it is an irony of romance that the more interesting and intimate a relationship, the more tempestuous it is. after all, a relationship involves two blood-red human beings with emotions to burn. so, you’re bound to have misunderstandings – and apologies and forgivenesses. however, this post isn’t about how you say ‘i’m sorry,’ because saying it should come spontaneously, naturally and in the most creative way you think. saying ‘sorry’, in some ways, is like proposing. you know what you want to say, but how you say it and how the ring appears depends on your creativity. like proposing also, when you utter the words, you always consider the options of a first refusal or several refusals (by the person), but you always have hope in your heart for the best. only you have spent moments before the fall out with this person, only you know the gravity of your offense, so, recommending how you apologize by someone else can be awkward. for instance, when i first heard ruben studdard’s “sorry 2004,” i wondered if this was like jesus dying on the cross for our sins, and sincerely hoped he meant it as a joke. so, this post is about the reason you say ‘sorry,’ not how or through what medium you express it. but whatever you do, when you say ‘sorry’, be sincere, do not place blame, do not patronize your lover/friend, or make assumptions – because most arguments start with someone making assumptions.
some people are shy – of words, and saying “i’m sorry,” is a phrase you’re unlikely to hear from them. i don’t blame this kind, and here’s my take on this. you see, the phrase “i’m sorry”, which is supposed to make its recipient feel better, for some, has the assumption of guilt and admittance of wrongdoing. so, such people feel when they say the words to a person, it implies that they are in some way responsible for the situation. also, ‘i’m sorry’ has suffered a social death of some sort by misuse. very often, you hear it uttered in a range of circumstances, from condolences, “i’m so sorry for your loss,” to insulting someone, “you sorry excuse for a human being,” to asking a speaker to repeat a sentence, “sorry, what did you say?” to the playful (depending on the occasion) “get your sorry ass out of my face.” so, these people have learnt to let their actions be their atonement. i agree, letting your actions do the talking is commendable, however, not verbally (or via a message) telling someone you care for that you are sorry can come across as being arrogant. to great benefits, the two go together – the words/messages and the actions. besides, the ability to genuinely say you are sorry, for me, is one of the highs of emotional intelligence. it doesn’t only show an assessment of your behavior/action but how that action/behavior has negatively affected someone you care for. it’s a point in any situation when your ego takes a backseat for the betterment of what the both of you share.
as such, saying ‘sorry’ should not arise from your lover/friend making you aware of what you have done wrong, or a third party making you see sense. to be genuine, it must come from your own assessment of your actions. imagine walking to your lover and saying, “i was provoked. but after you spoke to me, i realized i was wrong. i am sorry.” or “i was speaking to (insert name) and he/she made me realize i reacted wrongly. i am sorry.” when your saying ‘sorry’ is based on either of these two interventions, you are making decisions based on the current circumstances – you’ve had a fight, you’ve been made aware you were wrong, the situation will not get better except you apologize, so you say ‘sorry’. reacting this way could mean you wouldn’t have realized your mistake if someone hadn’t brought it to your attention. reacting this way could mean you have taken the circumstances as being beyond your ability to change – for me, this limits your options and solutions. you don’t think so? if you are used to taking this approach (of considering the circumstances), it is very likely, next time your lover is hurt, for you to say, “sorry” and think “at least it worked last time.” sometimes, you may have noticed he/she remains hurt, and then you wonder why ‘sorry’ didn’t work this time. however, when you take time to reflect and examine why you decided to say “sorry”, your conscious intentions determine your words and actions, rather them being determined by circumstances alone.
earlier in this post i said it would be wrong for me to suggest how you say ‘sorry,’ because saying it should be spontaneous, and should come naturally out of what you share with someone. in the past several weeks, a close friend of mine and i had a misunderstanding. but through it all, she taught me a heartening dimension of friendship by not giving up on my sorry ass. i considered sending prince’s “the arms of orion.” i didn’t, because, like most songs, one line in the song was not applicable … instead, last week, to apologize, i wrote a short story and hoped she will read it and understand my intentions. she did. to you, wherever you are right now, i dedicate this post.
to be continued.