My dad was quite the communicator, he had a way of-albeit an insufferably long winded way, getting to the very craw of a matter. He taught me about grace and diplomacy, he taught me how to apologize, how and when to accept one. Like all dynamic duos, my mother sat at the other side of the helm doling the dish on how to take anyone down at the knees with a stern glare and a dose of well timed vitriol-she's a whole other post.
I discovered early on that I do not like to apologize, I'd rather itch. With that discovery, I made a conscious decision to a. Listen more, speak less b. Overthink everything to the point of being too exhausted to speak at all. It works. It may not be practical, but seldom do I have to stammer over to some sullen faced human with my shoulders slumped and my eyelids low to mutter those words, you know the ones.
I also learned oftentimes what people offer apology for and wish to be excused from, has little to do with the person they've allegedly wronged. They want, and often need a get out of jail free card. Whether they're being held by guilt or remorse, it is they who are being held. Playground psychology, if you will. I don't think we ever get past the time our parent-along with some other equally embarrassed parent, forcibly brought us forward, to confront someone whom we probably felt quite justified in maiming, for the symbolic truce; a vacillatory, "Sorry." A reluctant shaking of hands and a Machiavellian grin. You may or may not still get the snot beat out of you when you get home. (That might explain what all the playground pugilism was about in the first place).
I guess what I'm thinking is, what really is the point of an apology if you're not sorry? And further, why must we accept one simply because it has been offered? Why the pressure? Suffice it to say, I've yet to end or reconcile any ties based on the concept of an apology. Even when the sincerity is present, some things will fix themselves and others, well others just aren't meant to be fixed. I wonder what my dad would say. And you, what are your thoughts?