When I apologize for something that I have, and sometimes haven’t done, it’s the culmination of a thought process analyzing the event, its effects, and my priorities. Usually there are three reasons to apologize:
- Because I truly regret my actions and/or words and its effect on the other person,
- because not apologizing isn’t worth my trouble, and
- because having peace is better than being right.
The thing about this is that only the first one is genuine; the other two are selfish in intentions. As a Christian, there is a theoretical thought that apologies should be sincere. Yet, I know that most of my apologies aren’t. In fact, I apologize and in my head I think that the person that seeks it is… too inmersed in his/her feelings to see things from my perspective. It amazes me how some people think that they have a right to be hurt, state their emotions, and expects me to see their perspective as right and apologize. Doesn’t matter that I’m hurt or that in my mind things are not as they see it. All that matters to them is what is in their heads. I don’t matter.
When I try to do the same thing to them I don’t get the same response. My feelings are not validated, my perspective is not seen and an apology isn’t given. It’s a double standard; one that is not right. Why is it that they are allowed to hurt, but not me? Why is it that they are allowed to feel and express their feelings without judgement, but not me? Why is it that they are allowed to place expectations on me of actions that I have to do, yet I can’t put the same expectations on them? Why is it that when they seek apologies they are right, but not me?
A lot of the time I know that what I did was not wrong and that they got their feelings hurt because they wanted to get their feelings hurt. Their confrontations hurt me because who I am and how I operate doesn’t matter in those instances, when it should. It is in those moments when I am imagined as this evil monster that does no good and is capable of such harm. That hurts, but in those moments I’m not allowed to hurt because what is expected is for me to see it from their perspective and apologize… even if I don’t mean it. Even if I think they are full of crap.
When my apology is genuine, it’s a recognition of my fault and it’s done with consciousness and full understanding of the circumstance that I’m doing the apology for. It’s an Informed Apology. On the other hand, when it’s to have peace or it is because I want the other person to shut up the apology only has meaning in the other persons head. In my mind, it’s not necessarily real.