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People who don't apologize.


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I tried the quiz and could barely get past the first question, because husband forgetting anniversary would be so totally a non-issue to me. 
I picked some random thing and went to the second question, and I didn't really find the options all that different.

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3 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I tried the quiz and could barely get past the first question, because husband forgetting anniversary would be so totally a non-issue to me. 
I picked some random thing and went to the second question, and I didn't really find the options all that different.

My husband forgetting our anniversary wouldn’t matter to me either but I’d expect him to make an effort to do better next year so that’s what I picked. In reality, I’m the one most likely to forget. My dad forgets my birthday all the time. Doesn’t bother me. People show you how they feel all year long. I guess I don’t place much real value on ‘forgiveness’ requests the way most people do. I don’t have the power to absolve guilt or approve penance so don’t ask me to. It’s pointless. Just acknowledge the harm and move along.

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7 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

My husband forgetting our anniversary wouldn’t matter to me . People show you how they feel all year long.

 

14 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I tried the quiz and could barely get past the first question, because husband forgetting anniversary would be so totally a non-issue to me. 
I picked some random thing and went to the second question, and I didn't really find the options all that different.

This is my feeling/experience, too.

 

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41 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

My husband forgetting our anniversary wouldn’t matter to me either but I’d expect him to make an effort to do better next year so that’s what I picked. In reality, I’m the one most likely to forget. My dad forgets my birthday all the time. Doesn’t bother me. People show you how they feel all year long. I guess I don’t place much real value on ‘forgiveness’ requests the way most people do. I don’t have the power to absolve guilt or approve penance so don’t ask me to. It’s pointless. Just acknowledge the harm and move along.

Right.

I got expressing regret. Not clear on if or how that is much different than accepting responsibility.  

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I did the quiz but had a hard time choosing.

i don't necessarily want someone to promise to do better, try to make up for things, or just acknowledge wrong. All I need is some sort of acknowledgement of "Hey, I blew it, it's on me." Whether someone terms it as "I'm so sorry" "I promise to never..." "How can I make up for..."

I just need them to mention that they know they were wrong and hurt me.

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

Right.

I got expressing regret. Not clear on if or how that is much different than accepting responsibility.  

I got the same.  I see taking responsibility as acknowledging your part in the offense but regret is that you are sorry that you did something to cause hurt.  So, "I did that" vs. "I regret that I did that?"  

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I differentiate between social niceties (which includes accidents) from intentional sins against someone.  I do apologize for bumping into someone.  In fact, I even apologize to the cat, dog or rabbits if I step on a tail or paw or startle them!  But if someone forgets a social nicety then it's not a big deal to me.  But then I haven't had anyone purposefully bump me etc. since I left public school and bullies behind.  😉  I do, however, tend to hang out with polite people who don't stand on ceremony but are "naturally" inclined to be kind to each other.

I do believe that losing my temper even in the spur of the moment still had a choice for me, even if it's one made in the blink of a moment.  I believe that harsh words can harm relationships and to some degree (if harsh enough and repeated enough) can harm people.  I believe in sins of the tongue, thought and action.  I apologize for those and do appreciate those from others.  I wouldn't demand an apology from anyone but a rift in the relationship is not going to be healed unless there is repentance - which includes both acknowledgement of wrong and a change in attitude/behavior.  (I also believe that repentance is necessary to heal the rift between them and God but that's between them and God.) 

Things like forgetting anniversaries?  Not even a blip on my radar.  If there was an underlying disrespect in the marriage that made me think that the "forgetting" was intentional in some way or was a manifestation of that disrespect, then the disrespect would be the thing to fix, not the calendar.  Otherwise, if a date is important to me then I make sure that we plan things together. 

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We struggle with very different styles of apolgies in our family:

Person A breaks a mug--Approaches the owner of the broken mug and says "Do you have some time for a conversation, there is something that I just need to tell you and get off of my chest.  I was reaching in the cabinet and knocked over your mug.  It shattered into pieces.  I have cleaned it up.  I know that you must be extremely hurt over this.  I am sorry for the damage it has done to our relationship.  I want to show respect for you things.  Next time I will try much harder when I reach in the cabinet.  Can you ever forgive me?"

