“I’m sorry.” We teach our kids to say that almost as soon as they can talk. They hit, bite, grab a toy, hit another kid over the head with a toy, push, shove, any and all sorts of bad behavior, and we tell them to say “I’m sorry.” Often, they don’t want to- lips curled, brows scrunched, their face set in determination, not wanting to utter “I’m sorry,” but as parents we persist and make them understand it is important, it is imperative to say “I’m sorry,” when they’ve done something wrong.
Then suddenly they are saying “I’m sorry” for every little infraction, hoping that uttering the words will magically, instantly, get them out of trouble. “I’m sorry” becomes the easiest and most readily words said. Instant apologies are made at the slightest infraction. We parents have to remind them that they have to mean the words being said- that “I’m sorry” has to have real remorse to be accepted. Always they assure us that they mean it, they are sorry, really, really sorry, and it’s not just a ploy to get out of trouble for whatever it is they’ve done that deserves the “I’m sorry.”
But something happens to us, as we become adults, saying “I’m sorry” once again becomes hard. Husbands, wives, friends, co workers, all of us, find it difficult to simply admit when we are wrong and just say the words we learned as little kids- “I’m sorry.”
Think about it…how readily do you utter the words “I’m sorry.” I know I’m not big on saying them, too often it’s easier to find fault with a situation, a person, or easier still to simply ignore the need to say “I’m sorry,” to simply leave it alone, whatever “it” was, to move on without apology, to ignore the slight, the wrong, to just pretend all is well, and never say “I’m sorry.”
It happened to me today. Someone I love did something that clearly called for an “I’m sorry,” but none was offered. The grievance was pushed aside, skirted, avoided, ignored, never mind the obvious wrong, the blatant disregard for my feelings, it was easier for this person to just go on with her day, move forward, dismiss, ignore, pretend, any and all, but “I’m sorry” was never uttered or even alluded to. It was easier to pretend I imagine, that her “I’m sorry” was implicit, understood without having been said, obvious without having to actually say the words.
Except that it wasn’t. It needed to be said. “I’m sorry” is just two words, two little words that sometimes are required, demanded, expected, and had better be said if someone truly wants to be forgiven.
I didn’t get my apology, and it makes me sad, I’m hurt, and all it would take is “I’m sorry,” and I’d feel so much better. I guess I’m the one who is sorry, sorry that no apology was made.