Friday, May 22, 2009

Truly sorry?

Dr. Kabbesh walked into the room 30 minutes late and said, "I'm sorry for the wait." I could tell by his voice and eye contact that he truly was sorry.

Sometimes people apologize but they're not truly sorry. You can find out if someone really was sorry by saying "I forgive you" and watching their reaction. I know this because I've apologized to Shane for things like him having to miss a ball game because he needed to spend time with me or Zeke. I'll say, "Oh, I'm so sorry, Shane, that you had to miss that game!" And he will say, "I forgive you."

My instinct in that particular circumstance would be something like... "Wait a minute, Shane. It is your responsibility to spend time with us so why are YOU forgiving ME?"

And my defensiveness reveals the truth: I wasn't truly sorry. Frustrating!

When Kelly and I were little and fighting, sometimes our parents would tell one of us to say, "I'm sorry." Whoever didn't have to say those ugly words would be secretly celebrating. "I win! That sorry sucker had to apologize to me. I win!" I have often wondered why we were never taught to say, "I forgive you."

My husband has a gift for making people feel awkward. He does this "I forgive you" thing to me on a consistent basis and it always catches me off guard! If he was a faker he would say, "Oh Kati, it was nothing. You mean the world to me and I'd miss any old ball game for you!"

But by saying "I forgive you," Shane recognizes the offense and the fact that he was indeed hurt by it. Then I'm stuck dealing with the fact that I actually did offend or hurt him! That is not a nice feeling. It feels like I didn't win. Which is, I guess, how it would feel if I was truly sorry. And that's why people aren't usually truly sorry when they say it. Who wants to be a loser?

I would like to try to stop saying "I'm sorry" so casually. Or at least ask myself, "Are you really?" before saying it. What if I'm not even at fault?

And I might even try following Shane's lead in this forgiveness thing. If people really need forgiveness then I'd better start giving it to them... even if it's embarrassing to admit that I was offended.

By the way, Dr. Kabbesh was coming in to tell me that the CT scan showed no serious diseases. Thank God! It did show my tonsils are still swollen and they have white spots again so next stop is the Ear, Nose & Throat doctor.

1 comment:

Becky Bartlett said...

Kati! I'm so glad your CT scan came out well. Hope the next stop proves successful in identifying things. I really liked this blog. I say "I'm sorry" WAY too much also. Made me think about the way I use the phrase, too. Thanks!