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Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

The art of diplomacy

“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
Warren W. Wiersbe

Diplomacy: 1) The tact or skill in dealing with and handling people and managing negotiations

                              so that there is little or no ill will and no offense.

2) Approving skill in ​dealing with people without offending or upsetting them; used in a

positive way to show that you have a good opinion of something or someone

Synonyms: Tact. Subtlety. Finesse. Expedience.

Antonyms: Rudeness. Bad Manners.  Impoliteness. Ignorance.

I remember seeing a quote that read – “Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a manner that they actually look forward to the trip” – LOL. It basically is the ability to say the nastiest thing, in the nicest way.

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One of my most obvious character/personality traits is that I am a very blunt person.  So much that it comes across in just a matter of minutes upon meeting me and it can either endear the newbie to me or completely turn them off, hardly in-between.  Now that’s not to say I’m walking around guns blazing looking for who to tell share scathing words with, it just means I don’t take the time to sugarcoat/rephrase what I mean to say in any conversation.

images (3)I can’t consciously tell you when I became that way but I know that I always hated when in interacting with people, I’d play blind/obtuse about something and  those people will in turn think me a fool for it, so I switched and now it’s the only way I know how to be. I tell MY truth as I see it, I never sugarcoat anything, I do not know how to pretend and I completely wear my emotions/thoughts on my face. Being this way translates into my dealings with people and in any situation, you can count on my real talk. I truly am an ALL OR NOTHING person so between that and being true to my TAUREAN/BULL personality, it’s a hard mix. I have opinions and I’m not afraid to share/stand by them. Strong opinions.

“People who keep their feelings to themselves tend not to know, after a while, what their feelings are.”
Paul Berman

But I look at it as me being straightforward & honest & a person with integrity [if you will] and in this world full of hypocrites and ass-kissers,  it has actually become something I take a lot of pride in – telling my truth the way I see it. HOWEVER, over time, one of the most consistent/recurring feedback/[constructive] criticism I’ve gotten from within my circle is that I lack diplomacy & tact and that I can sometimes come across as harsh.

HORROR!

Obviously, as expected, I don’t like to hear this but as the saying goes… once=happenstance, twice =coincidence and thrice… well! My dad used to say everybody else cannot be the problem, everybody else can’t be wrong – per recurring issues. And I agree. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s time to step back to re-evaluate for real. Why am I coming across this way, even though I mean well? Why am I always having to regret/be sad about an interaction that was not meant to be regrettable? Let me also point out that I try to never offer unsolicited advice as I hate it myself, it’s usually a situation of – you asked, I answered –  so I genuinely wonder why anyone ever comes to me expecting I’ll rosy it up, I’m just not the one. Also, usually by the time I snap and say something harsh, I most likely have tried many times to say it nicely/sweetly but it probably didn’t register so can I really be faulted when it becomes a tad spicier? And because people have selective memories, they conveniently forget all the times I tried to be sensitive but failed. Humans…sigh.

The truth is that I do care how I come across but also on the other hand, I can’t help thinking – are people just refusing to be accountable/responsible when they’d rather hang on to the delivery and ignore the actual point? I’m not a bullshitter. A spade is not a cutlass. I don’t have patience for people who blatantly refuse to acknowledge/deal with reality because I am the complete opposite way. If there’s an issue, I approach it head on and I think it’s cowardly to make like an ostrich and hide your head in the face of a problem. And yes, I understand that everyone isn’t the same but in that exact vein shouldn’t people then at least understand why my approach is the way it is? And I’m not one of those people who can’t take what I dish. I’m a big girl, I can handle it. So when someone tells me something I don’t want to hear, I still hear it anyway. I take it in and internalize it until I’m ready to do something about.  It’s not that hard.

I believe everyone needs that one person in their life who doesn’t sugarcoat shit, there’s a place/need for it; consider it my service to humanity LOL. I kid! But think about it, if all you have are ballons & rainbow type people around you, do you not need a balance in the equation?

