Sometimes you don’t get to say I’m sorry. The relationship started off with a bang, you connected on every level, sparks were firing, then suddenly, as quickly at the fireworks lit up, they fizzled out. (This can be experienced on both personal and professional levels.)
You don’t really know why, just some quirky little thing happened that set your teeth on edge about the person, and you can’t describe it. Call it a hunch, an intuition, heartburn, or whatever, but you just can’s shake the fact that this relationship is not what you thought it was going to be.
You try to patch it up and make amends but to no avail. You shoulder the responsibility, attempt to apologize, but still receive the politically correct cold shoulder. What should you do when you don’t get to say I’m sorry?
First, let’s explore some undeniable and, at times, indescribable indicators that the relationship is not what you thought it was to begin with.
Lack of Mutual Respect
One thing that should set your teeth on edge immediately is the lack of mutual respect in a relationship. The “servanthood” approach to building new relationships requires extreme vulnerability and can leave you at risk for major hurt and disappointment, not to mention conflict. But, remember, self-abasement never gets you out of the basement. Humility is admirable but not to the tune of your own demise. You MUST stop always blaming yourself when you know dog-gone-well is ain’t you, it’s them!
One-sided or Lopsided
You notice a few weeks into the relationship that you are giving more than receiving. You’re dedication to selflessness keeps you silent, and your silence is taken as consent. (Indicators of one-sidedness or lopsidedness will show up with in a short time after the relationship is formed. We often don’t, or don’t want to, pay attention to them.)
The other party has no qualms about asking for more, all the while waving a carrot every once in awhile in front of you that keeps the fire lit under your dedication to their cause. After all, you are the best person on their team. When you casually mention your mutually beneficial part of the relationship, it always get’s put off or pitched as your turn is just up ahead.
What Do You Do?
- Check your heart. Were you honest in every way? Did you do everything you could to uphold your understanding of the relationship?
- Reconcile – Do WHAT you can and Do ALL you can, and if the other party still isn’t budging, reconcile – nothing owed, nothing due. Sometimes an apology is not as much about them as it is about you. The over need to apologize and “make things right” is often a strong indication of insecurity.
- Wipe the dust off – There’s an ancient Bible phrase that says if you go into a city and the city doesn’t receive you, wipe the dust off your feet when you leave. In other words, cut your losses and move on. Maybe you will never know “why,” but regardless, you can’t drag the relationship or unfulfilled promise with you through the rest of your life. It will become an anvil around your neck. And, you can never make anyone receive you, or your apology, regardless of how sincere you may be.
- Trust the the outcome – No one want’s to just blow off an opportunity and you never want to lose a relationship. It’s heart wrenching to think there is another human being in the world that thinks you hurt them intentionally, but what someone else thinks of you is none of your business.
How About You?
Are you still struggling with a relationship gone bad, or a potential opportunity that never materialized. What can you learn from it? How can you grow from it? And who can you become BECAUSE OF the way it turned out. Not, in spite of, but rather, because of.
Remember, everything happens for a reason. Maybe you were never meant to form that relationship like you thought, so you could finally realize you don’t need anyone else to be who you so desperately want to be. If you are allowed to continue to be dependent on everyone else, you will never branch out on your own and start what’s yours.
One Final Thought
Don’t Blame. Engaging in negative emotion is the weakest way to free yourself from disappointment. There’s one way to have the tallest building in town, and that’s to go around tearing everyone else’s building down.
Don’t sing the “someone did me wrong song.” Bless the person or opportunity. Give it/them back to the Universe. Maybe they weren’t ready for you, maybe you weren’t ready for them, or maybe it was never meant to be to begin with.
Regardless, when you don’t get a chance to say I’m sorry, check your heart, reconcile, wipe the dust off, trust the outcome, and don’t blame. Cut your losses and move on. It’s time to find another relationship or opportunity to build.
The only way this situation wins is if you stay where you are. Let go so you can grow!