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What is an apology? What is accepting an apology?


Boughtandpaidfor
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OK - basically here's the rough back story-

9 months ago- guy from my head office comes- gets in a (what I think is a totally out of proportion) fight. The other guy get his face smashed in. I have the guy's blood all over my hands. The guy goes back to head office- I'm angry and shocked.

 

Cut to last week- I find out the guy is coming back- I complain to head office. I'm told he's coming back and he will be professional.

 

Spent the whole of last week in an angry mess. Friends think I'm totally blowing it out of all proportion. I begin to agree.......

 

My current view: I'm not angry at this guy- I'm upset that I couldn't stop the fight. He made me feel very weak. I wonder what it means to be a real man. I know fighting isnt a definition- but strength confidence and power is I guess, and I wish I had that. So I'm angry at myself for being so weak and him for showing me up.

 

But by that point obviously he's aware that I'm "angry" at him.

 

Cut to today- he comes to my school (bear in mind we are the only two people there- its a small place)

 

I ignore him and answer his questions for the most part. I'm not friendly but I'm trying to be professional and so is he.

 

Then he came into my room suddenly and said pretty much this:

 

"Head office said I dont HAVE to apologise to you, since this happened outside of work. But I was way out of line. I'm sorry I went much too far and I want to apologise to you.

But.... on the upside, that guy wasnt being very nice- he was making nasty comments, stealing the microphone (karaoke, this is Japan ) "

 

I said

"That doesnt justify what you did"

 

He said

"it kinda does"

 

I said

"not to me"

 

He looked taken aback and kinda 'f**k you then', nodded and said

"enjoy" and walked out.

 

We talked more professional stuff and he left.

 

 

I'm sick of feeling so pent up and stupid about this. But I cant let go of it. I'm too enthralled by my reaction. I want to know whats making this situation tick. I dont really think he is sorry, and in a way he doesnt really have anything to apologise to me for, apart from hurting my pride.

 

So what I want to know is would anyone else have just accepted that apology? It sounded very conditional. And how can I begin to let this go. It s brought up something incredibly raw inside me.

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Can I ask at what point a physical response is justified in any situation? At what point can you just start fighting- if the other person hits you? If they verbally abuse you?

 

I understand fights- but the guy was beaten very badly. All I saw was the head office guy drag him out of his car and punch him. I didnt see any provocation, other than verbal .

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Can I ask at what point a physical response is justified in any situation? At what point can you just start fighting- if the other person hits you? If they verbally abuse you?

 

I understand fights- but the guy was beaten very badly. All I saw was the head office guy drag him out of his car and punch him. I didnt see any provocation, other than verbal .

 

Only when in self defense, no ifs, ands or buts!!

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How do you do that? I saw his eyes - I only saw similar bits of myself I dont like. I saw nothing particularly evil. Thats how I judge people. His actions dont fit.

 

I'm not good at just saying- well that guy's just a fool.

Yeah it's hard to write someone off completely, but it's easy to understand why someone in a particular situation is acting like an a-hole

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As I implied in my response to your poem on the same subject, if you want to see a real man then just have a look at the nearest mirror. The way I see it, face-punching has no place in civilized society (outside of boxing--and maybe hockey ) and you were right to be upset and indignant over it.

 

If you want to feel better able to protect youself, do what I do: I carry a razor-sharp 4" Smith & Wesson folding knife with a quick-open button clipped on the inside of my front pants pocket everywhere I go (hey, it's a rough town), but I would never dream of using it in anger.

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If you want to feel better able to protect youself, do what I do: I carry a razor-sharp 4" Smith & Wesson folding knife with a quick-open button clipped on the inside of my front pants pocket everywhere I go (hey, it's a rough town), but I would never dream of using it in anger.

 

I dont need to protect myself. I just want to be more sure of my actions.

What you have and how you use is are two different things I guess. You can have strength and use it well or not. You cant use what you aint got.

 

Dont think weaponry is the answer LOL. Thanks tho.

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Then he came into my room suddenly and said pretty much this:

 

"Head office said I dont HAVE to apologise to you, since this happened outside of work. But I was way out of line. I'm sorry I went much too far and I want to apologise to you.

But.... on the upside, that guy wasnt being very nice- he was making nasty comments, stealing the microphone (karaoke, this is Japan ) "

 

I said

"That doesnt justify what you did"

 

He said

"it kinda does"

 

I said

"not to me"

 

He looked taken aback and kinda 'f**k you then', nodded and said

"enjoy" and walked out.