However, as I’ve been told repeatedly, there is always a better way to approach stuff. ALWAYS! And judging by the guilt I tend to feel once I realize I’ve hurt someone’s feelings, I agree that perhaps my approach/delivery can be better. Infact,  if I’m being completely honest, even I tend to get defensive when I get this diplomacy criticism so it sort of sheds some understanding on how people must feel when I approach them a certain way, it’s hard not to take it that way. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being attacked, especially not from a friend/loved one; so perhaps tough love [however well-meaning] can come across as an attack and maybe that’s where the fundamental disconnect lies. Sigh.images (2)

To be honest, at this point, I don’t even know if I’ll ever learn this better way of being because I’ve been consciously working on it for so many years now and STILL get people telling me I was harsh in my delivery; so I don’t know if I’m making any progress but I do know that I’m willing to try [HARDER]. Sometimes I want to ask to be taken as I am but then what about self-improvement? If this is something that’s really a problem with me then I simply cannot ignore it [anymore]. However, I don’t think  it’s fair to aggravate someone and then turn around and ask them to be sensitive in their response to you. Still, I want to be better at this so tell me…. how can I actively practice tact and diplomacy in my everyday life and interactions?  I’m tired of being the wicked witch of Worchester…. Because I usually mean well. I really do.

“Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.”
Isaac Newton

Interestingly, I have been toying with the idea of a PHD in the field of Arbitration, Conflict & Dispute Resolution and Diplomacy for the longest. So when I get this “you lack tact” feedback, I wonder if I’m on a rollercoaster ride to nowhere. Epp me  plix *tears*

Suggestions are welcome but don’t be harsh with it 😀

S.


10 Comments

Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

What Makes You Loveable??

WHAT MAKES YOU LOVEABLE?

I read an article on Bellanaija yesterday that posed the above question and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. As expected, the ensuing comments ranged from the hilarious to the downright confusing but I found it all very interesting. As I went about my day, the question kept ringing in my head and it just wouldn’t go away, I thought about it so much that it got me a bit irritated with myself. Why? It worried me that I couldn’t answer the question immediately; that I couldn’t count on my fingers the reasons why I think I am loveable; that I had to think about it first. Did that mean that maybe I am un-loveable? Shock Horror!

It was particularly disturbing because while I had to think about it seriously before I could come up with reasons, I’m pretty sure if the tables were turned and I was being asked what I thought made me UNLOVEABLE, I would have answered very easily. Isn’t that a little sad? It basically means that I know and I’m more in touch with my flaws better than I am with my sweet spots, No? That without much thought I can recite my flaws/unloveable traits but I have to think before naming my loveable traits. Quite worrisome! And I am not alone, judging from the comments on the original article.

In general, I think most people [myself included] tend to be very critical of themselves viz-a-viz their actions/choices and less kind about this criticism. This is possibly why when you’re asked what makes you loveable, you’d mull over it first but if you’re asked the opposite, you’d answer without missing a beat. It doesn’t help that people would sooner pick others apart and chastise than be loving & kind; people will tell you everything that is wrong with you before acknowledging what’s right.

People tell you so many times [not necessarily in words] why they think you’re un-loveable. They tell you by how they talk to/with you, the words they use when talking about you, in the way they treat you etc. And because you are human, you internalize it all to the dangerous point, but, on the flip side, you also have people who tell you and show you in so many ways that they truly love you but for some reason we tend not to internalize and hold on to those as much as we would the bad. Why? Glutton for punishment? Think about it; for every – ignored text/cancelled plans/harsh words, there are also the – hey/have you eaten/are you okay etc but for some reason, we tend to allow the former dominate our thoughts and we amplify it to the point where it seems like there aren’t enough of the latter happening. Someone needs a mindset renewal.

I love you doesn’t always come out in those exact words. Did you hear any of the above today? 