Person B breaks a mug--Approaches the owner of the broken mug and says "Sorry I broke your mug.  I was reaching in the cabinet and knocked it over.  I am going to the store this evening, can I get you a new one?"

Person C breaks a mug--The owner of the mug finds the pieces in the trash an hour later and asks Person C what happened Person C responds, "Yes, it broke, I am not sure what happened."  Who broke it? "I was getting something out of the cabinet." That mug was a gift from my grandmother "Which grandmother?"  My mother's mother.  "Oh, I know you were close to her."  Yes, she gave it to me when I graduated from college.  "Oh, did she get to go to your graduation?" That mug was really special to me  "I don't know what happened."....

Person B and Person C find Person A medoldramatic and think that the apology is more about Person A wanting attention and forgiveness.  They find the conversation uncomfortable.

Person A and C find Person B unemotional and not caring about their feelings.  And, afterall, when they apologize conversations last a long time.  Person B can't be serious.  Why are they always spending so much time apologizing and Person B never really apologizes?  

Person A and B complain that Person C never apologized; In fact, they find that Person C is changing the subject.  They are again trying to get Person C to see the need for an apology that wasn't forthcoming.  It was from my grandmother (hint--it was IMPORTANT, please apologize).  Person C has been pondering for an hour how to approach the owner of the mug, beating herself up for such carelessness and so upset at herself for letting someone else down.  She thinks "Oh, no it is worse than I thought--it was from her grandmother.  Let me show her I am listening by asking her more.  Let me show her I care by asking her more about it"  Person C is frustrated:  She doesn't know why she was so clumsy, she is so upset, she can't fix the mug, she has been saying lots of words and it isn't helping.  They have been talking forever, and she knows she has apologized because she feels so awful.  

I know I find it challenging at times to accept someone's apology with much grace and understanding.  

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14 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

We struggle with very different styles of apolgies in our family:

Person A breaks a mug--Approaches the owner of the broken mug and says "Do you have some time for a conversation, there is something that I just need to tell you and get off of my chest.  I was reaching in the cabinet and knocked over your mug.  It shattered into pieces.  I have cleaned it up.  I know that you must be extremely hurt over this.  I am sorry for the damage it has done to our relationship.  I want to show respect for you things.  Next time I will try much harder when I reach in the cabinet.  Can you ever forgive me?"

Person B breaks a mug--Approaches the owner of the broken mug and says "Sorry I broke your mug.  I was reaching in the cabinet and knocked it over.  I am going to the store this evening, can I get you a new one?"

Person C breaks a mug--The owner of the mug finds the pieces in the trash an hour later and asks Person C what happened Person C responds, "Yes, it broke, I am not sure what happened."  Who broke it? "I was getting something out of the cabinet." That mug was a gift from my grandmother "Which grandmother?"  My mother's mother.  "Oh, I know you were close to her."  Yes, she gave it to me when I graduated from college.  "Oh, did she get to go to your graduation?" That mug was really special to me  "I don't know what happened."....

Person B and Person C find Person A medoldramatic and think that the apology is more about Person A wanting attention and forgiveness.  They find the conversation uncomfortable.

Person A and C find Person B unemotional and not caring about their feelings.  And, afterall, when they apologize conversations last a long time.  Person B can't be serious.  Why are they always spending so much time apologizing and Person B never really apologizes?  

Person A and B complain that Person C never apologized; In fact, they find that Person C is changing the subject.  They are again trying to get Person C to see the need for an apology that wasn't forthcoming.  It was from my grandmother (hint--it was IMPORTANT, please apologize).  Person C has been pondering for an hour how to approach the owner of the mug, beating herself up for such carelessness and so upset at herself for letting someone else down.  She thinks "Oh, no it is worse than I thought--it was from her grandmother.  Let me show her I am listening by asking her more.  Let me show her I care by asking her more about it"  Person C is frustrated:  She doesn't know why she was so clumsy, she is so upset, she can't fix the mug, she has been saying lots of words and it isn't helping.  They have been talking forever, and she knows she has apologized because she feels so awful.  

I know I find it challenging at times to accept someone's apology with much grace and understanding.  

