Faux Pas

So today I committed a faux pas.  A social blunder  I tried to make it right, I really did.   I apologized.  Profusely.  Left and right.  Up and down.  Sideways and whatever is the opposite of sideways.  Funny thing is the other person did not accept my apology.  He grunted.  Which made me mad.  If I had the decency to try to make it right and apologize three times for my transgression I expected some civility in response.  But no.  This individual definitely had taken his grumpy pills today and my only response was a glare, a grunt and then a head down in the paper.  So I did the mature thing and told him I hoped his day was better now that I was leaving.  Yea, not so mature.

It got me to thinking about apologies and forgiveness which maybe was what the whole incident was supposed to do in the first place.  After all I need more fodder for my blog and book.  So even though this whole exchange has literally bugged me all day I am thinking that there is  a reason it bugged me.  Maybe I should examine my own life and see if there are areas that I have not accepted an apology.

Nope.  That didn’t take long.  I am the Queen of Giving Someone the Benefit of the Doubt.  The Queen of Second Chances.  Queen of Believing the Best in Everyone.   I forgive mostly everything and everybody. Yes, I  still have a few unresolved feelings about a business partner who hurt us and the renters who stole from us but those are the two things that come to mind that I need to work on more of the forgiveness thing.   But all in all I forgive and my life has not really required a lot of that.

So I am wondering—-do others find it difficult to accept an apology????  Is it the gravity of the situation that determines if that apology is accepted or not?  Are there levels of forgiveness for you?   What would be THE one unforgivable thing????  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Leave me a comment and let me know. Poll your friends.  The more the merrier.  Just let me know.  Is it harder to forgive than to ask for forgiveness?  Tell me what you think.  In the words of Frasier Crane….”I’m listening”.


  1. Apologies are an acknowledgement of more than just the action (or inaction) of the incident itself. Apologies are an acknowledgement of the other person or persons involved..It says that you feel enough about them, as a human being, to care whether they felt hurt or wronged. And it says, that you have the decency to admit to yourself that you are not perfect and are capable of making mistakes, a lot of people can’t do that.(At least sincerely). Like…
    “I’m so sorry,” I apologize for this long-winded comment.. Hey, how about we up the ante for “Comments for a Cause” to a penny a word?

    • No…no way am I going to donate per word!!! I would be bankrupt but thank you for your take on the whole apology thing. Inquiring minds and all.

  2. I can always accept an apology – it recognizes the courage and feeling of the other individual. But that doesn’t mean that I still wouldn’t have bad feelings about what ever may have happened – that may take time. But that is MY problem then to deal with – and if I’ve accepted their apology, then I shouldn’t take it out on that person any longer. People just need to say more words sometimes: “I forgive you, but I still feeling hurt, angry…whatever, so please be patient with me while I work it out, because I know that it not your problem, but mine.” It shouldn’t take so much effort to just share you heart in a respectful, loving way. Which it sounds like to me — you do very well!

    • I really like your answer to that—yes—sometimes it does take a while to forgive–especially if it is something that cuts you to the core. Your response that it is going to take some time is a great one. Going to remember that one!!! Thanks for the great comment and thoughts on this!!!

  3. Helen Brown says:

    It is not easy to apologize or even forgive others even if they are really sorry. I had a friend (?) that out of the blue avoided me. I asked what I had said or done to her and she looked away and said, “Nothing.” I was quite upset and just said, “If I have hurt you in any way, I am sorry.” What else can you do in such a situation? Years later when I saw her, she acted just like nothing had happened.

    • I think that would be a very difficult situation and you will probably never ever know what happened. I would think it is on her side and not something you should worry about but you are like me……want everyone happy! 🙂

  4. Huh…I’m trying to think if I accept apologies and I think in most cases yes. I mean why wouldn’t I. But there is this nagging feeling that I am forgetting some instances. I may have to think about this one.

    • I always think I do accept apologies but it makes me think about the next time someone does apologize how I will respond. Maybe I don’t as willingly as I think I do!

  5. pattisj says:

    It’s hard to say what another person thinks of one’s apology. I’m finding I’m clueless as to what goes on in other people’s heads sometimes. Our online newspaper has space for comments, and I never cease to be amazed at the reactions some people have to the story, the reporter’s style of telling the story, the comments of others. It’s like they are boiling teapots just waiting to let off steam and scorch anyone within reach.

    • I agree!!! I am amazed at reactions of people most often in cases like that also. Like there is no area for compromise or willingness to try to understand a different point of view. And sometimes the interpretations are so not what the author was getting at! Living in small town America is interesting at times in that respect! i just want to knock em on their heads and say “come on—think!”

  6. If you must apologize for something, it must be a short and sincere apology; then it is up to the other person to accept it or not. Sometimes you can stand on your head and the other person does not believe your sincerity; at this point you just need to walk away. Repeat apologies drive me crazy!

    • Oh too true!!! And I was guilty of the multiple apology this time because I couldn’t believe this guy was being such a jerk about accepting!!! I was totally guilty of that!!! Thanks for the comment—you are very right—make it short and to the point and move on. I will try to remember that!

  7. Sorry to be a day late getting here, Beth Ann, but this is a great post! I find it fairly easy to both apologize and forgive, but I can think of one person in my life who holds grudges longer than I do. She is also not inclined to apologize easily. I wonder if these tend to go together–easy to ask forgiveness and give it–and slower to forgive and apologize? I don’t know.
    By the way, Happy Mother’s Day, my friend.

    • I don’t know either ….but I have gotten a lot of great comments on this one so it makes me think that it affects a lot of people!!! Food for thought!

  8. I am the kind of person that forgives and forgets very easily and I always believe in second chances. But I do think it’s harder to ask for forgiveness that do to the forgiving. At least it is for me.

  9. I almost always accept apologies. I don’t accept an apology if it feels forced or not truly meant. For instance, sometimes my husband will apologize but he doesn’t really mean he is sorry, he’s just trying to get out of the dog house. Until he fully understands what he has done wrong & is sincere about apologizing, I’m not likely to accept his apology.
    Another instance were I might be hesitant to accept an apology is where I feel it is one of those situations where it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. Some people will keep making the same mistakes & blurting out a sorry because they are not being held accountable for their actions. By automatically accepting their apology, you’re not doing them a service, you’re perpetuating a bad behavior. I guess I’ve become a little jaded.
    If a person is genuinely sorry for something they’ve done & it was just an honest mistake, no problem, I’m first in line to accept their apology.

  10. What a lucky charity to be the chosen one during your SITS day! I think forgiving and asking forgiveness are both hard. Forgiving is hard because we may want to forgive, but it doesn’t come instantly and because often the offender never confesses or asks for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is hard because it requires humility and other than small offenses, I can’t remember the last time someone asked for forgiveness ( it is different than I’m sorry).

    • It is way different than I’m sorry–you are so right!!! I love what all you wrote and am sure that you have a lot of wisdom to share!! Will stop by your blog soon, I promise!

  11. Apologies must be sincere and not just because you got caught. You have to mean it. When I am wrong, I apologize from my heart.

    I can accept an apology if the person meant it, but if it is a repeated action, it is hard for me to believe they are sorry or even care.

    • Amen. Amen. Amen. You are totally right. I try to really apologize from my heart also—it is the only way!!! Thanks for stopping by—you made my day!

  12. I think it’s important to ask ourselves why we apologize. Sometimes we apologize because we feel genuinely sorry. Sometimes it’s an attempt to get out of trouble. Sometimes it’s because it’s what we think we are supposed to do, even when we don’t feel sorry.

