Thursday, May 20, 2010

Apology

It's been a pretty rough time lately. A discouraging time for Tim, and because I love my husband, it becomes a discouraging time for me. It's hard to know the right words, and sometimes it simply doesn't matter what I say. He's upset and he's negative. I do understand why. It is frustrating to watch the field you've worked in all your life simply 'dry up' and disappear. But then to find yourself unable to switch fields because your potential employers see you as someone who will leave to go back to the higher paying jobs as soon as you get the chance, well...the fact is, this is a tough time for Tim. This is the longest that he's ever gone without working and he's getting upset about it all. So, I've been trying to say the right words and the encouraging words but I've also been studying hard and fretting over finals, and distracted, so I don't think that I've been all that supportive lately.

An interesting thing happened. While we were preoccupied, something happened. I was done wrong as the saying goes, a virtual 'slap' from a corner that I would have never expected a slap to come from. I was shocked wordless. I spoke with the person, and told her that what she had said was not true. That's all really. The following day, I got a call. There were tears, and the person said, "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I've been thinking about it a lot, and I feel awful about it. I should have never said that."

I waited, but there was no 'but'.

I make no secret of it. Tim and I are surrounded by some very angry people, and our experience with apologies is, "Well, I'm sorry, BUT..." and then the person goes on to tell you exactly why you 'had it coming', so to speak. An apology that doesn't apologize for anything. An apology that doesn't make you feel better, although it seems to comfort the apologist.

But this time, there was no but. There was an apology that was heart felt. I was comforted by the words, and I was able to say, "I'd like to just get past this..." and she said, "I would too," and so we did. By the time we hung up the phone, we both felt better.

It is such a simple thing to say 'I'm sorry,' but when the words come from the heart, it can make a profound difference. Hearing them makes a person feel like she matters.

11 comments:

Mrs.Spit said...

I read the 5 love languages of apology a while ago, and I was interested that people need to hear "I'm sorry" way. I'm glad that you got an unqualified one. That's a big deal to me as well.

WhiteStone said...

Sadly, I more often find myself being on the "other" side of the conversation, with myself as the one needing to say "I'm sorry." The tongue! A master of evil words! I hate it when I do that! Aaaaaarrrgh!!!!!!

Karen said...

It takes a strong person to apologize - and mean it. I'm sure that she appreciated your humility, too. Great lesson for us all.

JJ said...

Very enlightening post. Thanks for sharing and I'm sorry things are tough right now.

Kelly said...

Sincere apologies can be tough. Accepting them can be tough, too. Good for you both!

Sure hope things start looking up for Tim soon.

traceelements said...

You are so right about "apologies" all too often coming with the "but". Went through something similar recently, BUT unfortunately it didn't end as well. Kudos to this person who had the guts to do it right, and kudos to you for having the grace to handle it so well.
Tracey

Bob said...

An apology without a BUT. That's huge. It's a wonderful thing to hear, and a wonderful thing to be able to forgive.

Anonymous said...

Just a note to say Happy Birthday Deb. And to say we all say and do things that We don;t mean anything by, but someone else reads it differently that we meant it. I've done it You've done it, So we say I'm sorry and it is comes from the heart. But it is not accepted and the resentment remains. I love all of my kids but Just wanted you to know I remember the night you we born and charish the time..
Love Mom

BUSH BABE said...

Very brave indeed... nothing like a good apology to clear the air. Sending positive vibes your way.
:-)
BB

BUSH BABE said...

Just to clarify: a good UNQUALIFIED apology.
:-)
BB

Anonymous said...

Hello, I found your blog and its really nice. This sound like what my husband has went thru. He's been laid off for a year and has never experience it before. He's been working since he was 16. It was really rough on him. But I'm happy to say he is back to work now. Great Blog though I found you cause I was going thru them my husband put his blog on here. The Dreamer,The Lover, The Warrior. Good luck with everything. Golfgirl131