Apologies have been on my mind, and in the air.
Rush Limbaugh says something totally offensive, and does a bullshit ‘sorry, but I didn’t do anything wrong,” apology. Ugh.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of those.
In an article here on thefarschidside ~ Gina describes an apology she made to a coworker . Gina hadn’t done anything wrong, and didn’t think an apology was necessary. Mandated to do it, she purposely made it weak and less than heartfelt.
I’m thinking Rush is awful, but Gina’s all right. Which leads me to wonder ~ how do we decide when to apologize, and how to frame it? Lots of things to consider.
How much harm did we do, did we mean to, were we careless or reckless or downright negligent? Should we have known better? Was it really our fault?
How well do we know the person we’ve hurt? Do we care how they feel? Want them to forgive? Or does it not matter at all?
What if we didn’t do anything wrong? What if it was all a misunderstanding? What if they don’t understand what we meant?
And so on and on, lots of thoughts, lots of factors, lots of things to consider and weigh.
Then something happened with a friend of mine and my feelings were hurt. It triggered some old hurts for me, and even though it might have seemed like a small thing, it felt huge to me. I cried.
My friend didn’t know he’d hurt my feelings. I knew he didn’t mean to. But it hurt a lot anyway. So I told him. I explained what I thought and felt. Then I held my breath. I didn’t know how he’d react.
He could have felt defensive ~ he hadn’t really done anything “wrong.” He could have said I was over-reacting. He could have done a bullshit apology and I probably would have accepted it. I might not have felt real good about it, but I could have talked myself though it.
But he didn’t. He did a real apology.
He explained what had happened from his perspective. He said he was sorry. He told me something he was going to do that would make it less likely that this would happen again.
It’s rare to get that kind of apology, and I appreciated it.
I wish that were the end of the story. But ~
~ at the same time as Limbaugh’s bullshit apology, and my friend’s great apology, I was involved in something that offended some people I’m close to. People I care about a lot. They were hurt and offended, and naturally they reacted to that.
It was an opportunity for me to come back with a great apology myself, and I’d like to say that I did…
… but I didn’t. I was hurt and offended back. Trying not to be, trying to stay open, but you know ~~
~~ It’s not like I’m Rush Limbaugh! Didn’t they know I didn’t realize it sounded that way? Didn’t they know I wasn’t talking about them? That I wouldn’t hurt them on purpose? Didn’t they know…
Yeah. Not my finest moment.
And now I need to find my way to apologize. And make amends. And try to heal the breach.