A demanding gift

“When I need you to apologise, I’ll tell you” he said to me. “Otherwise, don’t – you don’t need to”

“OK” I said.

Because that sounds like a good plan.

I am discovering, however, that it is easier said than done.

Apologising is a very useful default mode; it prevents criticism – see, you can’t criticise me, I already know I’ve done wrong and have apologised so you need to forgive me; it avoids responsibility – I am just somebody who gets it wrong, so I don’t need to be taken into account – or take account of my own capacity for responsibility; it invites sympathy – please don;’t be angry or expect me to be able to do things well – I am just weak and feeble. And probably many more hidden messages I have not yet identified.

By refusing me the get-out of apologising, he is making me take responsibility, join in as an adult and meet him on equal terms, not manipulatively.

That is quite a gift to offer.

I am learning to be grateful for it….

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