A greeting card for all those times you’re not sorry
December 5, 2009 § 1 Comment
For those who regret not apologizing for a previous misdoing, there is the aphorism: it is never too late to apologize. But what about for those who apologize, not because they feel sorry, but because they want to pacify a tension; or because they felt they had to in order to appease authority. Have you ever said you are sorry, and then wish you didn’t?
I know a woman who apologized to her cheating husband for her shortcomings as a wife. She didn’t mean it of course, but if saying sorry could illicit enough guilt and pity from him for him to stop cheating, she was willing to do it. It didn’t work. I am not sure how she feels about it now, but if I were her I would sure as hell want to take back that apology.
I was forced into an apology one time, at least it felt that way. It was high school. Mid-way into my Government class, I was pulled out into the hallway by the head of the English department. I remember his harsh tone. He asked me– in a way that disguised a demand in the form of a question–to apologize immediately for “disrespecting” one of the teachers in his department, “Dr. V”. Not waiting for my consent, he sat me down in front of Dr. V and said, “Kim has something to tell you.” I apologized accordingly immediately. Shaken up from being scolded and not quick enough on my feet to talk back, I apologized for something I did not do because I never did anything to disrespect Dr. V, never questioned or remarked on his character. I did question his practices as faculty adviser to the student newspaper. I questioned his actions, perhaps his authority, and I was not sorry for that.
In the area of owning up to my mistakes and saying sorry when I should, I have with much effort made progress. But I see there is a lot I need to work on when it comes to not apologizing when I am simply not sorry.
Suppose it is never too late to take back an apology. So, for the occasion that you want to take back your “I’m sorries”, I have made a greeting card especially for you, sick-n-tired-of-being-sorry you.
Introducing the “actually, I’m not sorry…” card: