“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….