As kids we’re all taught that when we do wrong against someone, we’re supposed to apologize. If we disobey, we’re supposed to apologize. We’ve really been conditioned into the mentalities that not only are those two little words a vital part of the English language, they’re also magical little words that have the ability to erase events from space and time.
This happens so much in relationships because more often than not that’s the only time most people pull out their bridge-burners. A good friend of mine once told me her secret for constructive arguments – NEVER go for the jugular. We all have that finishing move inside us like Sub Zero from Mortal Kombat. Prime example – I used to date a guy that every time his point started to grow weak he’d go straight for the jugular. He would drag out an obvious flaw that would have nothing to do with the argument and use it with the sole intent of causing emotional injury.
So really, if it’s direct, deliberate, and intended to hurt what makes that any different from an actual physical blow? What makes a person who is “anti violence” think that it’s ok to beat the crap out of someone emotionally?
“I’m Sorry.” People like that think that since they were just words they can be erased. If they whip out the apology everything will be smoothed over, and if the person being apologized to doesn’t accept it, they switch to the one being wrong because they’re not playing by the rules of insult, apologize, accept, move on.
It has to be realized that apologies are not a mulligan, an apology should be used as exactly what it is – a sincere attempt to make good at what you wronged. If someone isn’t receptive to your apology it’s your responsibility as a person to back off and let them absorb it in their own time – this isn’t Lord of the Rings, there are no words that heal wounds. You can’t emotionally beat another person until you feel good about yourself, it just doesn’t work that way. In fact, we as a whole should get rid of apologies all together and force people to take actual responsibility for their words and actions instead of simply hoping everyone will forget the horrible stuff you did.