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Friday, May 27, 2016

When Are Apologies Appropriate? (Flashback Friday)






          It's Flashback Friday - a time of the month where you can republish and old post of yours that maybe didn't get enough attention, or that you're really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This blog-go-round is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino  from A Life Examined--that's where you'll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

        This post first appeared on Tossing It Out on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  To see the original comments to that post you can click on the title below to be taken to the original post.  My reason for choosing this particular post, besides it being as relevant now as then, is that it is a clue to my next Battle of the Bands post which will appear on next Wednesday June 1st.  That will also be my next post as Monday I'll be taking off for Memorial Day.

       

When Are Apologies Appropriate?

      Sometimes apologizing can be an awkward and even humiliating experience.  I usually don't have any problem apologizing when I realize I've been in the wrong.  The experience for me can be very liberating and uplifting.   Sometimes I've even made new friends in the process.   Being at odds with anyone is not a healthy situation to be in.

       The need to apologize usually stems from one or more of the following:


  • Misunderstanding what another has said.
  • Not having fully heard what was being said.
  • Taking the wrong side unfairly against another party.
  • Jumping on a bandwagon without knowing all the facts.
  • Not seeing things from the other point of view.
  • Being selfish.
  • Allowing jealousy or resentment toward another color your opinion of them.
  • Flat out being wrong and sticking with that wrong for too long.

      Since I tend to be slow to react and I like to hear all sides of an issue, I usually don't end up having to apologize much.  Sometimes I might have to do some explaining to clarify things, but usually it's a matter of trying to help the disagreement side understand better what is going on.

       I don't recall ever having to make an apology for anything I've written on my blog because I try to think my posts through carefully and avoid saying negative things about other bloggers.  I may disagree sometimes, but I don't get vicious toward anyone.  This is not true with all bloggers though.   And I rarely see apologies coming from those sorts of bloggers.  Of course, I don't frequent those types of blogs too much so maybe I've missed some of their apologies.

      Do you apologize when you know you've been wrong or do you just let things go?   Do you have greater respect for someone who admits they are wrong and offers an apology?   Do you know of any bloggers who you think need to apologize to another blogger?    Are there any apologies you'd like to make to anyone?

        As a bonus here is a music video concerning saying "sorry".   Not that it has anything to do with my upcoming Battle of the Bands post other than being related in theme.









51 comments:

  1. I think apologising shows strength of character. Even though I am a bit of a perfectionist, I am not perfect and do slip up from time to time. I have no problem in holding my hands up and saying 'Sorry', when I'm in the wrong. Great post, Arlee.

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    1. Nicola, if nothing else it's a considerate way to show people that you care about them and are willing to extend a peace offering in a potentially tense situation.

      Lee

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  2. Great food for thought. I just saw a blog post yesterday that talked about someone quite negatively. I was rather shocked that anyone would post that sort of thing online for all to see. I kind of got the feeling that they're not the type of people who are big on apologizing though.

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    1. Ellen, I don't recall what originally precipitated this post, but I think it might have been my running across a post like you've described.

      Lee

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  3. I apologize all the time. I'm so insecure that I feel like everything I do is wrong. Last night I was apologizing to my stepdaughter in law for something that wasn't even my fault...I didn't have all the information when I made a suggestion. She didn't tell me what was going on till later. I felt so bad. She was consoling ME cause she knew I didn't know at the time. Still though. I felt like, 'me and my big mouth again'.

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    1. JoJo, I can relate to what you're saying. Sometimes it seems like it's better to apologize whether we're wrong or not just to bring peace to the situation.

      Lee

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  4. I'll apologize when I'm wrong. And accept one when it's given.
    What was interesting was going back to see the comments and who is still around today.

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    1. Alex, yes looking back at the comments can be very interesting.

      Lee

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  5. This was great to read Lee.
    I was brought up to apologise when I know I ak in the wrong. That is how I get by.
    Have a good week-end.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, some people are never or rarely willing to apologize no matter what. I wonder why they are like this, but no point on dwelling on it for long.

