Friday, October 1, 2010

Apologizing for Someone Else

This is a topic that has just recently started to really bother me. I get so upset when people do it, like my Mom on a daily basis, yet I am guilty of the same thing. Every day in the business world I feel like we have to apologize for other peoples actions and take ownership of their mistakes to make things right with either a client or a consumer.  Its part of my job, its part of a script I follow and yet it is one of my biggest pet peeves. How am I ok with doing this on a daily basis but frown upon other people who do it. I will tell you why.

I feel as if when I am apologizing to a consumer on the phones I am doing it with a solution in mind. I know that I must make the situation better to make us both happy in the end and I just have to get that person to realize that is the outcome. I feel like I am resolving the issue by taking on ownership of the past mistake and I am correcting the situation.  I feel that this is a lot different then someone such as an old friend, or a parent saying "well so in so is really sorry they missed the party" No, they really arent. We both know that so why would you say that.

Lately this has been happening alot in my family as things have been a little tense between my sister and I.  I also received an e-mail not that long ago from an old friend that stated piratically the same thing. "we're both sorry for the way things worked out" No, you both arent, and once again we both know that.  Why do people put themselves in that situation?  I guess maybe if my mom called me and said "Your sister is sorry she missed her party, she wants to take you out to dinner, will you call her?"  Then she is giving a solution to the problem and I might be ok with that. I will still probably say no, but it might not make me so mad at my mom.

I think that I was guilty of this in the past with a friend I had. Always feeling like I had to make amends for the mistakes she made. Now that I am not friends with her anymore, I see how it really changes the person that you are. I never lived the things she did, and I really didn't want to apologize for what she did, but I felt like I had to to make myself feel better about the situation.  I feel like it made other people think that I was the same as her.  Maybe my Mom will read this blog and realize that she is only pulling herself down my constantly apologizing for the mistakes my sister makes.

We can only hope right??


  1. It's interesting enough to read this. I can't count how many times I've done this for people along with hearing it from other people. It's not always right to apologize for the other person, but from somewhere it was ingrained in our minds as a proper thing to do. Just made a situation a little easier maybe.

  2. I think you are awesome. I usually think people who blog are fairly self absorbed (no offense to bloggers) but I love that you put your flaws right out there, and it makes for a truly interesting read; along with a good way to see what the hell you are up to since we NEVER see each other :)

  3. There is nothing worse than apologizing or accepting an apology for something you had nothing to do with or for something that has caused you great stress, etc. What it does is, relieves that person(s) of any responsibility for the situation not to mention their guilt. Honestly, that is all they are looking for. It's patronizing.

    Don't get me wrong, I apologize when I know I am in the wrong. A number of times it was very hard. However, I too, have apologized for things that weren't my fault but that was basically so I could get my work done. You see I had a boss that pouted and co-workers that liked to make sure I got the blame. No shit. Oh, and I have a mother in law that can twist things, however, things with her have gotten better, or I have just learned not to play her game.