Let’s talk about the Non Apology. The Non Apology does not discriminate by age or gender or class or race or physical ability. You can get one in any language, too.

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” is the American Classic. It’s the Coca Cola of Non Apologies. The whole world sings that one in perfect harmony.

Once my husband gave me a Classic Coke Non Apology and a smile.

I’m not sure where it came from, but out did it come:

I’m not sorry I feel that way. It is a sign of my emotional wellbeing and good sense. It means I can tell when I’m being disrespected or when my boundary is being crossed. I’m actually glad I feel this way; I’m grateful. I’m thrilled.

I am sorry that you have not apologized for doing what you did.

I am sorry that you acted in a way that was so disrespectful to me and I wish you would apologize for that.”

I wasn’t really talking just to him, but to every Non Apologist I’ve ever heard. I realized I’m also not sorry when I get mad, which is the precursor to the Diet Coke of Non Apologies: ‘I’m sorry you are mad.’ I’m glad my emotional thermometer can register injustice and general douchery.

Husband paused for a moment and then laughed. “That is awesome. You are fantastic,” he said.

“That is beside the point. I’m still mad.”

And then he gave the real apology:

“I’m sorry I did the thing.

I should not have done the thing.

I’m sorry I hurt you by doing the thing.

If I could do it over, I would do the other thing.

And I hope you can forgive me.”

And because we are talking about things that don’t violate a person’s fundamental human rights, things that aren’t repeated endlessly, things that have no contempt in them and that are not destructive, I feel, after a good apology–closer to his humanity, closer to my own and I am not sorry I feel that way.

JAC Patrissi

Written on September 18th, 2015 , domestic violence, relationship Tags:

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JAC Patrissi's Blog – Growing A New Heart

JAC Patrissi is a Communications Specialist who uses writing, performance art, training and collaborative facilitation in order to support healing for women who are questioning the health of their relationships or who are healing from destructive relationships. This is her blog.