Lost cause

#97/100

“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.

Like a puppet on strings

#91/100

“To become better, you have to admit your ignorance—at least to yourself.”

― William A. Pasmore

I need to write about this because it affected me a lot yesterday. I’m sure I’ll eventually move past it and might end up doing what I always do, try to make amends. As of now, I feel let down and somewhat hurt.

I had an argument with someone over something very trivial yesterday. The underlying reason of the argument is a non-issue, what affected me was the lack of empathy and understanding as is the case always. I am not a perfect person, no one is. I make a lot of mistakes, sometimes act defensive when people attack me for them, victimize myself in many situations but when I know I’m wrong and have hurt people with my actions, I admit to my mistakes and apologize. I know an apology doesn’t magically make a hurtful situation better, but it’s a starter and the right thing to do.

The person I had an argument with yesterday, never admits to their mistakes, EVER! I don’t remember the last time they apologized. Whenever there has been an argument between us, I am somehow made to realize that my behavior is the prime reason behind it and everything somehow ends up being my fault. I am made to realize that if I can be more accommodating about their feelings and emotions, there would not be any disagreements. Consider a situation where this person truly likes a TV show that makes them happy. I have appreciated it and understood that it’s a source of joy to them. This person now wants me to like the same show, in the same manner and be as happy about it as it makes them. I tried watching the show and it didn’t spark my interest. When I tell this fact to them, they feel that I’ve made a half hearted attempt and make me feel bad for not trying enough.

The issue is not about the TV show, I swear! It’s about how I am made to feel guilty about my choices which somehow becomes a cause of their unhappiness. They try to unknowingly enforce their choices on me and expect me to react proactively. I guess, I am okay with that as well. What irks me the most is that they never admit to their mistakes! Every situation is addressed by them through their viewpoint without considering the responses given to them by others. They react in a manner that shows that they know what’s best for them as well as for every person they talk to and cannot fathom any disagreement to their viewpoints by any means. In case we disagree, it’s our fault and we are in the wrong, despite the circumstances of the situation. They have the amazing ability to turn every situation in their favor with their manipulative usage of words. I really don’t know if I make sense here, all I wish to highlight is such kind of toxic behavior makes us feel helpless as we don’t really know what’s the right way to deal with such situations and people.

I really felt like a puppet, expected to say and do as I’ve told. When I highlighted the fact that I could see the strings and wish to set myself free, I am told that being a puppet is the right thing for me and acting hostile will make the situation unfavorable for everyone.

The actual situation might not be as bad and the person mentioned here is a family member. I know they have my best interests in their mind. But this is how I feel currently and I am not able to shrug it off easily. Maybe it’s time for this person to admit that they can be wrong too, at least in 1 out of 10 situations!