“Hey, I said sorry already, can we drop this?” “I said I’m sorry” “Yes, you are right – my bad sorry. Feel better now?”
No and No and in case you missed it – NO! – This is not an apology and no, just because you said it the issue is not resolved and no I feel worst now because you think this is all that was required to set everything straight.
Who gave you the bright idea that saying these two simple words would have the power to forgive and rectify your mistakes? At what point did it seem to be a good idea to say anything and everything and then reverse it all by saying I’m sorry? You might think that saying I’m sorry can fix things but in reality these words will not heal the wounds caused nor will it mend a relationship.
Don’t want to be considered a tool again, perhaps you ought to learn to give a proper apology in three steps:
Own up to your behavior – You messed up, admit it. The person you wronged is hurt and you need to restore trust.
Choose your words – It’s not I apologize, it’s I’m sorry – Sorry shows more depth and expresses remorse while apologize points to your regrets for your action. There is a difference, understand it. Further there are no if’s and but’s in an apology. Those are excuses and you cannot bring an excuse into an apology
Listen – You apologized, now keep quite. Listen to the other person share back how they feel. Resist the urge to keep apologizing or offering explanations. Let the other person vent and you might understand the depth of the hurt you have caused.
That catchphrase “Love means you never have to say you’re sorry” has got it all wrong. It is and should be “Love means being quick to say sorry”
If you ever come to the realization that the person you are with sulks it can be the turning point of the relationship. People who sulk are habitual manipulators who do it only to get you to conform to their wishes. Should they realize that it works, welcome to a never ending cycle of watching them sulk to get you to agree to them. Hopefully the following thoughts might help:
Identify if they are the sulking type – typical indications would be:
- Running and hiding at the first sign of a disagreement
- Refusing to speak or acknowledge that there is an issue
- Cold with rejection of any signs of affection
- A different attitude when another person talks to them
Don’t take it personally – It’s not you – Repeat it to yourself – IT’S NOT YOU. The person sulking is responsible for his/her own immaturity. If you start taking it on yourself, in essence he/she has won and you have been manipulated.
Don’t stand for it – By hanging around and trying to smooth things over, you are playing in to their demands. Instead ignore and get on with your day.
It will change – If they realize that sulking is not working, gradually they will change and learn to grow out of it. If they decide that they cannot let go of trying to manipulate all the time , are you sure you want to be with them in the first place?
A while ago, I had a falling out with a friend – It was a very small issue which got exacerbated by her going into denial mode –“ Hey if it didn’t happen, then who says I am to blame”. For me I think it was the lack of acknowledgement of the issue that wouldn’t let the ember die. Days passed and from a friend I could trust I now see someone who I rather not be in the vicinity off. Hitting on yesterday’s topic about lies – a small tear in a relationship can at times cause everything to unravel – and for me this rings true. In one word for me it is a betrayal of our friendship, not because of the falling out or the cold vibes but more from the fact that the unspoken rules of friendship have been broken.
For me there are three basic rules:
Confront me when you have a problem – There is no reason to talk about me /against me to all of our friends. We don’t need mediators – we are supposed to be way better than that.
If I am having a bad day or am upset, take the time to ask me what’s wrong – Ignoring me isn’t going to fix my problem and even though I know you have that party to go to – I am sure you could take a minute or two out reach out. And whatever you do don’t dismiss my issues as being trivial – They are my issues and minimizing them does not make me feel better, it tells me that you think I am over sensitive to everything.
Support my hobbies – Yes I know you are a wonderful in the arts but hey could you try and not keep figuring out how to outshine the rest of us? For a klutz like me, a simple decopatch project is an achievement and yes I need to bask in my own glory once in a while.
Hanging around with a group of friends, I tend to start looking at the group dynamics and like to chart out the various interrelationships at play. Watching it is fascinating as you see a group gets subdivided into smaller subsets as people tend to gravitate towards others who they are comfortable with. How a group handles the divide is the issue – as in I often see in an effort not to hurt feelings, lies are told , which in the short run manage to avoid issues but eventually lead to permanent feelings of discord.
I think that is what is the core of the problem – Lies – small or big ,it just makes it very difficult to connect with someone who lies.
There are two primary reasons why people lie. First is fear /shame. People believe that they will not be accepted if they are honest about who they really are. Hence they lie. Second is because people are selfish. These type of people lie even when it would be so much easier to just tell the truth.
I was recently lied to and felt so unimportant, I felt as if my friend who lied didn’t care about me or trust me enough to tell me the truth. This in turn made me question myself and I felt that I must have done something to make her want to lie. Now from my end I feel as I cannot trust her anymore. I want to forgive and move on but this constant question hangs over me – if she lied for this silly thing, what else could she have lied about?
So in case you ever do this to someone please remember there is a way out in three easy steps:
Confess: Tell the truth and let it all out – Don’t half bake it, don’t say “but remember when you also said this or that”, or try to give a reasoning behind the lie – just be honest – say what you did. The only thing you are actually dreading is feeling ashamed with yourself. Accept it and move on, friends are usually more forgiving that you think.
Accept the consequences: Yep it’s going to be difficult and awkward but hey you put yourself in this position. If the person who you lied to is not willing to accept your apology perhaps it’s time to move on. Friends, real friends might balk initially but will eventually come around.
Stop lying: This would be a no brainer, perhaps not everyone you know will like you but aren’t relationships made from the deep connections we make by telling the truth?