    I think a sincere apology stands on its own, with or without forgiveness. If I offer it with my whole heart, I am more concerned about healing a wrong I have committed than being forgiven. Sometimes it takes a person a while to heal from a hurt. If I am getting angry or bitter with them because they aren’t accepting my apology as quickly as I think they should, how sincerely concerned was I about hurting them? If I love them and am truly sorry I hurt them, then I have have to step back and allow them the time they need to heal instead of demanding that they get over it so that I feel better.

    I accept an apology as quickly as I can. Sometimes that’s immediately. Sometimes it takes time for me to heal. A few minutes. A few days. Sometimes longer. I appreciate the offer of an apology, but I won’t fake healing. I won’t pretend I’m over it when I’m not. Very few things offend me, but sometimes I am hurt. Often by a repeat offender. I won’t cheapen myself by quickly saying it’s all okay when it’s not. My feelings and pain matter. If I don’t value them, who will?

    • I love your words….thank you so much for such a thoughtful response. I think you have a great way of writing your feelings and I imagine that you are the same in person!! Thanks so much–your words meant a lot to me and I will come back and read them and ponder them again later!!!

      • What a kind thing to say. Thank you. I appreciated your post. I always love a post that makes me think. Your post actually inspired one on my blog today. Thank you for sparking my thoughts. I hope it was a wonderful day.

      • Also, I would love to link back to this post and acknowledge that you inspired my post. I didn’t originally because I worried that you would feel I was judging you. I’m not. From your response it seems you understood that. Would it be okay with you if creditted you and linked back to your post?

        • Absolutely!!!!! I respect everyone’s right to state what they think and if my post inspired you to write something from the heart how could that ever offend me???? It is a great way to start a dialog and think in a different direction! I am honored!!! 🙂

  13. colleenieg says:

    If it’s heartfelt, I’ll always accept it. It’s hard to admit mistakes and I respect that. The big difference for me is can I forget what you did? Sometimes that takes a lot longer to move past.

  14. I think it is hard both ways sometimes. Happy SITS day!

  15. I like adult apologies which to me means if I screw up, I say I’m sorry. I don’t add excuses for the mistake. I don’t like an apology with a litany of excuses, reasons that make me feel as if I did something wrong. Enjoy your SITS day.

  16. I recently offended a fellow blogger. That person flatly refused to accept my apology and acted like the very act of apologizing was as scalding as the accidental offense itself. Yeah. I hate when that happens.

    • Ouch. That sounds like a not so great experience but I am sure you did all in your power to do the right thing. The ball was in their court and they chose not to play. Game over. 🙂

  17. There’s certainly a difference between a true apology and just saying you’re sorry. It’s often hard for me to accept sorry from my kids when they’re only saying it because they got caught. In our society, forgiveness isn’t highly regarded. True repentance is rare. Saying sorry is just a Band-Aid. We want to gloss over our wrongs and move on to more important things, not worrying about how we may have broken someone’s heart. Saying sorry is appropriate for an accident: when you bump into someone or drop the phone. An apology is begging for forgiveness when you wronged someone. It is humbling. I am so anxious about wronging someone that I say I’m sorry all the time, even when it’s not necessary. Drives my husband nuts.

    • Your words are very true—-the “I’m sorry” can take on a hollow ring to it when it is said all of the time!!!! I loved your answer!! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  18. Great topic to think about… I think I have forgiven everyone who has given me an honest, sincere apology. I still hold some bitter feelings about certain situations in my life as well, but in those cases the person/people never offered an apology. I think you can tell when someone is sincere, and in most instances there was a good reason for why they did what they did, even if it wasn’t the right thing. So if they realize that they messed up and make the effort to make it right by apologizing, they have my forgiveness. Congrats on being featured on SITS!

    • Thanks for the great words on forgiveness and apologies!!! It is really something to think about !!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!!! I have had a great day!

  19. I always accept a sincere apology. I tend have more problems with forgiveness, but it’s something I’m working on. Always a work in progress!


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