated my friend, and gushed for a minute or two about my friend's contributions to the missionary work.

My friend told me it was a hollow apology for the clearly-out-of-line call-out my friend received in the previous meeting. I don't know how people can think they can sweep the negative behavior under the rug by suddenly turning all nicey-nicey. Apologies, coupled with a change in behavior afterwards seem to carry much more weight.

@Roy -- I appreciate the perspective on your mother-in-law. It seems that if there is narcissism, the narcissistic person has a hard time admitting they ever did anything wrong. It's too threatening to their fragile egos which they need to be constantly propping up with fantasy, insults to others, and blaming the world. I can see how narcissistic people don't apologize. In that case, it's an expression of the severe deficits in their personality and character, as well as their low self-esteem.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Do you apologize?

Post by Roy » 07 Oct 2020, 10:46

I also work in the service industry and get lots of complaints that are not necessarily my fault personally or even the fault of the company I work for (Perhaps another employee on a different shift made the mistake or perhaps the customer is inconvenienced by an area power outage or smoke in the air due to wildfires). I always listen and apologize. Sometimes that is all it takes.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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