There are very few things that can leave me puzzled in life, but one of those things is the ability some people have to compartmentalize their behaviors. What I mean by that is how some people have the ability to create a reaction, and then ignore all consequences after it.
I just can’t wrap my mind around it. One of these things is how people can hurt someone, and then not only refuse to apologize, but when they see you they never mention it. There’s no apology, there’s no explanation, or even the poor excuse of: “Sorry, I was having a bad day.” It’s just: “Hey, I have some extra slices to this pizza, you want some?” Not only is it confusing, but it’s also a little alarming. (Are they just trying to finish you off with the pizza so they don’t have to apologize from now on? What’s your game?!)
Maybe I’m too much of an empathetic person, but I don’t feel right if I’ve wronged someone and didn’t apologize, or at least talked about what happened. Even if I don’t feel like I’m in the wrong, I’ll apologize if my tone is too harsh, or if my choice of words made them feel attacked. Or I’ll apologize for my reactions. I feel like this should be the norm.
Sadly, it’s not. You’re going to come in contact (or be related to) people who will do and say horrible and mean things to you, and the next time you see them won’t say anything about it. They know they hurt you, and some of those people were purposely trying to hurt you.
As much as you might want to just cut them out of your life, this is for the people who you can’t. Either you’re related to them, living with them, or working with them, you have to interact with them when they feel as though they did nothing wrong. This is when loving a person from afar only does so much. When getting human resources involved and the solution is to just be cordial while you finish your work together. It’s a very unpleasant situation to be in, but it’s not an impossible one.
Being around people who have wronged you, but refuse to address it can be frustrating, but it takes some skill on your part to handle it.
First, you have to accept the fact that you can’t change them. You can’t make them see how you feel, or address what they don’t want to address. If they feel as though they did nothing wrong, nothing that you can do or say is going to change it. They have to decide to make that decision on their own.
Second, you have to embrace yourself and find closure on your own. When people do and say horrible things and then go about their lives unfazed, it can sometimes have an effect on us that makes us wonder if they were right in their harsh words. Sometimes someone else’s ease and confidence they have in hurting us can make us begin to believe whatever negative propaganda that they have been spewing at us.
However, this is the time that you have to gain confidence in who you are. Instead of accepting what someone else is saying about you, know who you are! Know what’s a lie, and what’s constructive criticism. Know what you need to fix and what was said in an attempt to break you down. Know that you are more than the negative, and you have positive attributes, and if you have to write them down to remember them, then do so. A few words from someone else can break us down so much, and it’s up to use to rebuild ourselves.
Finally, assess the necessity of holding on to it. Sometimes when people hurt us we want to just hold on to that pain as a reminder of how the person really is, and have it justify why we shouldn’t trust them. Now, I’m not saying that you have to trust them, or even like them. What I’m saying is that you have to love yourself, and part of loving yourself is to not bog yourself down with unnecessary pain. Carrying all that baggage is more so a pain on you, and you’re not punishing them by holding on to it. You’re punishing yourself.
You’re going to be forced to interact with a-holes in your life, and many of them won’t see their own faults, but will be quick to tell you yours. They will create impossible standards for you to live up to so that when you fail they feel justified in being condescending to you.
But in those times, remember that you are more than just one person’s negative critiques… whether you get the apology or not.