Over the past few years I have realized that there are two types of apologies. There maybe more, but I am going to talk about two particular types of apologies. First, the majority of the apologies, the ones we do because we believe it is right thing to do. We may have made a mistake, we don’t know what it was but we are going to say sorry no matter what. This apology is not necessarily meaningless but it does carry with itself a constant emotion of worthlessness. “Yeah, sorry I did that, maybe I will do it again, maybe I won’t, We’ll see.” These kind of apologies don’t necessarily mean the person apologizing will be reflecting on his/her actions and will just move on with their life and continue to do the same thing to different people and not feel any guilt or baggage that we are carrying around ourselves. This apology is for the formalities, to go on record as being regretful of your actions, even though you don’t. I am not implying that this type is always bad or needless or anything like that. This is important as well but not as much as the second type.
The second type of apologies that we make is the one that is rarely ever made. The ones we make because we feel actual guilt and regret . These apologies are rare, endangered, on the verge of extinction in the modern world. These apologies are made when we give time to reflect on our thoughts, our actions and what we thought about or did in our past. This is rarely seen these days because how unlikely we are to see ourselves be the one to blame. We always love to make excuses for ourselves, deflect the blame on others and other such stuff. We always think that it must have been someone else’s fault except for me. These are the defense mechanisms of our brain, to maintain our mental health and make sure that we do not suffer, no matter what the cost of ignoring the consequences of our actions is. Some call it pride, some call it self-respect, some call it ego. It could be any of those things depending on your definition of the said words. The feeling of guilt is indescribable, true guilt is something that has the potential to destroy a person from inside and out. The devastating potential of guilt as a tool against our mind is what makes it important for us to have the defense mechanisms. The apology made out of guilt is one that would be honest and everlasting. The words used are the same, “I am sorry” but the implications these words have when accompanied by guilt is something that is beyond the scope of my very limited vocabulary. I may discuss it again sometime soon but not right now.
To conclude I would say that neither of the two types of apologies are better than the other. They both convey their own message and while apologizing it is important that the person doing so makes sure that the person in front of us is aware of the seriousness and sincerity of our apology. Whenever you apologize and be honest with yourself too. Always be aware of your own thoughts before you communicate them to someone else. We could lie to ourselves all we want but if we are searching for the truth we must begin with ourselves.