Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Sorry...But...

Happy Hump Day!

I'll be so glad when this cold finally leaves my body. Being sick is the worst!

I think my body shut down after all the stress of my car being broken into and losing my cell phone last week. Usually I'm able to take stress in stride - especially since working out is my usual form of relief. While finding broken glass in my passenger side seat was disturbing, and taking a day to replace the glass was annoying, I think I was most annoyed by my cell phone situation.

But not because I was without a phone. I had my Blackberry as a backup, so that wasn't it. It wasn't that I was afraid someone was calling Mexico or Jamaica on my phone and I'd have to pay for the charges made before I reported it missing. It wasn't even that I had to buy a new phone.

I was angry because my coworker told me he found my phone, admitted that he didn't really look for it when I asked....and then didn't apologize for it - RIGHT AWAY.

I was trying to figure out why I was so mad at him...and that was my conclusion. He didn't seem remorseful. He didn't think that lying to me about looking for my phone was a big deal. He didn't care that I stressed over it, called to cancel my old phone and went out and purchased a new phone. He shrugged it off like, "Oh well, just return the new one." THAT is what angered and stressed me most.

While some people think I may be overreacting, an article that my former-future-baby-daddy sent me yesterday shows that perhaps I wasn't. Or maybe I was overreacting because I'm a woman.

The article is titled "I'm Very, Very, Very Sorry....Really?" and it states that women apologize way more than men do...whether they've done something "really" wrong or not. Men, it turns out, apologize less because most times they feel they've done nothing wrong or offensive - and other times it's simply pride/ego.

This was probably the case with my coworker. He probably felt it was my fault that I left my phone in his car, and that by actually searching for it for me, he was doing ME a favor. He probably thought I was careless for losing it in his car in the first place, and that I should be grateful that he bothered to look one more time for me. Fine. He's entitled.

But I wasn't angry that he found it after I bought a new one. I was angry that he lied to me about looking for it. He assured me for two days that he turned his car upside down, looking in every corner, and that it simply wasn't there....when he never looked at all. I wasn't upset that it took him three days to look, I was upset that he told me he did when he didn't.

But if I don't communicate that to him, it's possible he wouldn't know that I was hurt by the lie, not the phone. It's possible...even though I give him credit for being more enlightened than that.

The article also says that most men apologize in order to "keep the peace" or "end the drama." Most men have no idea what they're even apologizing for, they just know that their significant other is upset with them, and that they caused it...so if they want some that night, they'd better say they're sorry and figure out what they're sorry for later.

Fast forward to the end of the work day...

My coworker could tell I was annoyed with him all day. I hadn't told him why, but he could tell. I wasn't my normal jokey-joke self with him. I didn't offer to help him with anything like I normally do. Basically, he was on my sh*t list...and he could feel it.

So what did he do? He apologized.

He said he was sorry about "the whole phone thing" and that I was inconvenienced. Not that he caused it, not that it was his fault, and not even that he lied about looking for the phone. He was simply...sorry. But you know what? At that moment, when he said he was sorry, I felt instantly better.

Until he said, "but....I looked."

"I'm sorry" should never be followed with "but." NEVER. Either you mean it or you don't.

I've since returned the new phone that I bought and put the whole incident behind me. I'm not walking around stank giving him the gas face. I'm back to my lovable self :-)

All this tells me is it's possible I'm a bit sensitive. It's possible he's a bit insensitive. It's possible he really felt he did nothing wrong. And it's possible all of it was just no big deal.

But in the end, "I'm sorry" went a long way. And sometimes, that's all we need to feel better.

-b

20 comments:

Latinegro said...

first bitches...

Latinegro said...

Brooke - I totally feel you on this. Apologizing goes along way with me, assuming they mean it.

JUSTBNME said...

He sucks....BIG TIME! Sorry or not, what he did wasn't cool.

Stef said...

Damn you ANT!!

Brooke, your coworker knows he lied, so he should have apologized for lying, period. He's a jerk.

I hate when men apologize and have no idea what they're sorry for. Most times, I think they know, but they either don't care or their pride won't let them. I'm not the type of woman who expects a man to read her mind...I'm usually pretty upfront about what I'm angry about. But like the article says, most men think that because THEY don't think you should be upset, then your feelings are not valid. And if they express that to you, but then say they're sorry anyway, then it's not sincere...and I ain't havin' it! LOL!

Like Ant said, apologies only mean something to me if the person means it. Otherwise, just tell me you think you did nothing wrong so we can discuss THAT...or don't say anything at all.

Monica said...

He should have apologized from the beginning! He's a jerk!

Jay said...

I agree with everyone else, dude is lame. He should have done what he said he was gonna do, and if he didn't, he needed to man up and apologize for lying. Even if it WAS your fault for losing your phone in his car, he could have been a gentleman about the whole thing, and he didn't have to lie to your face about it.

That being said, I DO agree with the article where it says that most men don't take offense to alot of things women do, therefore we don't tend to see when we offend them. It's up to you all to tell us sometimes when we've been thoughtless or insensitive, because most of us are taught to be "tough" and "uncaring." We're basically too dumb to know when we've done something boneheaded, so women should speak up.

But in your case, this was cut and dry. Dude knew he was lying and he should have apologized from gate for the inconvenience his lie caused you.

Yolanda said...

I get on my Mom's case all the time about saying "sorry" for stuff she has no control over. I think women do that a lot. It's like we want to make the person feel better about whatever they're going through, so we just say sorry even when WE didn't cause the pain.

I applaud you, B, for not kicking in the co-workers kneecaps or putting poison in his coffee.