I'd accept both A and B's apology, though at some other time, I might mention to person A that it's ok if they simply acknowledge the broken item, they don't have to beat themselves up over it or demonstrate how sorry they are. (I'm more of a Person B, but with a tone that genuinely expresses remorse. I can see that if the words were said in a flippant way the person wouldn't give the vibe that they were very sorry at all.)  But if they don't ever truly GET the memo about it and their apologies are still grating, I'd accept it anyway. 

Person C seems to assume that everyone should know that they are very sorry, but they never SAY that or mention that they feel bad about it. This is another person I would speak to at another time. "Hey, I'm not trying to dog on you for breaking the mug but instead of having a conversation about the mug, it would be more helpful if you just said sorry and asked if there's a way to make up for it. I'm sure you were very sorry about it, but that didn't really come through in our conversation." 

We've had plenty of conversations with our kids about apologies, mostly due to the fact that I had a couple of non-apology givers "I'm sorry you got mad." isn't a real apology. So a real apology acknowledges what you did to cause an offense. expresses remorse, and asks for forgiveness or some way to make amends.

I have huge latitude for apologies though. If it seems that someone is taking responsibility for their wrong, the words can sound different and I'll still feel like I can move forward. 

Edited by fairfarmhand
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4 hours ago, regentrude said:

I think we need to clarify what "apologize" actually means. In the above situation, I felt extremely bad for causing the person distress (even though I still do not believe I was in the wrong) and profusely apologized for it, because I was deeply sorry to have inadvertently hurt them. Now, does that count as "apologizing", or is this akin expressing one's sorrow at a misfortune that befell the other person? I feel the line is blurry. Sure, everybody is responsible for their own emotions, but at the same time, we can feel (and express) sorrow for triggering a negative emotion even though, objectively, we did not commit an offense.

Apologizing for things where no wrong was done is the problem. English is inherently problematic in this situation because "sorry" is very vague. It's way too easy for someone to demand an apology over inadvertent things and put the responsibility for their feelings on someone else.  We expect people, usually women, to apologize all the time to soothe people who are easily upset.  I have no problem empathizing when someone is upset and acknowledging they feel distress and stating that you're concerned that they're upset.   But if we keep apologizing in those sorts of situations, we keep the waters muddied. Muddying the waters devalues genuine apologies for genuine offenses. Simply stating concern for the other person based on their reaction is much clearer. "You seem very upset, is there anything I can do to make your feel better?"

That's why I think the right reaction is first clarifying what the other person meant when I'm upset by something they said or did rather than telling them or others I'm owed an apology.  It almost always turns out to be a misunderstanding with no offense intended or given. Offenses are actually quite rare in my experience.  Feelings are a byproduct of thinking (conscious or unconscious.) Correct the thinking with some clarification, and the upset feelings go away.  But we live in a society where feelings are usually treated like sacred oracles never to be questioned and always immediately obeyed, and that's unjust to the person who never intended offense in the first place. Most people want to be given the benefit of the doubt, so actively clarifying is the right thing to do. Falsely accusing people of doing wrong is a very big moral deal.

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The first question about anniversaries and a few others threw me too.  Some of those things wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest.  A friend of mine calls me, "The dandelion" because things that would deeply upset other people don't upset me at all. (It's a reference to dandelion vs. orchid personality types.)   My oldest had to explain to her husband that when I ask, for example, if everyone liked the thing I made for dinner, that I don't personalize things or turn things into symbols of our relationship, I honestly just want to know whether or not I should bother making it again and I don't get upset about an honest no. I don't need to be buttered up first with a compliment before the no.  I don't need carefully phrased nos.  "No, I don't like it." with a scrunched up nose is perfectly acceptable to me. I don't ask questions I don't want to know the answer to.

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My top result was empathy.  I WANT the "I'm sorry" comment, especially if my feelings were hurt.  Without that it doesn't feel like a satisfactory apology, even if the person says "that's on me" or tells me what they'll change so as not to make the same mistake again or offers to make it up to me somehow.  All that seems like the other person thinks it's more important to check all the right boxes than to emotionally connect.  Say the words "I'm sorry" first, then feel free to go on with whatever else makes sense.  And wording matters.  Saying, "I'm sorry your feelings were hurt" can come across as blaming, while "I'm sorry that what I said hurt your feelings" acknowledges that your word choice led to the hurt feelings.  

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I have been “apologized” to with “I’m sorry you’re so sensitive this little thing bothered you.”  As an apology!  
 

