Social Question

zen_'s avatar

Do you owe someone an apology?

Asked by zen_ (6268points) September 20th, 2010

How long has it been?

Does it affect you in any way?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

45 Answers

cockswain's avatar

I generally have to apologize to my wife several times a week. For some reason my ego forbids me from just a straightforward apology, so I just sort of beat around the bush, imply one, then insist it was as good as a real one. Since it isn’t as good as a real apology, this affects me adversely.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No. I never hold on to those.


Not that I know of, but I will be the first to give one if it is required. One of the first things I taught my children was, we all make mistakes and it is okay to apologize for it if you were at fault.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Nope. I apologize as soon as I realize I need to do it. No need to hold on to the issue. I think it’s best to do it and move forward.

BoBo1946's avatar

not that i can remember!

marinelife's avatar

No. Unless I am unaware of it . . .

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, I think I do. The person is barely speaking to me, so I can’t apologize. I want to, I typically don’t hold onto these things. I prefer to clear the air. I generally have no problem admitting I made a mistake. The problem is, the frame of mind this person is in, she tends to twist everything right now. Not just related to me, but with others also. This has happened to me only once before, it’s awful. An apology is like an additional reason for them to hold onto anger and confirms the people around them are pieces of shit, instead of having a forgiving atmosphere and talking things through.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t answer the second part of the question. Yes, it affects me, but less than I would have thought. I miss my relationship with that person. I though about it Erev Yum Kippur. I am not religious, but it seems Judaism kind of thought of situations just like this. It’s been almost a year since this started.

faye's avatar

I would apologize to my deceased mother for not helping more. It affects me.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Apologies cannot be owed, but rather are given freely. Thus it is fair to say that no one ever owes another person an apology…

bob_'s avatar

I don’t owe nothin’ to nobody.

wundayatta's avatar

Only on Thursdays.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie I have a friend who dropped me between one day and the next this year with no explanation given. I was thinking about her over Yom Kippur too and wondering if there was anything to do. However, since she never said what had made her angry, I don’t know if I have anything to apologize for or not!

CMaz's avatar

I have a list. It goes back quite a ways.

I have, on occasion, found that person/s from the past.
Sharing with them my feelings and apologizing for my actions.

Only to find out that I was the only one to remember.

So no I don’t.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb thanks for the empathy and your story. I pretty much know why this person is angry, although I think also there are things she has stifled over long periods of time that have been building that I don’t know about or realize. The thing is, she has hurt me badly also, and ideally I would want us to both apologize and make things better. I don’t feel like she needs to apologize to me for anything specific, although their are specific things she has done, but it does not have to be a long and drawn out apology. A simple, “I’m sorry too, and I want things to be healed between us,” would make everything right for me.

BoBo1946's avatar

@bob_ yeah you do….sandwich….easy on the mayo!


@JLeslie Sometimes things are so confusing and time has passed, to the point who said what or did what gets turned around by both parties while they are licking their wounds. This happened to one of my sisters and I. It was 5 years ago and in July of 2010, we agreeably went to the same party. The past was not worth bringing up and we are moving on to the future.
The past is a good place to visit, but you don’t want to live there, or you will completely miss today.

bob_'s avatar

@BoBo1946 No hablo inglés.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

No, thankfully. I take care of those things right away.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes. I owe a set of grandparents apologies for not making phone calls to them, not wanting to visit instead of not being able to.

ducky_dnl's avatar

I owe a lot of people an apology. I’ve made more mistakes this year than anyone I know. :/

sakura's avatar

yes but I’m trying to work out how to do it because it happened a long time ago xxx

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t let things like that slide. If I owe it, I pay up immediately.


Not all apologies are one sided. In fact, it would be my guess, in most cases two people created a situation and need to mend fences. The hard part of that is when one is ready to apologize, the other may not be. So it continues and sometimes, gets blown way out of proportion. It is a messy business keeping everyone happy. :)

AmWiser's avatar

Yeah, I owe some apologies, but I’m refusing to give them. Just too damn stubborn.

Hawkeye's avatar

Not that I know, why? What have you heard?


@Hawkeye I heard that if you don’t apologize to you know who, your toes will fall of on your next birthday. :)

Aster's avatar

I doubt it. I say I’m sorry the minute I realize I need to do it. I do wish, however, I had been nicer to people who have passed on. I try to be aware of this.


@Aster Try not to let it worry you too much. Those that have passed on, hold no grudges. It has become your issue, and an easy one to deal with. You are not perfect, forgive yourself and move on. That is what anyone would want.:)

free_fallin's avatar

I apologize as soon as I realize I have caused someone unnecessary pain. I don’t believe I owe anyone an apology now.


