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On Apologies

February 19th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

This post is not about that whole Tiger Woods dust up we saw a couple of hours ago, it’s only inspired by it. For anyone interested in hearing my thoughts on it at length, look out for the post I wrote on The Root about it, in a couple of hours. It should be there.

(Although let me say this: Tiger Woods sucks at apologizing. He may be a pro on the golf course, but man, when it comes to apologizing to a woman, Tiger Woods can’t see me. I’m way better than him!.  I should be his caddy for apologies.)

Apologizing, especially for doing something as frowned upon as cheating, is an art, and while I may not be a Picasso at it, I might qualify as a Thomas Kinkade. I mean, if anyone is paying attention to this blog, it’s obvious I have a way with words, so wouldn’t it only make sense I was good at apologizing? Of course it would.

But what makes me skilled at the art of the apology is not my ability to string together some words to make lovely sentences, or my ability to shed a tear or two (emergency tears!). It’s the fact that over the years and the apologies I made within them, I have realized that for some things, an apology no matter how well said or sincere will mean nothing.

Men spend half their life doing things they shouldn’t do, and the other half of their life apologizing for them. Women spend their whole life forgiving. This is what I absolutely believe.

If what they say is true, that true love really does mean never having to say you’re sorry, then the next time a man messes up on a Tiger Woods level, I suggest he just walk away. Don’t apologize or beg or cop a plea to a woman for all that you’ve done wrong. Just walk away, and maybe, leave a note that says, “I messed up and I don’t deserve you. So let me leave.”

Forgiveness, true forgiveness, does not need to come in the form of reconciliation. As I used to tell my ex who would beat me up over my transgressions (no Elin), If a person wants out of the relationship they should be out because they don’t need to be with someone to forgive them. And I don’t need to stay with someone to be sorry. If what I did is so bad it is cause for a breakup, then, let’s just break up. I’ll apologize now, and I’ll be sorry later, but the only way to learn anything from wrong doing is by suffering some sort of consequence, and sometimes the greatest consequence of all is losing whatever it is we betrayed upon.

Now this is not to say anybody is a fool for forgiving. I’ve done some things I shouldn’t have done and I’m eternally grateful for the acceptance of my apologies and the forgiveness those people have shown me. So if one wants to forgive, forgive until your hearts content. But apologizing over and over? I’m sorry, there won’t be any need for all that.

I’m sorry. I apologize. My bad. That’s my fault. No matter which way we spin it, no matter how many times we say it, the words are hollow. A true apology is demonstrated through actions, not spoken in words, and this we all know, yet we continue to say, I’m sorry. The men especially.

My mother once told me that if I meet a woman I really love, get her flowers once a month. So when I did meet a woman I really loved, I got her flowers once a month. But when I messed up, when I did things I shouldn’t of done and said things I shouldn’t have said, I always cursed myself for getting those flowers. Had I not gotten her anything, the flowers would be a perfect way to apologize and show just how sorry I truly was, right?

Wrong.

It takes more than flowers, words, tears, and groveling to be forgiven. As a matter of fact, we can even put those things all together in one nice Apology Package, and it still won’t be enough.

For anything we ever did wrong, the only way forgiveness is to be had is by taking the time to attain it. And if you already knew all of this. I’m sorry. I apologize. My bad. That’s my fault, for taking up your time.

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  • http://www.astylemuse.com Noemi

    So true. I wish more men & women would say: “I messed up and I don’t deserve you. So let me leave;” rather than attempt to mend an impossibly broken relationship. Life is too short.

  • http://istherainbowenough.blogspot.com Pascalle

    I would have to agree. Mulling over all of the apologizing and semi-groveling I’ve subjected myself to over the years, I would add that persistence goes a long way. Sometimes I know that if I keep chipping away at someone’s anger, eventually they will succumb to their innate desire to forgive me. I’m kind of charming lol. To reiterate my FB stat, Tiger should have pulled a Chappelle and plead the FIF! 1, 2, 3, 4, FIF!

  • MsVirtuous

    I totally agree! Stop being gready and let someone else have me. Geesh. LOL!

  • Osyrys

    actions will always speak louder than words for me, i’m sorry is just the beginning on the journey of true forgiveness.

  • B

    *the only way to learn anything from wrong doing is by suffering some sort of consequence, and sometimes the greatest consequence of all is losing whatever it is we betrayed upon.*

    Only a MAN could right this post, not a boy. A man accepts responsibility for his actions and understands consequences.