      Lee

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  6. Hi, Lee!

    I have known you more than a year now and have come to
    recognize you as a voice of reason. Like you I try to see things from the other person's point of view. I "meet them at their map of the world," identify common ground and areas of agreement, establish rapport and build a friendship with them one positive encounter at a time. Eventually I am able to reveal my values and beliefs knowing that they differ from those of some of my friends. I can do this with a certain degree of confidence because our deep rapport, our history of positive exchanges, serves as the glue that holds the friendship together if and when and our differences come to light. This is the method I use to form solid, long lasting relationships in the blog arena. The people who are with me today are genuine friends, people who have remained flexible and resourceful, respectful and diplomatic. When you get in a groove with people, showing respect and getting it in return, friends taking care of friends, the word "sorry" never even has to come up. The Desiderata offers good advice on the subject. "Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit."

    Have a wonderful weekend, good buddy Lee!

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    1. Shady, thanks for your thoughts on this. I feel like positive energy will propel us all forward in the best way whereas negative thinking draws us more inwardly to a place of ever increasing discontent, resentment, and even anger. There is little point in allowing these energy sources to drag us down.

      Lee

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  7. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word - Elton John

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    1. Eman, if that's a song guess then it's wrong. Sorry!

      Lee

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  8. The real issue is being willing to apologize even if you're not wrong but because the relationship is more important to you than being right or winning.

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    1. Andrew, that's usually my main impetus when I apologize to something. More than once have I apologized even though I knew the other person was more in the wrong than I was, but I knew that they were unlikely to ever apologize.

      Lee

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  9. I know you as a calm and reasonable person, Lee and am glad to be part of your blogging world. Being Canadian, saying "Sorry" a lot comes naturally. ☺ Seriously though, I'm usually diplomatic (at least in public ;) ) and rarely need to apologize. There's never been any controversy on my blog but I used to belong to an online forum where unapologetic verbal jousting was common. I'll always apologize if I'm wrong (although, that can be subjective) and admire others who do, as well.

    Happy Memorial Day weekend to you!

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    1. Debbie D, discussion of controversial topics is a good thing when approached reasonably and respectfully. I like to touch on controversial topics, but I would be unlikely to apologize for having brought them up.

      Lee

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    2. For sure! You handle such posts with precision and grace, which some people aren't capable of.

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  10. One of the main attributes that make your posts so compelling is that you highlight the importance of temperance even in the midst of controversy. That isn't easy for everyone and I admire it in you ;-)
    One of the worst fears I have is that if apologies aren't made when they should be, you might not get another chance to. So, yeah, I apologize - always and often, if need be.
    Running across a caustic blogger is like getting off an elevator on the wrong floor "Sorry, wrong room!"

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    1. Diedre, so true about not getting second chances. When a relationship is severed in anger or hurt sometimes the opportunity to get together again is not possible, especially in blogging where the cold shoulder of faceless contact is easy to do. It's almost like bloggers are imaginary people in a video game.

      Lee

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  11. I actually had to apologize today. The boss and I got cranky at each other and snapped. Later I apologized and so did she.

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    1. Patricia, it's nice when the apologies are mutual. I think that clears the air in the best way.

      Lee

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  12. Saying sorry was hard until a few years ago, when I realized I was causing hurt with rationalizing reasons not to. After that, it was a load lifted.

    Love Chicago. We had "Color my World" played at our wedding.

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    1. Susan K, "Color My World" is such a great song from Chicago's best album in my opinion. I rationalize sometimes when I feel like I'm being wronged, but if it's my fault I'd rather save energy and get the apology out of the way quickly.

      Lee

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  13. I never have a hard time saying I'm sorry. If I'm wrong I'm happy to admit it and apologize.
    I try not to be too controversial on my blog. I tend to stay away from arguments as I don't like conflict.
    I think when people apologize, it shows character and integrity.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, apologizing makes it easier to move forward and not get snagged on past issues.

