“Love” means never having to say you’re sorry
Whether you’re in a relationship with a BFF or a boy, this is a truism that simply isn’t, well, true. At some point in your life (probably many!) apologies will definitely be called for, and some will be easier to make than others.
The words I’m sorry have to be amongst the most difficult in the English language. They convey a lot of unspoken subtext. Sometimes they’re inadequate. Occasionally, they can be very powerful. But always, they should be delivered with sincerity.
I’m sorry you’re an idiot apparently doesn’t count.
I’ve never been a huge fan of forced apologies. They take away the power of the words. When they were little, I preferred to explain to my children why their behavior was unacceptable. If they chose to apologize on their own to a friend or sibling, all was good. If they didn’t, they got to sit in their bedrooms and contemplate the error of their ways so they could learn not to repeat it.
Teenagers, however, have it rough. They’re on their own to decide if an apology for their behavior is warranted. It means not only having to examine their own actions, but interpreting how someone else has received them. Consideration for others is a big leap toward adulthood, and just so you know, not everyone makes it successfully. To this day, I would rather receive (and deliver) a sincere gesture than empty words. It keeps my friendship pool small but deep. How many times have you had someone tell you they’re sorry, when you know, deep down, they aren’t sorry at all?
(Accepting insincere apologies gracefully is a whole other topic…)
But how do you deliver a sincere apology when you’re uncertain how it will be received?
In Pride Unleashed, Pride returns to the compound to find Stone has been beaten—repeatedly—by their master because of her. For those of you familiar with the relationship between Pride and Stone, you’ll know it’s a very complicated one. They were raised together, and therefore, they have a history. And no one will ever know you better than someone who shares your past.
The problem for Pride is that she allowed her personal perceptions to cloud what she should have known to be true, and apologizing to Stone for one thing means saying she’s sorry for a whole lot more. Apologies aren’t easy for her, and Stone knows this. They were raised to hide their weaknesses, not admit to them. Saying she’s sorry, or showing regret in any way, can turn an apology into a death sentence for them both. The fact they have an audience raises the stakes all around.
Accepting an apology from someone who doesn’t offer them easily is equally difficult for someone not used to receiving them, and Pride and Stone have to rely on a lot of subtext in this particular scene. Stone can’t allow her to make it, or accept it from her if she does. And yet the words need to be said, because Pride realizes the importance of them.
Talk about a difficult discussion to have!
Do you have a difficult time apologizing?