Anybody who says or does anything is bound to offend someone or the other.
What we usually do is apologise and move on.
Even when its accepted, an apology is unsatisfying for the offended person/s.
An American friend was taken aback when I asked for forgiveness rather than just say 'I am sorry'. He asked me, Why I was being so so melodramatic?. Why did I ask for forgiveness rather than just say 'sorry'?
I explained to him that it was our culture. Where an apology is insufficient, and why we ask for forgiveness.
If someone were to hurt me, that person is the one who has inflicted the hurt on me. It is I who is hurt. Hurt usually gives birth to hatred, which is by itself a strange and terrible thing. It hurts the hater more than the hated.
The wound lies within me, the offended one, where in all probability, over time it will grow and fester, releasing deadly poison into my body. It would consume my sanity and will certainly make me nasty tempered and ill. I will probably spend a lot of time and energy to plot if possible, revenge.
If the person who has offended me were to say to me, 'I am sorry'. Nothing really changes, he or she has inflicted pain and they feel remorse for causing me injury. How does their apologising help remove that poison?
None at all. It does not improve the heart and mind of the victim. The only consolation for me is that they claim that they are troubled by their actions, assuming that I accept their being sincere.
Big difference between merely saying 'I am sorry' and when one says, 'I have hurt you, please forgive me'.
When I will really forgive the offender, I will take that poison, that toxicity within my body and throw it out. Only then will the bitterness be expelled, only then can I be free and begin to be healed.
It is for this reason that all great masters have taught humanity that we forgive whenever we can.
There is a time to just apologise and say, 'sorry' and there is also a time to ask for forgiveness. There are also times for taking a principled stand and not become an apologist. Wisdom is knowing the difference.
There is also a dark side, one should only ask for forgiveness if one is convinced that one has caused hurt and not otherwise.
Manipulative people will always claim that they have been offended and keep on getting us to apologise and retreat. This will be followed by demands of compensation, more rights, more privileges, etc.
Politicians, priests and religious leaders are experts in this tactic of manipulating others and the government.
This is common at workplaces and more subtle in many families
Some sly customers also resort to this tactic. They create such a ruckus that one usually gives some compensation or a gift to buy the peace.
If we are too eager to ask for forgiveness. If manipulated, slowly step by step we give up our rights, our narrative our position and our wealth in our keen desire to keep the peace. Only to wake up one day to discover that we have been completely muzzled, forsaken our liberty and become enslaved to the whims and manipulations of others.
In such cases one can be manipulated if one asks for forgiveness. My approaches to ask the so called offended person, why he is offended, and what it is that has been said or done that has caused hurt or offence.
Usually the manipulator will mumble some nonsense or withdraw.
Usually its best to just say sorry and restore peace. If they persist ignore them.
Where its important, I ask for forgiveness, because it means that I value the relationship more than my ego.
Where I am convinced that my actions or words were thoughtless, insensitive or harmful I will not only ask for forgiveness but also try to make amends.
Beware of master manipulators.
Sometimes we find ourselves trapped. If we do not apologise, or compensate the master manipulator will get third parties involved. They will use counsellors, lawyers, police, the press, the media, neighbours, common friends, everyone and everything possible forcing us to retreat onto the back foot.
No matter how clever we may think we are. We should simply avoid interacting with negative people.
From my seminar on 'Achieving Success'
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