I know you’re probably thinking – but I just love ABC for no reason. Nigerians even say things like “I don’t know but our blood just jam, my spirit and her/him spirit just jam” LOL. But I think there’s definitely more and you’re being naïve if you think people who love you just do. Beyond the physical, I think love is tied to the purpose you serve in a person’s life; that unique quality/element that you bring that nobody else has/can bring [even in a family relationship/dynamic]. And so based off that, doesn’t it follow to ask yourself – what will happen when you no longer can serve that purpose or bring that element? Will they still be there? Is that truly love? Is love even love? Perhaps there should be synonyms used in the stead?

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I’m rambling! But I know something for sure – that I love different people for different reasons, so it can’t be farfetched to think it’s the same way for other people in terms of them loving me – my sister loves me for reasons completely different from the love of say a friend.

So what makes me loveable? I think my answer is better categorized thus:

  • My Mother – Because I’m her child, her first born, her first fruit. I also think I’ve been a good daughter to her – dependable, responsible, hardworking and a good example to my siblings. I am big on family and it reflects in my daily decisions; I’d break my back for my family to be okay and I’d do it with a smile on my face. My mother says about me – “I never have to worry about you, I know you can survive anything/anywhere and you’ll take care of everything” and it makes me soar. Even though she and I butt-heads a lot, I know she secretly admires my strong will, my convictions and never-say-die attitude. She thinks the world of me and believes that I know everything and because of that, I make sure I never fall short.
  • My Siblings – Because I make shit happen. Even when I didn’t live in Nigeria, I still was on speed dial and I always came through. I anticipate their needs before the topic even comes up and they can sleep easy knowing Beezy got it! I am dependable. I make EVERY decision in my life with them in consideration and have been known to fight with my parents on their behalves. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a major pain in their asses and we fight but they apologise quick because none of them can go a day without needing me for something #FactsOnly LOL. But beyond these, I think my siblings have a lot of respect for me as a person, I try to set a good example and try not to be hypocritical/holy holy about real issues. It’s nerve-racking the amount of pressure I usually am under with them but I do my best and their appreciation makes it all worthwhile.
  • My Babies – Aunty Beezy, the fountain of Icecream, popcorn, indomie, Disney till late, trips and a generally fun time. This love is very cheap. LOL
  • My Friends – Because… Confidant, real talk, endless phone calls & instant messages, bitching sessions, fuck that nigga sessions, united in our love for ratchet shows, stay up all night and listen to each other’s fears/frustrations/problems/joys/dreams, makeup/fashion tips etc. I also tell my friends the truth as I see it, I don’t sugarcoat it [not because I want to hurt them but I tell my truth how I tell it and they’ve all come to appreciate that about me]; they’ll never have to worry about me telling their business. I am fiercely loyal, honest, protective, reliable and an all-round asset. You want me in your corner, trust me. I have been blessed with amazing friends.
  • Men – [There really isn’t any other way of writing this without it sounding like a #BrilliantAd but toh]. I am a beautiful girl no doubt but I’d like to think the men in my life all stayed longer for reasons beyond just my looks. I’m book & street smart, educated, cultured, know my different forks, can hold my own, fun/versatile, intelligent, can carry a conversation about pretty much anything, have a mind of my own, a fantastic cook etc. I’m a giver, I’m not a cheater, I’m not dodgy, I’m straightforward and pride myself for my integrity. In addition, as much as I can be civil & friendly, I am also VERY MUCH a pain in the ass [to keep things interesting], a mini witch if you will. LOL. I kid! [not]. Me in love will cater to my man, bend over backwards to keep him happy, always looking for what I can do to make his life easier. I’m still friendly with all my Exes [except for one] because long after the fluff is gone, I’m still someone they can be real with. I’m a baddie okay! I say so! Who am I kidding? They love me because….Huge Hansel & Gretel and I laugh at their dry jokes 😀

Looking at the above reasons and categorizations, I noticed that the reoccurring theme for me is – dependability, reliability, integrity and generosity [with everything] – My word truly is my batter and interestingly enough, these are the exact traits I look out for in others and the reason I love the people I love; I just don’t do well with flaky/dodgy/shady/unreliable people. Super Important!

