I’ve always wanted to write on this topic but was in need of a real case point for back up, anyway last weekend the case found me. Something happened in my neighbourhood. I followed it closely while it lasted and the end of it relates with this topic. As we all know, apologizing is hard to do. It’s not fun to realize that you’ve done something wrong. It’s not a great feeling to be told that you were wrong. It’s not really that great to be wrong. But the reality is that we’re all human, and we’re going to make mistakes and when the time comes, I think that the ability to stand up and take responsibility for our mistakes and to say “I was wrong” is really important.
But, the thing about apologies is that they don’t mean anything at all if they’re not sincere. Now, a lot of times, particularly if you’ve really screwed up, the sincerity of an apology is going to be under question. After all, if you’ve made a major mess of things, there are likely some hurt and/or angry people questioning you and your motives. Which is to be expected. Part of making a sincere apology is realizing that people may or may not accept your apology. If you’ve hurt people, they’re under no obligation to read your apology and say ‘Oh, well then, that’s fine.’
Now, here’s the thing… if you’ve done wrong, and if you’ve hurt people with your words? Yes, you don’t get to be pissed with and shout at the people who are angry at you. You don’t get to cry “let it go” or “could you please accept that” like they’re unreasonable for being upset. Really, how pathetic does it make an apology look when you follow it up with that, anyway?
I’m still up in the air about whether a shitty apology is worse than no apology at all, but then neither is good.