On Apologies

I’m going to talk about something more serious than my typical subject matter. I’m also going to keep it brief and vague, because I don’t want to air my dirty laundry on this blog. But, I am going to put my thoughts down for those interested.

Apologies. How many of us have ever done something wrong? Who hasn’t said the wrong thing in a fit of anger and regretted it shortly after? Who hasn’t selfishly ignored a friend because they want to be doing and thinking of other things? Who hasn’t pressed an issue to the point of tears in one or more parties? And so on and so on.

To err is human, and to try and fix things is also in our nature. Guilt comes with a need to remedy the situation, and do so as soon as possible. And what’s the easiest way to fix things? By apologizing, of course. By admitting that you were wrong, and asking for forgiveness for your mistake. Sometimes, apologizing in and of itself can be a challenge, because pride hates admitting when pride’s wrong. But, I think apologizing has a more selfish reason than even that.

I think we apologize not for the sake of those we have wronged, but for ourselves. Apologizing can feel like a way to shift the blame, a way of saying “There, I’ve admitted I was wrong, and now you are obligated to forgive me for it.” We want the other person to say the magic words, to forgive us for the mistakes that we’ve not only made, but have admitted to being wrong. I’ve been told that sometimes, it’s all you can do.

I don’t know if I believe that. If I hurt someone’s feelings, feel guilt (I’m the type that feels guilty all the time and can never shake the feeling), and apologize, I often feel like I’m not doing enough. Perhaps it’s because I see the apologizing as a selfish move. Maybe it’s not, and maybe that’s just more guilt on my end punishing me even more. I don’t know.

I just hate when people are upset with me.

I used to shift the blame from me, but now I try to recognize when I do that. And when I’ve done wrong, I try to catch myself finding excuses and shifting the blame, and instead realize what I did. I don’t know if that’s the perfect system.

Recently, I’ve upset a few different people, for different reasons. I’ve apologized for all situations, and I’ve gotten forgiven for some of them. I want to do more though, to make up for my mistakes.

I just don’t know what to do.

But what I do know is that I am, truly, sorry.

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