I have to say though, judging by how long it took me to think these through and my inability to readily answer the question [plus based on the comments on the original article], it’s fair to conclude that – What Makes You Loveable – is a tough question to answer; if you’re being completely honest.

So let me ask you guys – if you know me [and love me], why don’t you tell me what made me loveable to you?       Also, what do you think Makes YOU Loveable?

Quick Pointer: No it’s NOT JUST your beauty/handsome, nor your money and certainly not just your fancy. Think about it terms of what distinguishes you from the next person [in your loved ones life]; the intangible but unarguably irreplaceable stuff that only you can bring.

YOU ARE LOVED.

NB: Aren’t #MidnightKaraoke Sessions the best? Enjoy! Fancy myself a Mariah Carey haha

 


27 Comments

musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

Blurred Lines

A quote…. A plea…. An advice…..

“Treat women the way you would like to be treated

          the way you would like your sister/mother/wife to be treated 

**Emphasis on the second line highlighted boldly**

Awwwww.  How kind and thoughtful and sweet. Right?  Well…. I see that quote all the time, I see the sentiment shared in so many different ways by both men and women and while it’s an honorable and sweet sentiment, I find the underlying implications are worrisome.

I thought to myself, hang on! So basically, to get one human being to treat another with some decency, kindness and compassion, we have to have appealed to their sense of family? That essentially, there are people who in their dealings with others can only be decent if they see the person they’re dealing with [in this case, women] as their family member? I have to say “what if I were your sister/mother/wife and someone was treating me this way” before I can access & unlock the kind/decent/compassionate side of a man’s brain? So on the flip side, if a person[man] can’t picture me as his sister/wife/mother then good luck trying to get him to NOT treat me like shit? Wow! If we were to reach then it follows that as a woman, how you will be treated has nothing to do with much – not your conduct/interaction/aura – but heavily dependent on if the other person has a mother/sister/wife [and they have a cordial relationship at the very least] and can picture you from that point of reference?

That is so fucked up!!

How then can we access this special reservoir of this unique brand of gender-relative  courtesy, kindness and compassion from the people who don’t have good relationships with their mothers/wives/sisters? What can we say to them? Such people have no benchmark in the first place, so who will be their reference point in their interactions with me? Or the ones who simply don’t have the ability to stretch their imaginations that far? Say for example, a man beats his wife and/or insults the crap out of his sisters & mother on the regular [they exist] then comes to the workplace and slaps his female colleague; based on the above sentiment, can you really fault him? Isn’t he in essence treating his colleague as he would his wife/mother/sisters? What about those guys that we see on the news who shoot/stone/behead women [and children] in those extremist religious places.  Do you really think they give a shit about whether that could be their mother/wife/sister? Haven’t we even seen scenarios where its family members instigating and leading these killings for all kinds of fucked up reasons?  If they had any respect for people’s right to life and existence [which is usually the crux], we won’t even be having this conversation.  If being a decent person in your interaction with others is going to be based on appealing to people’s sense of family ties then we must also appreciate the fact that people’s interactions with their sisters/wives/mothers vary greatly. Right? It goes beyond that. IT SHOULD! IT HAS TO! The focus should be to teach people to respect EVERY human on account of their HUMANNESS; nothing more.

I think that these types of sentiments and reasoning for what constitutes [im]proper behavior and expectations is the sister-root from whence other unhealthy facets stem. You hear stuff like “we are both from Imo state”, “na my Muslim/Christian sister/brother”, “we are from the same village”; which is all fine and dandy but what about the other persons who don’t fall under any of these umbrellas, what then? Are they fair game for shitty treatment and bad behaviour? Like when an ex told me he was pressured because the girl he had been cheating on me with was from the same state as him; as though my state of origin had suddenly changed from when we first met.

