It is very disappointing when we feel someone we count on has wronged us. We feel worse when the person who has wronged us doesn’t realize. Sometimes it happens that even if they realize they hardly care to apologize for it.
Recently I felt really bad when a friend, whom I trusted very much, let me down. I am someone who very much believes that making mistakes is what makes us humans. Being a Christian, I have been taught that I should forgive no matter what. So I did forgive them. But there was something which was keeping me back. There was this feeling always ticking in my mind that what is the point of forgiving someone who doesn’t realize their mistake and continues to be normal as though nothing ever happened? It wasn’t possible for me anymore to accept them. Though I always told myself that I had forgiven, but every time I got reminded of the un-received apology, I felt empty inside. The relationship wasn’t the same anymore and I felt I was faking my friendship. So I gradually stopped talking.
Why is an apology so important to us? I kept wondering if I was acting childish by sub-consciously awaiting an apology. What big difference will one apology make? Even if the person apologizes how would that make me feel better? What if they apologize for the sake of it and don’t mean it, would that make me feel better? For that matter, how would I even know that was a sincere apology?
We want apology because we feel that would restore our self-respect, trust and our sense of justice. We feel that our feelings have been abandoned and we want an apology for that because that could be the way we could reconcile our relationship and revive our trust. Only a sincere apology would be able to help us with them. But if it is not a sincere apology it could be a lot more damaging than curing. But the question here is, is our trust built on a single word called “sorry”? Does one apology return us our self worth back? An apology is definitely important, but it is not something that would define my self-worth.
If someone has wronged me, it is my duty to forgive. But what they have done is permanently stored in the logical partition of my brain.
And for an apology, not followed by “What can I do to make it up for you?” is not an apology at all!