 

We talked more professional stuff and he left.

 

Hi Happy Town,

 

I think you did really well, to be honest. You were professional when you needed to be. He apologised to you, and brought the subject up. You indicated that a glib apology to you didn't really change things, he showed his true colours and left uncomfortably.

 

I think that's a good outcome. You didn't roll over and say 'ok, that's fine', you stuck to your guns and showed that you disapproved of his actions. AND you can still work together professionally. And he approached you about the subject.

 

I think that confrontation is really really difficult. It's hard to stand firm when someone apologises, because it's normal to respond with 'that's okay, no problems'. But sometimes - sometimes on a moral issue it's not okay, things aren't going to be smoothed over so easily.

 

I dislike it when people don't seem to have a centre in themselves for what's right or wrong, but depend on other people to validate their feelings. I find that hard to deal with. You are responsible for yourself, and this guy was an idiot. You stood up to him in a professional manner, and didn't just become one of the guys.

 

Letting go of it - that's harder. I had a quick search on google, and one of the definitions is:

 

Letting Go of Anger:

Being able to express negative feelings in a healthy way with both your rights and the rights of others being respected and protected.

 

It sounds like you did that - is there anything else you wish you had said directly to this guy? If not, I think you can be proud of yourself.

 

Take care.

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I think I did ok- I mean, my voice was a bit choked and quiet when we had that confrontation. But he was uncomfortable too. I'm glad I didnt back down- didnt placate him and let him off.

 

I'm angry at myself because I dont know how to behave now. I mean its one thing having to behave in a professional way to him- but we have students coming into the school- and they are expecting a certain atmosphere and a certain level of entertainment. Its a bit like two band members who really cant stand each other.

 

So today (I've just got back from work- I had the confrontation this morning and posted this thread at lunch) I was forced to be somewhat chatty. In the end its difficult to ignore someone who's not ignoring you- he kept making comments and jokes and asking questions. So I've had to interact with him. If it wasnt just the two of us there it would be easier- but the relationship has become bordering on civil during the day- and I'm not comfortable with that.

 

I had to teach classes today and I couldnt concentrate because he's in the next room and can hear everything I say.

 

Doesnt help that he has the same name as me. Two white people with the same name - all the Japanese people mention it which isnt nice. He is very handsome so he's popular with the students. I guess I dont mind that so much- thats the way of the world. If I didnt think he was troubled inside I wouldnt feel so bad.

 

Honey Pumpkin-

I guess I'm thinking about making it clear to him that I scared of him, rather than angry at him. I'm not sure that's even true though. I'm not sure how I feel. I feel angry- but I get angry at people all the time and bottle it up. It feels cumulative thats why I'm so anxious to deal with this. I don't want this pent up anger inside me anymore.

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OK, cool. But you said you were angry with yourself for being weak. Why is that, if you're not concerned for your protection?

 

I live in a safe place- there was a fight because of a foreigner. Japanese people dont really get into fights in my experience.

 

I'm angry at myself for being weak because I was in denial about being weak. But I've never really been in a serious siutation where my weakness was an issue until then. It was a shock and I'm still dealing with it.

 

Like I said in the poem I cant change that- its pretty much the way I was born. I mean, I could work out and become stronger- but I should probably face my need to be strong first. Find out why I need to pretend that. Because noone's really threatening me.

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Honey Pumpkin-

I guess I'm thinking about making it clear to him that I scared of him, rather than angry at him. I'm not sure that's even true though. I'm not sure how I feel. I feel angry- but I get angry at people all the time and bottle it up. It feels cumulative thats why I'm so anxious to deal with this. I don't want this pent up anger inside me anymore.

 

I think you did great - you could bring it up again, and say that you want to clear the air with him. You could say something on the following lines if you think it appropriate:

 

"I found your behaviour in the fight intimidating. You apologised, and I appreciate that, but you need to know that I am wary around you because of this incident. I wanted to be upfront about that, so you understand my reserve around you.

 

We have to work together, and have a professional relationship, and I'm willing to work on that. But I also felt I owed it to myself and you to say that I do have a problem with the way you behaved in the past. I don't want to bottle this up and feel resentment and unexpressed hostility towards you, because I find that difficult to work with."

 

And leave it at that. I respect people who say what they feel, without going overboard about it. But equally I think you did really well, and you don't need to take it further unless you feel strongly about it.

 

I think you're doing well to think about this and how it's impacting on you - you sound very thoughtful and self-aware.

 

Good luck!

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