I once got into it with some royally stupid security guys at the entrance of an eatery/clubhouse and after calling me every name in the book, one of them goes – “I just dey leave you because you fit be my sister” – LOL. If this is how you act towards a person who “fit be your sister” then I shudder at how you’d treat the one wey NO fit be your sister. I soon realized that when Nigerians say stuff along these lines, they’ve already been hella disrespectful and are just trying to wrap it up with some faux sense of nicety and/or are just being a typical Nigerian by bringing up stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the situation at hand.  It means nothing. Hogwash. Don’t think for a second that based off that flouncy sentiment, that person will hesitate to do you dirty if the opportunity presented itself.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever seen/heard anybody advising women to treat men as they would their brothers/husbands/fathers. And why not?  Women can be mean too, women can be badly behaved too so why not? Abi the menfolk don’t need gender-relative sensitivity and kindness? I daresay that the former advice in itself, as honorable and well-meaning as it is also has a colorful sprinkling of sexism but I’m not going to get into that right now.

The quote rubs me a certain way especially because, I remember dating a guy who was so big on family; infact, his sister & mother are his life and it was adorable; except it didn’t stop him from cheating on me repeatedly, didn’t stop him from lying every chance he could [and even using his family member’s as a crutch for more lies], didn’t stop him from being an all-round dodgy and shitty boyfriend even though he wouldn’t want any of that for his mother or sister. So what then?

The point I’m trying to make here is, why don’t we just forget the gender and advice human beings to treat other human beings decently? You know, from one human to another and cut out this “e fit be your mama/sister/wife” bullshit.  It’s not helping anybody and it does nothing to curb people’s propensity to be vile because frankly, if you treating people decently is based on anything other than the simple/most important reason – THAT THEY ARE HUMANS, JUST LIKE YOU – then there’s a fundamental problem with your socialization process. I think that while I appreciate the sentiment and see how well-meaning it’s usually intended, I’d rather live in a world where people are taught to treat others well because….. Human.

It’s tough being a woman, even tougher being a woman in Nigeria. So while I’m looking for a guy to escort me into some premises because “prostitute until proven otherwise”, I’d appreciate it better if society implored people to treat me with common courtesy and decency simply for being human, just like the next person.

Election Weekend

This one time, in a silly & careless but totally necessary move, I left a place I shouldn’t have been at in the first place and walked by myself on a lone, dark and quiet street until I found and got into a random cab back home at 4am [all the while praying to Jesus and promising to never be so foolish]. Now if you know me, you know that was totally uncharacteristic and in hindsight, very stupid – I would never get into a random cab at night by myself and I’d never be caught dead on a lone dark street by myself let alone at 4am [nothing good happens outside at 4am]but I had to. This happened almost a year ago and even as I type this, I can’t help but wonder how inconsequential and low a person must think of you to not even bother checking if you at least got home safe, knowing fully well you were out in the dark by yourself at 4am on their account. It basically says, you can be dead and your bits chopped in a bag folded in a cab’s trunk for all I care [yes, I’m dramatic and I imagine the worst]. You’re going to teach a person like that common courtesy and decency by that quote up there? Good luck to you!!

Oh and my apologies to the boy I once told in anger that somebody will treat his sister worse than he’s treated me. What can I say?….. I’m a hypocrite. Nothing will happen to your sister okay 😀

Oh btw, I am currently obsessed with this picture of Ms.Cookie….

So much that I made it my screensaver…..

To unlock my phone, I have to slide my finger right across her boobies 😀

Air kisses to all of you :* :* :*

S.


14 Comments

Life, musings, thoughts

All The Feels

*Swats dust* Cough*

Hello my lovelies… I know! I know! I’m sorry……

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I’ve been in a funk! My current mood is so foul, I fear I may catch fire and explode soon and unfortunately i’m pissed over stuff that’s not directly within my control so there’s not much I can do except sleep and vex [which I’ve been doing alot of]. As expected, when I get into these moods, everything around me suffers, this blog inclusive. I’m Sorry.

