Speaking of which…(“relating to people” – part of yesterday’s topic in Introducing… Life), I’m wondering if anyone has experienced the following:
You’re sitting there, having just a grand old time, and somehow a situation arises: someone says or does something that doesn't sit right with you. Learning from past experience that it's better not to be confrontational, after sleeping on it, you check email the next morning for the apology you're sure will be there. Um, nope. Ok.
So the next step is the decision to mention how the situation made me feel. You go ahead and do that and, in turn, that person gets upset with you, perhaps unable or unwilling to empathize with the reason the incident bothered you.
In yesterday’s “intro to Life & Interest” post, a general topic that should have made it to that list is ‘psychology’. How the mind works has always been interesting to me (too bad I didn’t even make it through Psych 101 in my Mount Royal broadcasting course…), and one of the objectives for this blog is, along with staple discussions about our physical environment, I’d like to also broach topics that pertain somewhat to 'inner landscapes’ – subjects relating to the study of the mind.
In raising a certain issue with that certain someone (as described in the scenario above), I’ve experienced an outcome that’s a little challenging. To ease the mind a bit I of course did a bit of research, starting with the following search terms: “if someone has been told they did something that bothered someone why do they deny it”. I guess I used the word deny because, without that person turning around and saying something like, "Oh, sorry, I was unaware my actions contributed to your feeling such and such..." I’m left to conclude they believe they did nothing wrong.
One of the articles I found seems to match the experience I'd had. It states that “psychological defenses are those strategies that the unconscious mind uses to deny reality and what is happening to avoid feeling bad.”
Although the actions of the above person had detrimental effects, I know for a fact and am certain their motive was not to harm. In fact I believe their motive was to help, but unfortunately it backfired.
So, my question is, if they weren’t trying to harm and they find out that ‘harm’ is what their actions caused, why wouldn't an an apology on their part be part of moving forward? An 'owning up' to a person’s own actions is enough for me to say, “Thank you, that’s all I needed; case closed.” A simple, "I'm sorry" goes a long way in my books.
The psychologist goes on to say, “Denial is listed as an immature developmental defense… It is being irresponsible at an unconscious level because the person is embarrassed to know the truth about his misbehavior… .” Again, a pretty accurate way of summing up the situation that arose the other day.
I’m still left with deciding how much time I will put into further communication with this person about what happened. At this point I’m concluding overall that if there is no willingness to apologize, or to at least express they’re sorry for the way things have progressed, I’m left wondering what further discussion could really accomplish.
In checking into what, precisely, a person can do to improve this tension, the most harmonious outcome I’m gathering is to explore a concept called, “Emotional Competence: Forgiveness”.
Don't miss me too much, I'll just be quietly studying my psychology tutorials, trying to get to the bottom of this one.
Until next time, I am in anticipation of your valued response… :)