      I think many people confuse discussion of controversial topics with getting into heated divisive arguments. Too bad that we find it so difficult to set aside our emotions to a certain extent in order to deconstruct ideas and discuss things from a rational viewpoint in order to understand better. I strive for that, but it doesn't always work out the way I hope.

      Lee

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  14. I'm British. I apologise for people standing on my feet. I shouldn't have put them in their way... and all the other things I apologise for. So I probably don't apologise when I know I'm right, but the other person isn't hearing it. But when I do apologise, I can't stop, in case they didn't believe me the first time.
    Just send the straight-jacket, will you?

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    1. Jemima, that might be a bit overboard on the apologizing, but I can see myself doing something similar.

      Lee

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  15. Saying "sorry" is really a small thing; you can do it without being at fault, actually. I'm quick to say "sorry" because I want everyone to feel respected and I do care.

    Where blogging is concerned, I try to keep it friendly and fun. If it's not, I don't follow that blog. No one has to follow anyone and I don't enjoy mean spirited comments.

    I've been reminded often, though, that you don't genuinely know another blogger, just the image they want to put forth. Sometimes, the true self moves to the forefront and that is disappointing...but it shouldn't be a surprise.

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    1. DOC CHERDO...
      I'm sorry.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underpants'

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    2. Cherdo, I don't mind disagreement, but mean-spirited disagreement is something that I'm not pleased with. If I see value in trying to patch things up I might take the apologetic route, but otherwise in faceless encounters there's often nothing you can do. For that matter though even with personal encounters sometimes apologies just don't work. Just got to move on if someone else doesn't want to calm the discord.

      Lee

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  16. Lee, I have no problem saying I'm sorry and that kinda happens frequently with me because I often do stupid things. Of course, there are things that slip up from time to time that I didn't even know about until someone(usually my children)refreshes my memory and I find an apologize is needed. Anyone who thinks parents are perfect, then think again! lol The reason there are so many riffs in relationships could possibly start mending, if someone said, "I'm sorry". Unfortunately pride and anger gets in the way too many times. Blogging should be fun and if someone leaves an ugly comment then delete it. Push it out of your head and chalk it up to a rude, mean person, who you don't want to have anything to do. Life is too short. Don't hang on to someone's ugliness. I think I may have apologized on my blog, but mostly for minor incidents that need clearing up kind of stuff,you know? That's just being polite. I want to keep my blog warm, friendly, and inviting. Your post is a fabulous reminder that we need to take a step back to examine the situation in a calm, logical, and thoughtful way. Whew, these are words I need to remember to apply to me the net time I get mad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This topic is one that definitely never loses its importance to mention again. Have a good weekend!

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    1. Cathy, thinking about your comment I guess I have probably said sorry now and then for something I've said in a comment--or at least attempted to clarify what I've said in order to try to fix a perceived problem. I have a bigger problem shooting off my mouth with things I shouldn't say. When you can't edit what you say it's easier to screw up and upset others.

      Lee

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  17. Every now and then, I think before speaking or send an email with a decided "tone." Personally, I call those my myopic moments. I look back and realize that I didn't see the bigger picture, just me and my emotions or perspective. It's humbling to realize what an ass I was, even more so to apologize, but it's the right thing to do. So I do it.

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    1. Jennifer, often I think it's a matter of our ego that blinds us to how others might fit into the picture. I've apologized more than once for having been an ass even when the other person might have been more at fault and won't admit it. I'll go to great lengths to try to make peace and heal broken relationships. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

      Lee

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  18. I sometimes apologize for things I didn't do, which makes me hate myself later (and apologize to myself lol). I will apologize if someone totally misses something I've said, though rarely on a blog because, like you, I think about what I'm writing and sometimes work on making sure others know what I meant to say (because I always mean what I say) rather than how they decide to interpret it.