Everyone always tells me to pray when i’m feeling this way but I just don’t know how to pray with anger in my heart; it comes out like a rant, like i’m quarreling with God – more questions/accusations, less praise/thanksgiving – so I just don’t. Like yesterday, one of my Mum’s pastor friends sent me an encouraging/prayer text out of the blue and I literally scoffed when I read it. I scoffed. It was reflex. I was surprised at myself and I felt guilty immediately but it made me worry about my state of mind. I know myself and I know when i’m revolting and thinking things like – why does God withhold good things from me if he says he is my father and he loves me? – So many whys, not enough answers.

I’m not the most upright person out there, neither am a model christian but I have a relationship with God and this relationship is very important to me. They say you relate with God how he is manifested in your life; so for me, I think about this relationship in terms of a father-daughter bond [modeled after mine and my earth dad’s]. Although he passed away in my early teens, I remember my dad so vividly and I remember how our relationship was. We were super close and I was a proper daddy’s girl. My dad loved to show me off and would do everything to make me happy; I got everything I wanted [within reason of course]. So when I read about God being my father and loving me on a level that my earth dad couldn’t have been able to fathom and I juxtapose it with the problems I have that have been pending for so long even though I’ve repeatedly prayed about them, I question this type of love. God’s love.

These are my candid thoughts.

After having time to think about it though, I had to back-track on the text situation. What are odds that someone you haven’t spoken to [therefore doesn’t know your current state of mind] will just sit down somewhere and think of you, then pick up their phone and send you a text of encouragement/prayer without knowing what you’re dealing with in that moment? How much more direct can God get? I think that’s about as subtle as Moses and the burning bush; as in… Go tell Seember that she’s on my mind and I haven’t forgotten about her. Suddenly I felt overwhelmed. However, those issues are still there and at the back of my mind, there’s that voice still reminding me that they’re very real. I’m very conflicted.

I’ve written so much in the past week, I have tons of words on paper [MS Word in this case] but I kept thinking to myself that they were too dark and gloomy to be posted here as I want my blog to always be about rainbows and sunshine but how realistic is that? I mean, this blog is supposed to capture my life, my feels, my truth so if I only post sunshine and shit then surely there’s a part of me that i’m not sharing and that’s not real.

When you feel this way, how do you cope? [Please don’t preach to me]

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30 Comments

Dating, Encouragement, Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness

Much Ado About Apologies

I’ve been sick as puppy for the past 4 days nursing malaria and flu [and aunty flo thought it was the funnest time to join the party too] so it’s been one hell of a sick cocktail. I’m not the type of person who lays in bed and acts like I’m about to die when I’m ill plus I hardly fall sick, so when I actually lay in bed, you know it really got to me. So in-between the malaria hallucinations, the uncountable rolls of tissue and nose blowing, the fluctuating temperature and inability to sleep in certain positions, I started getting stir crazy wondering where I could just go and sit and watch people and nobody will side eye me for blowing my nose every second? No where! So I did the next best thing to cheer myself up – made myself some lemon+ginger+honey tea and watched my favourite movie of all time – PRETTY WOMAN. And then it started raining… perfect weather!

If you know me, you know this is it. I can recite the entire lines in Pretty Woman from start to finish. It is my all-time favourite movie in the whole world and I can watch it every day. I think the world of Julia Roberts and her magical-musical-beautiful-widest-toothiest-MostSincereSounding-belly laugh. And I’m not alone because a quick trip to google will show you that the “Julia Roberts laugh” is actually a thing and it has quite the following. People wey sabi better thing!

Just listen to this!

