“Sorry” Isn’t Always Good Enough

The dock in the foreground is covered in sea lions. They’re not apologizing for eating all the fish. I don’t think they’re sorry.

I’m on vacation this week, and my mom has come to town to join me on a couple of road trips.

A few days ago we were in the tippy-left corner of Oregon, visiting the historic city of Astoria.

Nestled in the hills at the mouth of the Columbia River, the town has a generous supply of hotels with river views. Read More

“I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”

sister and brother problemsIf your mail carrier complains to you about your mailbox being so far from the curb, it’s perfectly appropriate to respond by saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

Here’s what that statement really means:

  • “Your feelings are your problem.”
  • “How you feel has nothing to do with me.”
  • “I don’t care.”
  • “You’re on your own.”

If these are what you mean to convey — and really, what more does the mail carrier have any right to expect from you, unless she’s your sister? Read More

Are Those Hurt Feelings Justified?

If someone says to you, “You hurt my feelings,” how much evidence do you require before apologizing?

What if you don’t agree that what you did was hurtful?

What if you never meant to hurt the person? Should you still apologize even though you meant no harm?

What if they’re hurt or angry about something that’s either ridiculously minor or entirely imaginary, and they won’t let it go?

Now they’ve got YOU feeling hurt, angry, or both. Read More