    I'm not hesitant to apologize when necessary. I do go out of my way to try to make sure it's never necessary. :-)

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    1. Mitch, editing is a great advantage to the written word. Sometimes in face to face encounters I try to say as little as possible while things are heated so I don't say something I regret later. Some things can never really be taken back even if we apologize for them.

      Lee

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  19. I have written a couple of things on my blog for which I've had to apologise. The first time it was one sentence which I changed, the second time it was a whole post which I took down. Other times I've taken down posts to avoid the possibility of trouble. But I usually try and take ownership of what I've said, whether that means accepting responsibility for something wrong or standing by it when I believe it's right.

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    1. Michael, I'm not going to say I haven't done the same, but I hope I haven't. Sometimes we probably don't even realize that we've said something that hurt someone else. My biggest offence is when I'm trying to be funny and someone else doesn't understand.

      Lee

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  20. I usually will apologize if I'm trying to repair a relationship with a friend or a good co-worker. Beyond that, apologizing for something that wasn't my fault yet the other persons suffering from an inflated self of importance demands it, will not happen. I don't play office politics and in fact have committed career suicide because of not wanting to willingly throw myself under the bus.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. GB, I agree that their can be limits to apologizing if there is no relationship at stake and the consequences to apologizing could work against me. Like in an accident where I was clearly not at fault or some situation that could lead to legal repercussions. I don't want to provide any indication that I was liable when I wasn't. I can't recall being in a situation like you describe, but I don't think it would be worth demeaning myself in those cases.

      Lee

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  21. An apology can be good if we held a certain attitude we're now really ashamed of, like having believed all members of a certain nationality or race have certain repugnant views or act in a certain way we don't like. For example, based on the information I had access to, I believed for many years that pretty much all Poles are anti-Semites, and I now know that's not true.

    We shouldn't have to apologize for acting or believing a certain way if there were a valid reason to do to. For example, a man might have very compelling reasons to doubt the paternity of a child, based on the information he had access to and his own emotional feeling at the time. If a DNA test proves he's the father, he might apologize to his ex and their child for not having treated them so well, but he shouldn't have to apologize for the mere act of having those doubts. We shouldn't have to apologize for our entire pasts, since that's just part of who we were, something that makes us what we are today.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, not much if anything that I'm going to apologize in my own past and certainly absolutely nothing that I would apologize for my ancestors or countrymen before I was born did. If it happened before I was born I offer no apologies. If my government did something with which I had no part in then no apologies. I am accountable for my own actions alone.

      Lee

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  22. Great post, Arlee. Having grown up in a family where apologies were rare to non-existent,I believe they are crucial in relationship-building/maintaining. I quickly apologize if I have erred and I hope I've taught my children to do the same. Love actually does mean having to say you're sorry.

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    1. Susan, I think in many cases when there are no apologies we tend to carry at least a bit of resentment as we wait for someone to make some kind of amends for wrongs done. A simple "I'm sorry" should be so easy and really it is, but for many I think it is a threat to their ego so that admitting wrong or even suggesting it can feel diminishing.

      Lee

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  23. I hate to admit when I'm wrong, particularly with my family, because they know this and will crow about my mistakes with great glee. With blogging, I also try to stay away from controversial topics or take care in writing about potentially offensive things. I certainly don't want to get in a cyber shouting match.

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    1. Tamara, family dynamics are often like this. I understand from my own experience. Cyber shouting matches should never happen, but cyber discussions can be very fruitful if egos are put in check.

      Lee

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  24. It's never to late to apologize and if I'm in the wrong - I do. My husband argues over that with me as his thoughts are - if you have to say you're sorry it's too late! But each to their own!

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    1. Jeanne, for me an apology is always appropriate whenever it's provided if the hurt has been deep enough. I don't like to ask for an apology because if I have to ask often times the other person doesn't even recognize they were in the wrong or they don't value my feelings enough to assuage my hurt.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
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Lee