Friday, July 28, 2006

Apologizing

"It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them."
-- P. G. Wodehouse, The Man Upstairs (1914)

... There is some truth to this, for sure. And it is certainly possible to be too apologetic. And if one finds one needs to apologize really frequently, one has better look at what behavior patterns one needs to amend!

But: I find that an apology can be really handy in two conditions: One is when one honestly has f***ed up. Own up to it, and apologize. It really makes a difference to the person one has wronged.
And another is when one is locked in conflict with another person, and there is a lot of unclarity as to who is right and wrong. This can be a complex picture, and can further be obfuscated by high emotions. And I find occasionally that if you press on, you may ruin a friendship. So it can be better to just swallow your pride and think to yourself: I may be right here, but I am not sure, and ultimately it is not important, and just say: "You are right, I am sorry."

I admit none of these things are easy. We all have pride.
And of course it is important not to let people walk all over you.
Some things take a lot of judgement.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, July 28, 2006   15 comments links to this post

15 Comments:

At 28 Jul 2006, 14:53:00, Blogger Hannah said...

I don't see much true in it at all. Ok, you can definitely apologize too much, but what good is a person without the humility and self realisation who can't even admit that, 1. they made a mistake and 2. they're sorry for the consequences?

 
At 28 Jul 2006, 16:12:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

I agree with you and hannah - it's a crappy rule in life never to apologize.

 
At 28 Jul 2006, 18:10:00, Blogger eolake said...

Well, it was just said by one of Woodehouse's characters.

 
At 28 Jul 2006, 21:27:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

I think "the wrong sort" of people is the sort that never apologizes.

Unless you wish to divide the whole world between the black and the white (no racism intended), honesty will have you admit that everybody goes through different shades of grey in their lives, and sometimes this grey is a patchwork with interlaced black and white. If you're not perfect, there'll be times when you'll consider apologizing. Apologies (from myself or from another) have earned me many friends. I've never regretted a sincere apology.

Now, on the other hand, if you ARE perfect, well... no, I don't insist on knowing you. Why?

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 05:03:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

I like the scene in Animal House where Belushi seizes an acoustic guitar from a guy playing it with the words "Excuse me", smashes it to pieces and then hands it back to him with an apologetic "Sorry!"

A

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 11:19:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

I am an unapologetic apologiser, I am sorry to say.

A

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 14:00:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Adam: nice one, LOL! :-D


I guess the idea behind the original quote might have been that real friends understand you and thus don't need apologies (or explanations, for that matter).
But then what do I know - characters in books have been known to say all sorts of thing... ;-)

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 20:33:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

Adam,

Man, you are seriously dusturned, buddy.

You're my kind of guy!!! :-D

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 20:34:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

Damn typo! I meant "disturbed".

Though that word turned out rather nice. Hmm...

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 20:36:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

P.S. : Notice that I didn't apologize, for the typo...

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 20:45:00, Blogger eolake said...

I am truly sorry for butting in, but I like the "dusturned" word.

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 22:47:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

I had rust justurned from the Bristol Festival of the Sea, which was a wash-out due to sudden rain, to find, to my horrow, these posts breeding heavily like dirty old men

I wonder if you wrote a drama which brought down the monarchy whether the headlines would be "Play stops Reign."?

Dust an idea...

A

 
At 29 Jul 2006, 23:14:00, Blogger eolake said...

The horrow! The horrow!

All just part of my rain of Terra.

 
At 2 Aug 2006, 22:20:00, Anonymous Pascal R said...

You guys should check my comment on the "Euthanasia" thread. And then, you should apologize. ;-P I mean, some people I know consider such poor humor offensive. I should know, because that's how they judge mine... ;-)

Not to bring the worldwide debate on the Lebanese war into this, but I'm beginning to feel like we might all be a bunch of closet jokular terrorists.

You all know, of course, the Al-Jokul emirate, just East of Badweatheristan (Capital : Whatabadguyh)...

 
At 18 Aug 2006, 10:05:00, Blogger BobH said...

I get anoyed with organisations that won't say "sorry". If they do, I don't feel that they are taking personal responsibility necessarily - they just regret that I have been caused a problem.
Bob

 

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