Cute Story: Did you know the infamous necklace scene wasn’t actually planned? Apparently, Julia wasn’t feeling well during filming and so to make her laugh, Richard shut the case and her reaction was so perfect, they decided to keep it in the movie. Awww 🙂

Anyways, so I’m watching Vivian Ward steal Edward Lewis’ heart one belly laugh at a time and I’m laughing rather loudly from my couch when the movie gets to this part I’m not very giddy about – the fight scene after the polo event. If you haven’t seen Pretty Woman and therefore don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m sorry but I can’t believe you. Anyone who reads this blog should have watched that movie at least 10 times [I’ll add this to my header]; but I’m feeling generous right now so I’ll recap a bit. Here goes – Edward takes Vivian to this Polo event during which due to the incessant heckling from his evil stocky short lawyer friend [whose name is Stuckey… OMG I just clocked this. How Fitting!!!] he reveals that Vivian is indeed a prostitute. Expectedly, Stuckey proceeds to troll Vivian with this information and even propositions her and it all leads to Vivian and Edward getting into their first major fight. Big! Huge! [catch the plug?]

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Like I mentioned, I’ve watched this movie more times than I can count but for the first time something struck me that I hadn’t noticed before about this scene. You know how you can  listen to a song one million times but depending on where you are mentally or what you’re going through in that particular time in your life, one part of the song suddenly resonates on a level you’ve never experienced before? There! That’s exactly what happened yesterday.

Watch this!

Vivian: You hurt me

Edward: Yes

Vivian: Don’t do it again

Edward:  Nods and blinks in affirmative.

That’s all.

Listen people! When you’ve hurt someone and they come out with it to you, just the singular act of accepting and acknowledging their hurt/feelings is enough to diffuse the situation. When someone tells you you’ve hurt them, they’re hoping that you understand how your actions/inactions affected them; that’s not the time to start arguing about your thought process or how you see things [you can do this at a later time] but in that moment, just acknowledge their hurt and genuinely mean it.  You literally cripple and weaken them and only a difficult/crazy person will continue with fire after that. As in the movie, see how fired up Vivian had been, she packed her things and was ready to leave; but after that apology, she turned and went back into the suite and that marked the beginning of a deeper more genuine relationship for them.

Now if you’ve watched the movie, you know very well that Edward didn’t mean to belittle/hurt Vivian when he exasperatedly announced to Stuckey that Vivian was a prostitute. He was caught off guard and truly hadn’t envisaged answering questions about them or even being public with their relationship; plus, he was jealous when he saw her talking to David Morse[from the company they were looking to take over] but none of this mattered. When she said “you hurt me”, his only response was “yes”. Nothing more, just YES. In that moment, he prioritized her feelings. It didn’t matter what the facts were, it didn’t matter what his argument could have been, it didn’t matter the what/how/when/where; all that mattered was that she felt some type of way and he recognized that and was sorry. Simple! THIS IS HOW YOU DO AN APOLOGY. None of you, all of the aggrieved.

This to me is what constitutes a sincere and heartfelt apology.

Another thing that can make an apology extraordinary is the awareness that you have to let people come full circle on their terms. What do I mean? See when you apologise for a wrong and the person isn’t ready to accept it yet, you have to back off and let them stew and then maybe try again at another time and hope that by then they’d have come around. This is of course based on the assumption that the relationship is still important to you and you still want them in your life. There are times when people apologise for a wrong and when the wronged person rejects the apology, the wrongdoer gets mad and starts saying things like – “but I apologized, what else do you want me to do?”. In that moment, you’ve made the apology become about yourself and not the wronged person. Let people come around on their terms; chances are, that way, the emotions have fully being dealt with and there’s no residue hurt lingering to pose a threat at a later time.

One of my best male friends is someone I swore I’d never ever speak to. We had a rough patch in 2010 and he reached out to me almost immediately and apologised but I wasn’t hearing it and we pretty much existed like that until 3 years later I log on facebook on a random day and see that someone we both knew from uni had passed away. He says he saw I’d commented on the post and decided to send me a friend request which I accepted almost immediately and it wasn’t long before we were back to abusing each other everyday on whatsapp [that’s our love language]. He’s truly one of my favourite people, he makes me laugh till my sides hurt and I can be myself with him and not worry. Best guy! I had missed him too but chances are, if he had tried to talk to me sooner than he did, I still wouldn’t have listened. See, nothing about our fight/circumstance/story had changed, it was just that time had passed so I was in a better place mentally and thus ready to let it go, it was all me. I needed to get to the point where I was willing to squash it, on my terms and I’m just glad he was still willing as well. Because, let’s face it, there are times when you’re finally ready to squash the beef but the other person has completely moved on and that will suck but it’s a chance we must take. There’s no other way around it.

