Let’s be real.
I’ll forgive most things if I’m given an apology. To me, all an apology means is that you know you did something unacceptable or hurtful and you’re going to try not to do it again. Too many people refuse to apologize even though they know they’ve done something wrong, because they’re too proud. I don’t smack people in the face with their apologies… I take them and move on, or I don’t.
There are several kinds of apologies that I won’t accept. Some of them show you immediately that they’re insincere. One of my older brothers got very verbally abusive with me several months ago, and then wrote an “I’m sorry” on my blog. Unfortunately, it was in the form of an “I’m sorry that you’re stupid and you don’t get this and that you think that I’m being hurtful” apology, and then he followed it up with some more verbal abuse.
I refused his apology. I have the freedom to do that, you see, as the offended party.
There are other kinds of apologies that I won’t take. When I say that an apology is “insincere” and that “you don’t mean it”, I don’t mean that you don’t have any emotion in your apology. I mean that your apology is useless because you have no intentions of backing it up with any actions. You may realize that what you did was wrong (you may not. You may just be apologizing so that you can get whatever privelidges back that you lost), but you have no intention of attempting to not do it again.
People have patterns. When people have a record, with you and with others, of “apologizing” and then never making any moves to recompense, and then later turning around and do the thing again, their apologies become worthless. As my mother used to say, “You can be as sorry as you want to, but don’t do it again.” I don’t need apologies, I need to know folk aren’t gonna fuck me over. Without that, “I’m sorry” is nothing but empty words, and blubbering on about what a terrible person you is nothing but a self-pitying plea for someone to disagree.
You can say I’m sorry from here ’till the end of time, and if you just keep doing the same shit over again, none of it matters.
And that’s why I don’t take all apologies. It’s reasonable, if you think about it. You fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
Well, fool me twice and you’re likely to get a slew of phone calls, emails, and blog entries telling you what a fucking asshole you are.
But you also won’t win my friendship back with an empty, meaningless apology.
Or anyone else’s.