@Aster Your welcome. You are a good person to care.:)

Aster's avatar

No, but thanks, I’m just neurotic. (:

JLeslie's avatar

@RANGIEBABY it seems many people are how you described, I am not. I almost never hold a grudge, I never think it is worth not speaking to the people I love for years because of some hurt feelings. I prefer to get past it fast. It has been a very difficult lesson for me to learn that people are willing to cut-off from family members, family who have been very close in the past, or long-term friends. Seems like such a waste. I am not judging how you and your sister handled the situation, I am only saying it is difficult for me to cope with that sort of situation.

The first incident I referred to, the one before this current one, was my first personal experience with this sort of thing, it was an in-law. That part of the family does this regularly within their nuclear family, and I hate it. Eventually, it got around to me being the outcast. Funny, I read a text book, which was written by a psychologist for family therapists, and it gave basically some stereotypes of family dynamics for various ethnic groups in America: Irish, Jewish, Italian, Mexican, etc., and my in-laws are textbook. The person who I wound up catching her wrath would be so flipping pissed if she knew she fits this text book so predictably, she hates any stereotype or mention of cultural differences. The book really helped me. And, I should mention that the person this time has the same ethnic background as me, but they handle it differently than my in-law, it is not exactly the same.


@JLeslie You can’t always control every situation. I tried to put an end to this situation very early on, but she was not ready. Actually, I had done nothing, but she was angry with me for not taking her side in an issue she had with my son. I still haven’t taken a side, it was not my issue. She held on to her anger for 5 years and will speak to me now, but will not speak to my son. My son and she were both at the same party, and he came over and said hello to her and she would not look at him or acknowledge him. He is not suffering, I am not suffering, but I am afraid she is and will have to deal with it herself. He has approached her in the market several times and said hi to her. She ask me to ask him not to do that anymore, she is not ready.
What would you do with this situation?

tranquilsea's avatar

I tend to not ruffle feathers. I have one person who is spitting mad at me right now but that was a boundary I had to put down and she’s not used to it.

If I have ever inadvertently hurt someone I apologize as soon as I find out. I hate things like that hanging over my head.

Berserker's avatar

Probably, but fuck it lol.

Ltryptophan's avatar

i’m not sorry. it’s human nature.

nebule's avatar

@Symbeline lol…I wish I had your attitude more…made me chuckle!! x

@Ltryptophan Madonna?

I generally do say sorry as and when I need to but am realising that I need to stop being such a wet lettuce at times…everything is not always my fault!

JLeslie's avatar

@RANGIEBABY my situation is similar. My assumption had been that you thougt this was kind of normal family behavior, which is how my husband’s family functions, but I see now you are just having to deal with your sisters BS. I agree, there was probably nothing you could do. I have found trying to fix these situations with someone who wants to stay angry, or are firm in their need to divorce from the relationship just makes things worse. So, we agree. I just think your sister not talking to you for that type of disagreement doesn’t make sense, but I completely believe you. I mean simply it is not something I can picture myself doing.

Now, with my husband’s siblings, what I observed was two of them didn’t talk for a few years, let’s call them Julia and Jimmy. They both kept telling me separately they were waiting for the other to say something. Julia felt she was owed an apology, but was always willing to be around Jimmy at parties and Christmas. Jimmy would not go to Christmas or parties Julia was at, because he thought Julia hated him so much. Totally bad assumptions in both of their heads. Finally, Julia was getting married and invited Jimmy. I’ll never forget her fiancé telling me they were going to invite Jimmy and wondered if he would come. I told him of course he will come. Because I knew Jimmy was waiting for Julia to make the first move, but Julia and her fiancé just thought Jimmy hated her.


@JLeslie Funny thing. The sister I told you about coming face to face at the party, just called me right before I read your post. Ever since the party she has called quite a few times, because she bought a Mac laptop. I have been using a Mac for years. She is new to it and is having problems, so she calls me for help in fixing her issues. But that is okay, maybe she will let go of her tiny little issues.
I say if you think your problem is big, then you need to back up, and back up more, all the way to outer space if need be, to see just how small your issue really is. It works for me.:)


@JLeslie Perhaps Jimmy and Julia need to take a few steps back and see thing for what they really are. They might even laugh about it, once they see how really insignificant it is.

JLeslie's avatar

@RANGIEBABY Well, Julia and Jimmy function this way because as I said, this is how they have been raised, this is their dynamic. My husband is slightly different, but he is different in many ways from them, and he is the baby, and he spent more time in the states growing up, and he is much more educated. I am not saying any one of those things means he would behave differently, but all of it coupled together I think does have an affect. I see in fathers family back a generation or two they also stood on how people should act, crazy expectations, constant disappointments, matters of respect, we call it old-world thinking.

Jimmy and Julia will also never discuss how they really felt during that time with each other. They will never go back to the past to try to prevent such thing in the future. They also both still think the other was wrong. Actually, I think one of them is more wrong than the other, and that same family member has done some pretty awful things that I find shocking. It is not just hurt feelings in this case, or disagreement. Still, I would not cut off from the person, I would just be careful about not getting myself into a position where I might be screwed over by him.


@JLeslie It is too bad they are wasting time on these things.

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