“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”– Robert Brault
This is a tough one. Conflicts, arguments, fights are a part and parcel of every human’s life. Most of the times it ends up either with a permanent rift in the equation of people involved or an apology to sort out the matter. What should be done in a case when we know that it isn’t our fault yet might need to apologize to rectify the situation? Have you ever dealt with people who never apologize for their actions, even when they are visibly at fault?
I am closely connected with 2 such individuals in my life who posses this particular personality trait. I have never received an apology from them for any of their actions that have hurt me or were noticeably wrong. I fought with them, put across my points, told them how their actions have hurt me deeply, tried to reason with them and failed every time to get the apology that I desperately needed for a mental closure. You might think of them as evil humans who can’t let their guard down for the sake of others. But the reality could be totally different.
Some people cannot apologize for their actions, no matter how hard they try. The sheer thought of accepting their mistakes can shatter their ego and destroy their self esteem. Owing to the various experiences right from their childhood that helped frame their personality, these individuals need to be proven right every time to maintain their sense of self worth. An apology stems from the acceptance that one is wrong and their actions have hurt someone. It puts the person apologizing in a vulnerable position and requires immense strength to accept that one is wrong, especially after defending themselves in the argument to the best of their ability. A normal person might feel guilty after making an apology, those who can’t do it sense a feeling of shame which is far more fatal than guilt. They could feel that apologizing would lead to taking sole responsibility of the situation rendering the other person free from any blame. At some point, they might become comfortable with anger and maintaining an emotional distance and feeling emotionally vulnerable might open the floodgates to sadness and despair which they won’t be able to control.
Understanding the thought patterns of people who never apologize can give the ones seeking it a bit of closure and emotional relief. We need to treat such people (especially if our relationship with them is too precious to lose) with utmost patience, care and understanding so that we can help them come to terms with their personality and manage their emotions well. We need to realize that no one is truly at fault here and heal our minds to move on from such conflicting situations.