It’s no wonder I’m married to someone who is not really an apologizer and don’t mind 😉 

He is not a difficult person.

I think a lot being described here I would consider to be a difficult person.  

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Most of the apologies in the quiz seemed so over the top I would think they were being fake. But I can’t seem to get through the whole thing without someone interrupting me (mostly DH), and when I come back I have to start the whole thing over. After my third attempt I give up. 

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8 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I have been “apologized” to with “I’m sorry you’re so sensitive this little thing bothered you.”  As an apology!  
 

It’s no wonder I’m married to someone who is not really an apologizer and don’t mind 😉 

He is not a difficult person.

I think a lot being described here I would consider to be a difficult person.  

"I regret if anyone is so thin-skinned to have misunderstood my INTENNNNNNNNNNNT" is, pretty much the opposite of acceptance of responsibility.

and any or the many variants of

"I'm sorry BUT ___[fill in some rationale of why MY conduct is actually kinda-sorta YOUR fault]____"

is nothing but a return to the arena for another round of blamecasting the other person. 

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3 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

We've had plenty of conversations with our kids about apologies, mostly due to the fact that I had a couple of non-apology givers "I'm sorry you got mad." isn't a real apology. So a real apology acknowledges what you did to cause an offense. expresses remorse, and asks for forgiveness or some way to make amends.

 

This.  Dh was very young when we first met and we never argued for years.  Finally the time came when I was quite hurt by a fairly trivial interaction and his "I'm sorry you feel that way" just floored me - worse than the original hurt.  It took a few more years for him to unlearn this phrase, and now we only say it very ironically and only to each other.

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Another who couldn't finish the quiz, though I went halfway because I was trying to understand what they wanted from it. It was interesting. But I want different things from coworker or acquaintances than family and different things from family than friends. And some of the situations - like the forgetting the anniversary - I couldn't care less. Others were things - like not paying attention to what I was saying - that just aren't that big a deal in context of a trusted friend. I mean, everyone has an off day. And most of them, I'm aware that everyone has their own apology approach and I'm fine with that. Except for an ongoing issue with like, a super best friend, my mom, or my dh or my kids, I don't really care how the apology happens or whether it's focused on fixing it for the future or making amends with words or service or whatever. If it is an ongoing issue with one of those people, then again, it's not the apology that matters, it's what comes next. And if I need changes, I need to ask for them.

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7 hours ago, regentrude said:

I tried the quiz and could barely get past the first question, because husband forgetting anniversary would be so totally a non-issue to me. 
I picked some random thing and went to the second question, and I didn't really find the options all that different.

So, it turns out today is my wedding anniversary.  I know this because my mom called to wish us a happy anniversary.  We both forgot. 
 

 

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13 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

The first question about anniversaries and a few others threw me too.  Some of those things wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest.  A friend of mine calls me, "The dandelion" because things that would deeply upset other people don't upset me at all. (It's a reference to dandelion vs. orchid personality types.)   My oldest had to explain to her husband that when I ask, for example, if everyone liked the thing I made for dinner, that I don't personalize things or turn things into symbols of our relationship, I honestly just want to know whether or not I should bother making it again and I don't get upset about an honest no. I don't need to be buttered up first with a compliment before the no.  I don't need carefully phrased nos.  "No, I don't like it." with a scrunched up nose is perfectly acceptable to me. I don't ask questions I don't want to know the answer to.

This is what I like about you and I don’t even know you IRL. I wish so many people were so much more like this. You operate on zero artifice. Several people in my life are the opposite and there’s always some maddening subtext ready to booby-trap whatever I say. 

Sometimes I find out years and years later that someone was aggrieved when I said, for example, “I don’t go out of my way to eat meatloaf.” Geez. Why be so fragile? 

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8 hours ago, Quill said:

Sometimes I find out years and years later that someone was aggrieved when I said, for example, “I don’t go out of my way to eat meatloaf.” Geez. Why be so fragile? 

I've had that sort of experience with people as well - where they're really upset over something that they're sure I said to get at them. And it's like, um, no, it wasn't about you. It was just about my feelings about MEATLOAF for goodness sake. I feel like there's a sort of casual (not pathological) narcissism that most of us have. And I can do it too - we all think about things from the lens of ourselves, so obviously that skews things pretty often. But there's this way in which a lot of people never re-examine it to be like, oh, maybe that wasn't about me, maybe that person is just awkward, or sad, or worried, distracted, etc. etc. It's not about you.

