ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

does anyone else do this?

I've noticed something that I do, or lean towards doing (and have for as long as I can remember) that I'm curious to know if other people do.

Say you've screwed up in some way that impacts a friend or family member. It's not a life-or-death screwup, but it's a real disappointment or sadness for them, say, forgetting a dinner date, or failing to recognize some effort that they've made for you. You feel terrible, and so, naturally, you apologize profusely, expressing all the relevant sorrow for having misstepped and your hopes that the apology, while not as good as doing the right thing to start with, will stand in for having done so.

You friend or family member accepts your apology in a genuine way, and you move on.

Only... you're stuck on it. You really feel awful, and you think that your apology didn't actually manage to convey the full impact of how terrible you feel. You want to apologize again and again, perhaps falling to your knees in front of them and begging their forgiveness.

Except, of course, that they've already accepted your apology, and by making a big deal out of it, you're making them responsible for your problem. You've already bummed them out with the original "oops", so it's obviously not fair to make them also soothe you until you feel better about standing them up or what have you.

Does this happen to anyone else? And is there a way of finding a balance -- say a follow-up, "I just wanted to express again my apology," without it becoming a burden, or is it one of those things that you just have to work out on your own?

  • on being human

    I just finished watching Human Volume 1, the first of three movies of interviews with people from around the world. It's beautifully and simply shot…

  • New Year Retreat

    For New Year's Eve this year, I'm taking myself on a little personal retreat in Provincetown (which I've never been to!). My goal is to be offline as…

  • (no subject)

    Dear friends, Please share with me a favorite poem, preferably by a woman. Thank you! <3 aroraborealis

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded