Friday, August 16, 2013

What You Don't Want To Do: Apologizing When You Don't Feel Wrong



"Casey," I stopped my daughter before she went outside. "Can you please pick up the clutter in the living room before you go?"

Immediately the but-it's-not-fair face slid over her features. "But that stuff isn't mine!!" she whined.

"I know. Can you pick it up anyway?"

Then, the words came. "But it's not fair! Why do I have to do it??"

"Because you're part of the family, and sometimes that's what being part of the family is."

Sometimes I think that's a little bit what apologizing when you're not wrong is like. We've all been in situations like that, haven't we? We're in conflict with someone over something, and sometimes it's not our fault.  Why should we be the one to apologize??

Because sometimes that's what being in relationship with people is. Sometimes you take blame that doesn't belong to you for the good of the whole relationship.

There are a lot of things that go into this, I think. There are always three sides to a situation: your side, their side, and the truth -- which usually lies somewhere in the middle. You're rarely as right as you think you are.  And that doesn't necessarily mean that you're wrong... but you're also biased in thinking what you do.  There's the idea that sometimes being right isn't worth destroying the relationship. I mean, is it? If the choice is "maintain your pride and not apologize" or "damage the friendship beyond salvagability," is it worth it?

This almost feels like this should be a topic for another day, but I didn't want to walk away from this without saying that it's a balancing act. The thing with relationships is that sometimes you give more than your share, and sometimes you take more than your share.  But, if you're always giving or always taking, that's something that needs to be addressed. Being a doormat and always being the one to give in shouldn't be your M.O. -- but neither should always being the one to be the stubborn hold-out.

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Monday .......................... What You Don't Want To Do
Tuesday ......................... Forgiveness When You're Still Hurting
Thursday ................... Kindness When You Want to Lash Out
Friday ........................ Apologizing When You Don't Feel Wrong
Monday (again) ......... Commitment When You Want to Quit

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