Ok, I'm revealing too much about my thoughts...

SarKism said...

Its also as simple as sometimes men are just dumb.

Alot of times, women say the are sorry and it means different things . I'm sorry that my friend isnt feeling well. I'm sorry that you were late for work. I'm sorry Brooke misplaced her phone and had a bad day. I'm so sorry that Latinegro got tased by Annamarie :-) I'm not responsible. I'm empathetic.


Men lack that same compassion for others a lot of time (dont want to generalize). As Jay said, they are taught to be uncaring.

I wonder if women just started saying ...too bad! Suck it up and they felt what we feel if they would be more thoughtful....thinking....NOPE.

Rameer The Circumstance said...

The articles is on-point with it's assessment about men and women's apologies. Most men DO say sorry only to remedy a situation, not out of authenticity or because they've given the issue any real though - like your co-worker. Sad, but true. And women in general DO apologize quicker and more often than men - they're raised to act this way by society.

My boys used to spend time trying to "explain" me to women who couldn't figure me out. One of the issues some would have is I simply wouldn't apologize if I didn't want to. I didn't care about making people feel better - if I didn't feel apologetic, I didn't say sorry. Period. And when I DID apologize, it was (and is) always completely authentic.

I don't think this puts me in the category of the men in the article, because honestly - NO ONE in my family that I grew up with apologized unless it was sincere. They still don't. But I think the article is telling the 100% truth about male ego, thoughtlessness and privilege when it comes to how we react.

I also think your co-worker is a JACKHOLE (learned that one last week) who you let off the hook too easy. But then again, I hold grudges - for years if need be. So what do I know...

Sorry I haven't been on the blog of late - been OVER-busy at work, and tend to just stick to Facebook these past 2 weeks. Hopefully, things will be back to normal next week.

Thanks to Stef for the compliment on one of those RTTs...and Brooke-Ra, ignore/decline the trade I offered you in our league. Didn't realize we played each other this week...I'll make the same offer again after we play.

Brooke said...

@Rameer,

I was wondering what protocol was for trading folks you're about to play :) But we seem to be getting there. My team sucks ;) LOL!

I think I'm gonna steal "jackhole." LOL!

Jaz said...

Sarkism makes an excellent point. Women are more compassionate and empathetic, which is why tend to say sorry more. I don't think sorry means you're taking blame or responsibility or fault...it simply means I feel for you most times.

I hate when men say they're sorry and have no idea why they are. It's not cuz they empathize or sincerely feel it, it's cuz they want to watch the game without you slamming dishes in the kitchen! LOL! Not all men are like this, but most..and I don't want a half ass apology.

DMoe said...

The interesting thing to me is how difficult it is for people to actually be sorry. Remorse is one of those emotions that should be "really easy" to get to sometimes.

It sucks that the dude wasn't sorry about the whole thing happening FROM THE BEGINNING. If somebody lost a precious item around me, just make the effort to show the person how important THEY are. Not the phone, really, cuz of course he doesn't really care about that, cuz it ain't his.

In this case, he should have cared for B enough to do his damned-est. Or, at the very least, show some concern for her plight.

Dmoe

Annamaria said...

SHOUTOUT TO MY HOMEY SARKISM FOR REALIZING ANT IS GONNA GET TASED...

That being said I read that article last week when it came out.
My problem with your co worker is the fact that his SON had your phone & used it. That's just BAD parenting that he thinks he can just say I'm sorry, shrug it off & bear NO responsibility for it. And that is teaching his son that also.

Brooke said...

Maybe since I'm "just a coworker", he didn't care. But if that's the case, why even tell me you found it? If you know you lied about looking for it, then why admit that you found it in the first place? If I knew I told someone that I searched high and low for something, KNOWING that I really didn't, then I damn sure wouldn't be like "oh, here it is."

That phone would have STAYED lost. I wouldn't have been known either way. He should have sold it on eBay.

Brooke said...

@Annamaria,

I won't be able to prove that til I get the phone bill to track the calls, but aside from that, the dude ADMITTED he didn't really look...because "it was dark" Monday, because he didn't have time on Tuesday, and he doesn't know what happened on Wednesday. How do you admit to not looking, then say you did, then you didn't, NOT apologize...and then when you finally DO apologize, you say, "but, I DID look..." after you already told me you didn't.

I think I was just more upset by the lies and runaround than the damn phone itself! :)

But I'm not bitter :-)

Annamaria said...

When you get that phone bill call me. I'll be up at A&E tasers out!

Brooke said...

There will be no need, cuz he'll have his knees knocked out already (thanks for the idea Yolanda) :-)

He's been avoiding me like the plague since last week - hee hee :)

Mr. Nice Guy said...

Dude is wack! Period. End of story.

However, I've been guilty of apologizing to keep the peace. Sometimes I really don't understand the offense, even if she explains it to me. Usually I DO apologize out of empathy, because if something hurts my girl, whether I think it should or not, I still say I'm sorry. If I love her and I know it makes her feel better, I don't see anything wrong with it. Sometimes it's about keeping the peace rather than being "right."

Annamaria said...

Brooke that is quick & painless. You gotta shank him then tase him & then bust his kneecaps.. :)

Stef said...

I'm with DMoe. Sometimes it's not about if you think you're right or wrong - how about just looking out for anotehr person because you see that it's stressing them?

As a man, I'd think he'd have looked out for you more. I mean it's bad enough your car got broken into where he lives and you were stressed over that, but he couldn't even take the time out to look for you since he knows you were already stressed out about your car? He's a douche bag.

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