Apologies and Hurt Feelings

  • Peace. Bottom Right (Quadrant IV): if we both think that our respective words and behaviour were not in error, we’re at peace. No apology owed.
  • Agreement. Top Right (Quadrant I): if we both think I was in error, we both agree that I owe you an apology, which hopefully I will deliver to the best of my sincerest abilities. Apology owed, and delivered.
  • Innocent Conflict. Top Left (Quadrant II): If I believe I was in error, but you do not, we’re overshooting the mark. I will apologise, and you will brush it away as nothing, believing sincerely that there was nothing to apologise for.
    No apology owed, but one was delivered anyway.
  • Aggressive Conflict. Bottom Left (Quadrant III): This is where all the fuss is, where we disagree over whether an error has been committed and an apology is owed. If I believe you wronged me, I think you owe me an apology. You disagree.
    Either you don’t think that my characterisation and/or feeling of what happened is correct, or you don’t think that what happened constitutes an error (at least one worthy of an apology). Apology may or may not be owed, but hasn’t been delivered. Unsettled.
Photo credits: NeONBRAND




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