Before you start reading, I suggest turning on Justin Bieber’s song “Sorry” and listening to it as background music to this blog post. I just think that’s how this one ought to be read.
Recently, I’ve started to notice apologies. And I’ve begun to wonder, when are they due and when are they unecessary? And when they are unnecessary, as they so frequently seem to be- why do people make them?
If you pay attention, you’ll hear the word “sorry” about a hundred times a day.
“Sorry I bumped into you.”
“Sorry I forgot to give you back your pencil.”
“Sorry I was a shitty friend.”
“Sorry I slept with your boyfriend and lied to you about it then did it again. So, so sorry.”
Most of the time, when someone is saying sorry, they aren’t actually sorry. That’s why the word is so intriguing to me. What other phrase do people emit so readily, which they don’t even mean? Why do people do it, when it’s obviously a waste of breath? Because, let’s be real, you’re not actually sorry you bumped into someone, you just didnt mean to- and there’s a difference.
Sorry is defined as: “feeling distress, especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune”
You are not feeling any distress for that freshmen you just trucked in the hallway, while sprinting to the cafeteria, in an attempt to get there before they run out of fries. And you aren’t sympathetic for the random kid in your math class who’s pencil you stole two days prior and had been using in each one of your classes since then. It’s just a habit to say sorry. And I really think saying it so readily takes away meaning from the word itself.
You are not sorry that you were a crap friend. You’re sorry that there were negative repercussions to your actions, but in that case you’re only sorry for yourself. We use the word to make ourselves feel better. And I think people would be better off if they just saved their breath, because honestly, you aren’t fooling anybody. And you aren’t fixing anything. Not really at least. Someone may accept your apology because they feel like they need to forgive you, but the fact of the matter is that they don’t.
This is important: you do not have to accept apologies.
I actually suggest that you don’t, if you feel it to be ingenuine. Let them know that your time won’t be wasted by some petty apology that only serves to make the initial purpetrator feel better. I think accepting crap apologies is only doing a disservice to yourself.
I’m not suggesting holding a grudge forever, or even for a long time- that’ll just make you feel unhappy. But you don’t need to reconcile. Let’s be real- if someone sleeps with your boyfriend, twice and lies to you about it, that probably isn’t someone you want in your life. Forcing yourself to accept their apology, which is ingenuine by default of the fact that they slept with your boyfriend twice, is unfair to you. Let the anger go, and let them go as well.
You also can’t force apologies out of people. Those are just as fake, if not more so, than the others. If a person is really, truly sorry for what they did, they will apologize upon their own free will. And they will work their ass off towards reconciliation. But that is something that they have to want to do. Unless the origin of the “sorry” is from their own heart, it is a fake, and ought to be tossed out with the trash.
The other day someone said sorry to me. I knew from the moment I answered the phone that it was going to be a waste of my time, and ultimately, a waste of their’s as well. I was given the classic spiel and then there was silence, meaning it was my turn to respond. I knew that this person was expecting me to take what they said and convince myself that it was enough to make up for the atrocious way they had acted. And I almost did, because for me too, it’s sort of built into the way I interact. Just accepting apologies and moving on. But instead I chose not to.
If there’s one thing you take away from this, it should be that you don’t need those sorry’s in your life. Only keep the apologies that make you feel like its worth dealing with that person again. Because, I don’t know about you, but I have way too much homework to be putting up with BS from basics. Homework that I should probably be doing right now. Ugh, I’m so over high school.
Until next time,