We don’t apologise

My friend Adrian and I have a rule: we don’t apologise.  It helps that we’re actually pretty unlikely to do anything serious enough to warrant an apology but some people feel compelled to apologise profusely over trivial things.  Our rule was born out of an incident where we were supposed to arrange to catch up but both of us were overtaken by events and got too busy to follow it up. 

Lo and behold, a month passed without us getting in contact.  When we finally did catch up we did start out with a little awkward conversation:

“Wow, we suck at following through, don’t we?”

“Yeah, we’re bastards.”

Then we put it behind it and said fuck it, let’s not waste time apologising.  In case you’re thinking that’s me being a heartless bastard again, those were actually Adrian’s words.  It’s actually remarkably therapeutic – knowing you don’t have to dwell on things and can focus on what’s ahead rather than what’s past.

Like I said, I think the success of this approach is predicated on a level of trust that nothing too horrible is going to happen and I don’t think it’s applicable to all situations.  For instance, I wouldn’t try this approach with a lover – the boundaries are different and there’s a different level of intimacy so when you screw up an apology is often called for.

But I really get pissed off at people who apologise all the time.  Particularly when it’s done as a reflex and they’re actually not all that sorry about it or at least they don’t plan to expend much energy making sure it doesn’t happen again.  They start pouring out their overdone apology as a reflex and they expect me to say “that’s all right” as a reflex.  And you know what?  Often it really isn’t all right.  What I really want to say is:

“That happened because you’re a fuckwit.  If you spent less time apologising and more time working on not being a fuckwit, then you’d have less to apologise for.”

I like to be helpful like that.



Filed under General Angriness

8 responses to “We don’t apologise

  1. Dude this is why I read you. No bull. Frank and to the point.

    Oh dear.

    I gotts me that damn reflex. I’m gonna pass blame on Canada. I once read that we Canadians say we are sorry more times throughout the average day than any other nation.

    I’m sorry Canada and I’m sorry Mr. Angry for being sorry.

    Sometimes “Sorry” can have other connotations when we fuckwits say sorry 😉

  2. I’m sorry everyone can’t be Canadian…

  3. I’m sorry, what did you say?

    Oh right, sorry about that.

    No, sorry, I wasn’t really listening.

    Ah! Apologise, OK; I’m sorry.

    Oh, don’t? Sorry, didn’t get your meaning there.

    Sorry, what was that? Don’t apologise all the time, OK, sorry.


    (Also, I’d like to apologise for the above joke.

    I’d further like to apologise for the apology.

    Lastly, I’d like to apologise to Monty Python for ripping off their jokes.

    I’d also like to apologise to whoever Monty Python ripped off, for not giving them proper credit.

    Perhaps I should start again.


  4. Rob


    It seems to me that the “hollow apology syndrome” is linked to the trivialization of social relationships that has overtaken us. Much easier to throw off a meaningless “Oh, sorry…” than to actually put some effort into relating with others. If you’re sorry, damn well mean it and do something to keep the circumstance requiring an apology from happening again, right?

    Oh, sorry… did that come across a bit strong? 😉

    Signed, Another Apologetic Canadian (yes, we probably *are* the world’s most apologetic culture)

  5. Jessica: Canadians are renowned for their politeness compared to you neighbours to the immediate south. A joke told to me by a Canadian former workmate: Q. How do you get a crowd of Canadians to get out of the pool? A. You say “Can everybody get out of the pool please?”

    kyklops: me too

    Massif: a most complete apology.

    Rob: the apology for stating your view was nice work 😉

  6. Mr. Angry, to the immediate south, sure.

    Get further south and people are very polite as well.

  7. Salamaat,
    Hey I don’t like this American bashing. There are many dumb wits here who say “sorry” too ALL the time 🙂

  8. Candice: I stand corrected 🙂

    Maliha: Salamaat, I stand corrected again 😉

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