    Bravo! Excellent post!

  • J.Delicious

    Wondering if I’m the only one that hates apologies… as much as I hated my ex saying “I’m sorry.”

    It’s not that I didn’t think he meant it, I just didn’t see the purpose, you did wrong, you saw that it was wrong, you will try to avoid it in the future, I get it. But, I’d rather you say all of that then say “I’m sorry” but honestly, I rather we just keep it moving in the right direction than dwell on the past.

  • Lilie

    apology was crap. as far as i’m concerned he was entitled, like he said. marriage is bullshit. people blow it waaaay out of proportion. i would just hate to be one of those kids growing up in the midst of so much publicity. But let’s be real folks, this shit happens EVERY DAY. He’s a MAN. Just because he’s famous doesn’t change the fact that he’s human. If I was his wife, would I leave him? HELL YEA!! He could have contracted God knows what and given it to me. If he had desires to be with other women, he could have spoken up. Who knows, if she were anything like me: a bitch who doesn’t lose a man, she could have had a little fun with it 😉

  • A.

    Sorry Jozen, not feeling this one. And maybe we’re at cross purposes on the terms. “I’m sorry” means I feel bad that you feel bad and that I did something that made you feel bad. But what are the words for saying “My selfishness that hurt you violates the goodness of my person and not only do I feel bad, but I won’t do it again.”

    You were right about “Don’t apologize or beg or cop a plea to a woman for all that you’ve done wrong. Just walk away, and maybe, leave a note that says, “I messed up and I don’t deserve you. So let me leave.” Because if all that’s going on is that you feel bad that I feel bad, but you’re going to keep on doing wrong, then yeah, you need to walk. But if you can genuinely say the other thing, then you need to stay, because I can only see if you’re for real if you stay around. And as a woman I don’t need to be constantly harassing you about your past shortcomings; I just need to watch and see if you’re changing : D

    Most don’t want to put in the work to prove that they’re a changed person (lol, prob bc they don’t want to be a changed person) and most people can’t be quiet long enough to let somebody change. Sigh.

  • Jen

    Reminds me of a good book The Five Languages of Apology written by the author of an even better book The Five Love Languages. There are five basic ways people apologize (“apology language”): expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, genuinely repenting, and requesting forgiveness.

    If an apology doesn’t fit in with your apology language, chances are you aren’t going to accept it as genuine. If you need to apologize to someone else, it’s probably a good idea to learn their apology language first.

  • Keith Reed

    I’m with “A.” I’m usually onbaord with your posts but can’t agree with this one. First, relationships aren’t the province of people who can neither be forgiving or contrite. Men and women hurt each other and in the lasting relationships I’ve seen, both people are willing to forgive and move on, recognizing that neither of them is, has been or will be perfect.

    What they say isn’t true: love doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry. Whoever made that crap up must never have been loved and never loved another. If you’ve loved, you’ll have regrets, you’ll do things that weren’t intended to hurt but did, you’ll make mistakes. In short, you’ll be imperfect and you better remember how imperfect you are the next time you’re ready to cut your partner’s head off for their imperfections.

  • http://alishawritinglife.wordpress.com Alisha

    I think apologizing simply mean acknowledging that there is wrongdoing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that person plans to change anything. That’s why I’ve stopped holding apologies so high up on the list. It doesn’t mean a thing if the very thing you just apologized for is done again (and repeatedly). Apologies are just words that should be followed by actions. Good one.

  • Nikki

    ****But what makes me skilled at the art of the apology is not my ability to string together some words to make lovely sentences, or my ability to shed a tear or two (emergency tears!).****

    Aahhh, the emergency tears tactic…

    A guy crying during an apology is the worst. If my guy hurt me in some way, shouldn’t I be the one crying? If I’m not crying and my guy is, it’s likely he’s bluffing (and you betta believe I’ma call his bluff).

  • BrwnButterly

    “Men spend half their life doing things they shouldn’t do, and the other half of their life apologizing for them. Women spend their whole life forgiving. This is what I absolutely believe.”

    True words…Great post

  • Cupcake

    I concur! Say it and mean it… Actions speak louder than words!

  • Mimi

    Listen… I’ll be damned if my man gets on TV and apologizes for cheating to anyone else but me and my children. Period. End of story. He doesnt own anyone else shit but me. This sense of moral responsibility celebrities often have is mind boggling.