There's also a lot of assuming the worst intentions. Unless I have a reason to know that there's a pattern of horribleness or something, it's just so much easier if I assume that a person had good intentions. That car that cut me off? They probably just didn't see me. That dinner invite that didn't take into account that I hate that type of food? They probably just forgot. That comment by a friend about how her kid got something my kid didn't? She's probably just focused on her kid, not mine. Of course, in the moment, maybe I'll have an emotional reaction, but logic can help.

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I've read some of the responses but not all of them. I'm not even here on the main forum very often.

But, every time I keep seeing this topic pop to the top of the list... People who don't apologize.

I think, "I divorced him."

🤣

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In my experience people who do not apologize when they wrong someone and they either

1)know they were doing/saying the wrong thing or failing to do the right thing

or

2)didn't know at the time but realized it since then

are not trustworthy. I keep people who are not trustworthy at an arms-length. I'm polite, I may even hang out (esp. if it's family), but I do not trust the person and their ability to have a meaningful, positive relationship with me is very limited. They also don't get to live rent-free in my head. I move on with my life without needing them to apologize, but this limited relationship is the result of their wrongdoing, not mine. I deserve to protect myself from harm, no matter how small or large another person might perceive the harm to be.

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My MIL never has apologized in all the years I've known her even though she's been awful to DH, me, and our kids.  In a situation where a normal person would apologize, she plays the victim and will start saying that she's a horrible mother or grandmother or whatever.  It's disturbing - she's so immature and impossible to reason with.  My own mother was a narcissist (as I wrote earlier) and never apologized either.

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I took the quiz and went from feeling like, “I wouldn’t even care about most of these things,” to starting to feel self-pity that no one has ever apologized to me the way the test answers were written, ever, except for one coworker one time. I’ve never once received an apology like any of those, not from anyone.

It’s a good thing that I blow most things off and don’t expect apologies or I’d be a pretty sad person since no one apologizes! I might get an off the cuff, “Oh, sorry...” every now and then, but that’s about it.

My test result showed that I need “expressing regret” from apologies (if I ever get one sometime in the future.) Just acknowledge the problem and say you’re sorry: “I messed up. I’m sorry.” I don’t want payback or promises to fix things in the future. 

And that’s how I apologize when I do it myself. I don’t give excuses or make promises that I might end up not keeping. I just admit I was wrong and say a simple “I’m sorry.”

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8 minutes ago, Garga said:

I took the quiz and went from feeling like, “I wouldn’t even care about most of these things,” to starting to feel self-pity that no one has ever apologized to me the way the test answers were written, ever, except for one coworker one time. I’ve never once received an apology like any of those, not from anyone.

 

My test result showed that I need “expressing regret” from apologies (if I ever get one sometime in the future.) Just acknowledge the problem and say you’re sorry: “I messed up. I’m sorry.” I don’t want payback or promises to fix things in the future. 

And that’s how I apologize when I do it myself. I don’t give excuses or make promises that I might end up not keeping. I just admit I was wrong and say a simple “I’m sorry.”

I got the same result and I thought most of the apologies in the quiz were really over the top and nothing I've ever heard or would expect.

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13 hours ago, Kassia said:

I got the same result and I thought most of the apologies in the quiz were really over the top and nothing I've ever heard or would expect.

I have heard apologies like that... but like, in the context of serious, serious issues. Not "forgetting an anniversary." The over the top nature of them was really off-putting.

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

I have heard apologies like that... but like, in the context of serious, serious issues. Not "forgetting an anniversary." The over the top nature of them was really off-putting.

They all sort of reminded me of The Apology that Anne made in Anne of Green Gables.

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I doubt the apologies in the quiz are meant to be scripts but they do get you to arrive at the differences.

I've been on the receiving end of all those types of apologies but never so wordy.

My language is "I was wrong".  So many people don't want to say that!

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2 hours ago, happi duck said:

I doubt the apologies in the quiz are meant to be scripts but they do get you to arrive at the differences.

I've been on the receiving end of all those types of apologies but never so wordy.

