Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Accept an Apology

Answer me this:
What do you say after someone says they're sorry?

With little kiddo ma griddos I always say, "That's okay."  Because, really, it is okay.
Kole breaks something, says sorry, and I'm over it.
"That's okay."

But what about in adult relationships?

When Ken says sorry.... the first thoughts in my head are:
1.  Yeah.  You better be.
2.  I know you are.
3.  You're sorry.  Aaaannnnd?
4.  Sorry means you'll never do it again.  Did you know that? Do you promise to never do it again?

It seems weird to say, "That's okay" to an adult.  But when I'm not thinking unkind things... my next thought is to apologize myself.  (Even if I did nothing wrong... truthfully... not just saying selfishly.) I'll end up saying I overreacted or it wasn't that big of a deal anyway.  And then I feel slightly compromised.  Or I think of lecturing.  Lose lose sit-ee-a-shun.

I just can't think of the right response.

I'm sorry.
We'll make it.

I'm sorry.
Remorse is so important.

I'm sorry.
I still like you.

I'm sorry.
I accept. 

Is there a pat response I never knew about?  Like Thank You/ You're Welcome?  *Sneeze*/Bless you? 
I'm sorry/ ________ ?


DoublClik said...

I think it's completely valid to tilt your head, give a half smile, and say "ah well I appreciate that." Because more than anything, when someone apologizes, I'm just grateful they did!

Juli said...

Hmm, if you had asked me ten years ago, I'd have no idea. My ex-husband never apologized for anything, because no matter what he did, it was somehow my fault. Sadly, I am really not kidding.

The beauty of my second marriage is we tend not to make the BIG mistakes that need a true "I'm sorry". But on the rare times that Tony has sincerely apologized I usually just say "I know, just please make sure next time you (call/come home/ whatever the situation)"

And while I hear you on the kids "sorry", there will (believe it or not) come a time when it's not okay. When that day came for me, I followed it with the same "I know, but now you need to make this good."

Accountability is important for everyone, regardless of age. :)