That feeling you get after a comment slips out your mouth that perhaps offends someone or hurts the feeling of your nearest and dearest, whats it called? Guilt?
You know you’ve done wrong and you acknowledge it straight away. However, what happens in the moments that follow often differs dependant on a few varying factors. Firstly, you may profusely apologise and try and steer the emotional reaction of the receiving party by ensuring they are aware with how sorry you are. The problem here is you can become over-sorry, where you have apologised so many times that the other person becomes more offended due to you seeming insincere.
Secondly, there’s the denial reaction, where you try to carry on as normal and pretend not to acknowledge the offensive or upset you have caused. Your brain tries to shut out the comment or action made, you may even try and convince yourself that you are the victim and that what you said didn’t deserve such a reaction.
Thirdly, there’s the total void. You fall completely silent and are stunned in a type of shock that you did such wrong. You can’t form a cohesive sentence let alone muster up the courage to apologise. This is usually a lengthy process that takes a while to come out of and it may perhaps be the worst of the three.
I guess the main premise you need to consider here is why you said or made the action you did in the first place. What was the motive behind it? More often than not, if we upset a loved one or someone we really care about then we’ve made the comment or acted in such a way as our real intention was to help out or aid the person. It is much easier to brush off the guilty conscience if you careless about the party you have caused upset upon. For example, letting down your boss might feel a little horrid at the time but once you’re home and their out of realm, you soon find forgiveness within yourself. However, upsetting your partner becomes a lot harder to manage, even when they are out of realm.
Once you have worked out your main motivation for saying or doing what you did in the first place, this is when it is time to reflect on how to say it in a more appropriate manner. To get across your main point without offending or hurting the other person. This can be wrapped into an apology sized box and hopefully will work things out for the better.
The next factor to consider is how well you know the offended party. Is this a common reaction? Are they particularly in touch with their emotional side? Also, how well do they know you? Do they know you to be harsh or brash? Do they know you to be a sweetheart who is too kind to kill a fly? This could all play into the way someone reacts.
What ever the factors that are involved, one thing is for certain and thats it fully sucks for both people. Nobody likes to be hurt or offended but equally nobody likes or wants to upset or hurt a loved one unintentionally. The world we live in is supposed to be built on a premise of forgiveness and relinquishment however, when these situations occur it is hard to say that we do live by these mantras.
So the next time you upset someone without meaning to, remember that you probably didn’t do it out of hate or hurt but instead out of love. Then the next time you get hurt or upset by someone that you know to really care for you, remember not to punish them to harshly as they probably want the best for you. Talk it through, be open and try to fight the problem as a unit instead of fighting each other against the problem.
There you go folks, a bit of advice.