My language is "I was wrong".  So many people don't want to say that!

Yes! The real, good apology I got from my coworker all those years ago was “I was wrong.” Wow, it was powerful. And rare.

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Just another thought:

Something else that can be 'toxic' is when someone does not receive an apology in a productive way. Knowing that one's apology has been verbally but not emotionally received can discourage further apology. 

It's better to say 'I'm not ready to hear your apology right now, I'm still too hurt/angry, I need more time/space' than it is to 'accept' while not truly accepting. 

~

Thinking on this, I've realised one of my children never apologises to me (she might to others, idk). It might just be my history, but to me, that realisation makes me want to look at my role in that fact - have I caused her some underlying anger? Am I pressuring her in some way to exhibit an apology she doesn't feel? Or does she simply disagree with me about times I've considered her to be in the wrong? - before I write her off as nasty or toxic.

 

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2 hours ago, Garga said:

Yes! The real, good apology I got from my coworker all those years ago was “I was wrong.” Wow, it was powerful. And rare.

I don't know why, but this reminds me of the scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby's father says, "When I'm wrong, I say it" but then he doesn't say he was wrong.  That was it.  DH and I always laughed at that. 

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Some of this is making me think of when Dan Harmon (of Community and Rick and Morty creation fame) apologized to writer Megan Ganz. Anyone follow that at the time? He sexually harassed her over a lengthy period of time when she was working for him. One of the things that was interesting about that apology was that it unrolled over the course of multiple moments. I don't remember all the details, but I know he sort of vaguely said sorry to her at one point in a very dissatisfying way and also sort of alluded to it in vague apology terms publicly once or twice. But then after what was almost like some rehearsals, he gave a very lengthy, I was wrong, here's why I did it, it's not an excuse because I was wrong to have done that, and there's no way for me to ever fully give restitution level apology with a lot of relevant details on his podcast. I think the guy is probably still a total and complete jerk to work for and I don't know that he deserves a pass just because he said sorry in a meaningful way (Megan Ganz has herself said it was meaningful to her, even if it doesn't change what happened). But I did think it was really interesting to hear what I what characterize as a real public apology, which is something I feel like we really rarely hear.

Most apologies we hear in public - well, by nature, they're from public figures - but they tend to either be really off the cuff and kneejerk and meaningless - "Sorry, didn't mean to offend" - or they tend to be overthought media statements that don't really seek to take full responsibility as a PR team seeks to do damage control - "Mistakes were made." The apologies of public figures - especially, I mean, let's be real - of comedy writers - don't really mean that much. But we don't see a lot of great public models for apologies in general. Apologies also aren't a topic for popular stories very often, at least, past episodes of PBS Kids TV shows or something. 

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One more thought on apologies... When I was dean at the small Quaker school, one of the hardest things we'd ask of kids was if a student had done something that upset the whole community, that they apologize to the community at Meeting for Worship. Usually this was things that threatened violence or were violent - like if a kid shoves another kid when things get heated as they play basketball by themselves or with a friend or two that's one thing that maybe requires an individual apology, but if a kid screams he's going to kill another kid in front of a large portion of the school, then that was something that could be upsetting to the school as a whole and might require a larger apology.

And you'd think it would have been the easiest part of the consequences because it's just words. But for many kids, this was the hardest thing to do ever. Like, they'd rather have been suspended (or suspended for longer) or have to do extra chores or write an essay about how wrong they were or really anything but sit there in Meeting and say sorry I did that upsetting thing.

And that was one of the things that convinced me that giving sincere apologies is worth it. And that while obviously apologies can be manipulative or off the cuff and thoughtless, that when someone has to think about their words and choose them ahead of time, that most people are giving their best effort at a real apology.

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re the disheartening business of public apologies

6 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Some of this is making me think of when Dan Harmon (of Community and Rick and Morty creation fame) apologized to writer Megan Ganz. Anyone follow that at the time? He sexually harassed her over a lengthy period of time when she was working for him. One of the things that was interesting about that apology was that it unrolled over the course of multiple moments. I don't remember all the details, but I know he sort of vaguely said sorry to her at one point in a very dissatisfying way and also sort of alluded to it in vague apology terms publicly once or twice. But then after what was almost like some rehearsals, he gave a very lengthy, I was wrong, here's why I did it, it's not an excuse because I was wrong to have done that, and there's no way for me to ever fully give restitution level apology with a lot of relevant details on his podcast. I think the guy is probably still a total and complete jerk to work for and I don't know that he deserves a pass just because he said sorry in a meaningful way (Megan Ganz has herself said it was meaningful to her, even if it doesn't change what happened). But I did think it was really interesting to hear what I what characterize as a real public apology, which is something I feel like we really rarely hear.

