I shouldn’t have to tell you this; but some of y’all are programmed to “accept” an offered apology without reservation.
“Well she apologized so I forgave her.” “He always apologizes when he sobers up.” “She seemed sorry so..”
Apologies and forgiveness are not one in the same. Forgiveness is for your heart, health and well being. You don’t need to face your offender to forgive; you simply let go and move on.
Accepting an apology is essentially relieving that person of his or her responsibility for your pain.
Before you grant your offender this vastly huge gift, ask yourself Did they learn something? Will they repeat this behavior? Have they repeated this behavior? Is this apology because they understand they are wrong or because they got caught or called out? Are they tinkering on the brink of losing something and desperately trying to hold on to something;even if that something is me? Is the public backlash too embarrassing for them? And most importantly “Is this sincere?”
Analyzing an apology is necessary because apologies must come from a place of truth and concern for what you may have endured as a direct result of their involvement.
Apologies are humbling experiences that should build character and little by little change the life course of the offender.
Too many folk toss about the words “I’m sorry” like a fun little game of kick the can. It is used as a “get out of jail free” card plucked off the deck of your discomfort.
“I’m sorry! DAMN!” or “Oh my GAWD I’m SORRY ALRIGHT!” are borderline abusive to this simple phrase and you’re not always going to get the contrition you desire; but you should know the difference between sincerity and the disingenuous.
The latter carries a degree of selfishness that may not be perceptible even to the person apologizing.
In a genuine apology, one is required to give a piece of oneself.
Ego can be hard to swallow and apologies can easily become a form of escape.
“I’m sorry that you were upset” “I apologize for any harm you think I may have caused” “I deeply apologize, I don’t want anyone thinking I’m like that” “this isn’t a reflection of who I am”
These apologies may sound good, however compared to “I’m sorry, my actions were unacceptable and I shouldn’t have upset you” “I deeply apologize, I grew up believing…and I know now that’s wrong” “Sometimes I’m an ass, I know better, I’m sorry” the former are all unapologies designed to selfishly remove the hook from which the perpetrator is uncomfortably swinging.
You are not required to accept apologies willingly and without discernment.
Sometimes you just have to let people swing. Forgive them for your growth; but refuse the apology for theirs.