Sunday, December 03, 2006

Apology 101

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to install our kitchen appliances together. I hate stuff like this. Hanging pictures or window treatments is bad enough. Full-fledged do-it-yourself projects test my patience.

So here's the scene - I am in read-the-instructions mode, while my husband is under the dishwasher in I-know-how-to-do-this mode. Sound familiar?

So I, in my instruction-reading glory, began explaining what needed to be done. At this point, my husband said, "Please don't talk to me in that belittling tone."

Freeze frame here.

Now, while sorting through the reactionary voices in my head, I realize that I have several options:

1. I could deny that I was belittling.
2. I could accuse him of misunderstanding me.
3. I could try to clarify that I didn't mean to be belittling.
4. I could accept the fact that I sounded belittling and apologize sincerely.

We always have a choice to make. I have used each of these options in different situations over the years we've been married. I've learned which is easiest and produces the best long-term results. Although, knowing this, I still don't always make the best choice.

My advice about apologizing, get over yourself and just do it!

I'll leave my reaction this time to your imagination. ;)

10 comments:

Cindy said...

angst.
aauuuggghhh.

Inheritor of Heaven said...

Since I am a concrete sequential person who still has a pride issue, I usually run through the list as you recorded it and eventually get to #4. Of course I am working at starting at the bottom of the list and throwing away the top 75% of it.

Brett said...

I bet you go the best longterm result by gently tickling his neck with your bare feet...weww!

Joy said...

Grace,

I must offer you a fifth option. I prefer to do the little monologue in my head that goes something like this:

Belittling? You've gotta be kidding! If you'd READ the instructions, I wouldn't have to be up here reading them TO you. So, fine... do it YOURSELF...

...while walking away and putting on my ICE suit... iykwim!

You give good advice, Grace!!

grace said...

cindy,
I was sad to discover that somewhere during the 25 years, I have now become the one lacking patience.

inheritor,
Good luck on starting with #4 in the future!

brett,
Oh brother! I forgot whose imagination I was leaving things up to. Anyway, no time for fooling around, we had a dishwasher to install.

joy,
I consider including a few more "colorful" options. I don't do very well with the ICE suit because I like to talk too much. :)

Cindy said...

isn't it weird how we change places? Keith used to refuse to talk things out. He'd walk away rather than get into one of those discussions. It infuriated me- I thought everything should be talked out. Now, 21 years later, he's the one saying "let's talk about it" and I'm the one just walking away...

All that to say, I've been there with those realizations. I think it's just all part of it. As Paul Reiser said on Mad About You- "you take my crap I take your crap. That's what marriage is all about." (or something pretty close to that)

grace said...

True Cindy. His getting all patient and mature is starting to make me look bad.

Trailady said...

HA HA- you are a tease! Hope you were able to bring it to reconciliation quite quickly. Sounds like your kitchen is VERY close to being done- would love to see a picture.
I have a new blog with topics on Grace. I analyze church signs & hymns and share the wonders of faith:

http://signs-n-wonderz.blogspot.com

Please stop by and join the discussion if you have a cance sometime. I have blog-rolled you there. :o)

Bill Bean said...

right on the money, grace. It is hard but its not complicated.

grace said...

Very true Bill. It's nice to meet you.