Most apologies we hear in public - well, by nature, they're from public figures - but they tend to either be really off the cuff and kneejerk and meaningless - "Sorry, didn't mean to offend" - or they tend to be overthought media statements that don't really seek to take full responsibility as a PR team seeks to do damage control - "Mistakes were made." The apologies of public figures - especially, I mean, let's be real - of comedy writers - don't really mean that much. But we don't see a lot of great public models for apologies in general. Apologies also aren't a topic for popular stories very often, at least, past episodes of PBS Kids TV shows or something. 

I have such mixed feelings on this subject.

For a harm like this one... the harm wasn't wreaked against the public at large, it was against a single specific person. If the purpose is acknowledgement restoration... I dunno that the apology needs to be, or even SHOULD be, public.

Other harms *are* betrayal of public trust: a lawmaker accepting a bribe to direct public policy or taxpayer expenditure, as an extremely clear example. In that case, the taxpayers (all of them, not just those who voted for the lawmaker) DO deserve public apology.

When the crisis management PR response becomes -- as if often does -- a carefully-framed accountability-free version of "I regret if anyone was offended due to a misunderstanding of my good intentions or jocular JK"... what that modeling actually teaches us the script to EVADE restoration. And this sort of construct is so freaking common among public figures that I mostly despair of the role of the Public Grovel in civic discourse.

But since I've been typing you came back with one more thought

11 minutes ago, Farrar said:

One more thought on apologies... When I was dean at the small Quaker school, one of the hardest things we'd ask of kids was if a student had done something that upset the whole community, that they apologize to the community at Meeting for Worship. Usually this was things that threatened violence or were violent - like if a kid shoves another kid when things get heated as they play basketball by themselves or with a friend or two that's one thing that maybe requires an individual apology, but if a kid screams he's going to kill another kid in front of a large portion of the school, then that was something that could be upsetting to the school as a whole and might require a larger apology.

And you'd think it would have been the easiest part of the consequences because it's just words. But for many kids, this was the hardest thing to do ever. Like, they'd rather have been suspended (or suspended for longer) or have to do extra chores or write an essay about how wrong they were or really anything but sit there in Meeting and say sorry I did that upsetting thing.

And that was one of the things that convinced me that giving sincere apologies is worth it. And that while obviously apologies can be manipulative or off the cuff and thoughtless, that when someone has to think about their words and choose them ahead of time, that most people are giving their best effort at a real apology.

(and one of my kids attended Quaker school and I've seen this dynamic), and it's also a core concept in restorative justice as well.

That it's so often done badly, does not mean that when done well it can be immensely healing.

Of two minds, I am.

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19 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re the disheartening business of public apologies

I have such mixed feelings on this subject.

For a harm like this one... the harm wasn't wreaked against the public at large, it was against a single specific person. If the purpose is acknowledgement restoration... I dunno that the apology needs to be, or even SHOULD be, public.

I'm also of multiple minds on this. But I think one thing that happens with harassment is that when it becomes public knowledge, it becomes normalized for a large audience and then it becomes a harm on society as a whole. I mean, I see your point, but I also think this is like when we asked the kid to give the apology to the community... when a person is well known and they do something that hurts social norms, then society is one of the places that needs the apology.

Of course, it also becomes a way to manipulate thinking, manipulate and further victimize the victim, etc. when done wrong.

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On 4/1/2021 at 12:29 PM, happi duck said:

https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/apology-quiz/

The love language people have an apology language quiz that I found fascinating.  Some of the items to me feel like "how is that an apology?!??" It has been helpful to me to realize that we all give and receive apology differently.

*Maybe* your person is just a completely different language than you? 

If this is a person that truly is never repentant that must be so frustrating.

(hugs)

Thank you very much for this link.   The quiz is interesting and I found the results to be spot on and quite helpful to me. 

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