I’ve also been on the other side of the spectrum where it was me who was desperate for my apology to be heard/acknowledged/accepted and the person just wasn’t ready. This person didn’t even tell me what I did wrong, they just slowly X’d me out of their life and by the time I realized what was happening, I was already completely on the outside by myself and it hurt me so much because I would never have done that to them. In that moment, I could have taken my righteous indignation and rode off into the  horizon but I didn’t. I put myself in that person’s shoes and tried to understand where they were coming from ALL BY MYSELF as they wouldn’t even talk to me.  I sent messages, texts, emails, called our mutual friends, pleaded, solicited in every way I could even to an embarrassing point just to be heard because that’s just the person I am. I want to be able to look back at every interaction with anyone who ever mattered to me and know that I did everything within my power to right a perceived wrongdoing, because…..hyper-active conscience. It didn’t work. We still don’t speak but it’s not because of me as I soon realized the entire charade of anger was a facade at assuaging a guilty conscience that had nothing to do with me.

Once, I unknowingly hurt a friend and she stopped picking my calls, I was so worried and made all attempts to speak with her; when we eventually talked, I apologized and further asked that going forward, if we ever have a problem, she should please just talk to me about it like an adult. A few months go by and she stops picking my calls again…. We haven’t spoken since then and it’s been almost 2 years. I was done!! Done because I knew that if I reached out to her YET AGAIN to try and figure out what was wrong YET AGAIN, then that was going to become the dynamic of our relationship set in stone; where she’s always on one while i’m always the one scurrying around to figure out what it was and I just can’t live like that. Adults should address issues like adult. If I’m not speaking to you and it doesn’t bother you and you’re not speaking to me and it doesn’t bother me then I think we both know what that means for our relationship/friendship. I feel like the sheer effort I or anyone puts into trying to understand why/when someone is mad at them [especially when that person wont say why] is indicative of the fact that they  care; because trust me, there are people who don’t speak to me and I feel like I should write them a thank you note like – don’t ever stop! Don’t ever start. Ha ha.

I personally prefer for people to be forthright with me when I’ve upset/wronged them. Just tell me! But I’m a hypocrite because I don’t always tell people when they’ve upset me [at least not immediately]. I would eventually do so at some point but I always stew first [partly because it never ends well when I speak in anger]. So I know what it can be like; waiting for people to come around can be tough but like I said, if the relationship is important, you’d figure it out. And wait.

Another type of apology I personally detest is when people say – “I’m sorry you feel that way”. I feel like its insincere and it just doesn’t show me that the person understands or accepts the part they played in hurting me, but they’re apologizing anyways for how I may have understood their actions. In other words – I’m not sorry for what I did, I’m sorry for how you understood/interpreted it. I remember I once discussed this with a friend and he explained that when he uses that line, he’s actually acknowledging their feelings and that I’m too hung up on semantics. Lol. Maybe I am, maybe it’s true but till date, “I’m sorry you feel that way” just doesn’t ring as a sincere apology to me.

Remember though that sometimes, people don’t always set out meaning to offend/upset us, but because we are all human, shit happens so let’s try to cut each other slack. The litmus test is in the effort put into making it right. There’s probably one person/situation some of us have held on to and are waiting for an apology about….. let it go. Sometimes, you have to be okay with an apology that never came/will never come. But if it ever comes, it’ll just be a pleasant surprise. Don’t wait on it.

What do you think constitutes a sincere apology?

PS: I’m feeling a lot better, malaria has subsided considerably, I’ve only gone through one tissue roll today and my nose doesn’t feel so sore anymore. But I’m so bored, one of you should find a way to cheer me up….. movie/cheesecake ha ha 😀

La’ers xx

S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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