Find reasonableness in apologies.

Cheryl Feb. 2014

In my family no one was willing to be assumed imperfect because recriminations could be brutal. This attitude meant no one admitted fault or offered apologies.

In other Mormon families, I've seen people apologizing for every little thing and for next to nothing. I think this is probably to gain reassurance and attention.

In wards members sometimes apologize for general offense as if they can control how others feel. These kinds of apologies are insulting because they assume no one has the inner sense to make their own decisions and everything they do or think is a result of the examples others set for them.

I think the worst apology is to say, "Sorry you're so offended," as if you don't have a right to feel as you do when you might not even feel the way someone supposes.

What about balance?

I think heartfelt apologies are a good thing. "Sorry I hurt you. I've learned my lesson and won't repeat it."

What about apologies for something you did years ago? Might be nice or might stir up trouble unnecessarily. So do this only if you're reasonably certain of your motivations and you know it won't cause more trouble for others.

Should you apologize for converting others to be Mormon? Might be a good idea in some cases.

Should you apologize for forcing kids to be Mormon once you figure out Mormonism is hurtful? I'd say it's probably a good idea.

Should you apologize for being immature and bone headed when you were a kid or a teen? Usually not necessary. Normal people know most of us were struggling to grow up and we made mistakes.

My mother gave me $1000.00 when I was a happily married thriving professional woman. It was her way of apologizing for being mean and abusive to me up to that point. She hoped it would make me fall into her arms and sob and then return to her church.

I saw it as blood money. She insisted I take it although I didn't need or want it. I took it but laundered the money by splitting it between my two children and telling them it was from their grandmother. She had never sent them gifts or cards growing up and had never taken an interest in them. They were glad to finally have a little something to bridge their non-relationship with her.

But I think actions need to stand. Words, apologies, gifts can only go so far to mend a bad and hurtful past.

I think Mormonism ruins us for healthy apologetics. We need to use reason and delve deeply before we jump into apologizing for long past wrongs. Sometimes it's better to accept the past and move on.

In special cases it might help to apologize for something that happened decades ago, but I tend to be skeptical in most cases.

Re: Find reasonableness in apologies.
Mormons are masters of the "non-apology".

"I'm sorry you are so offended."

NOT "I'm sorry that my actions, words, etc, hurt you or caused you damage."

Hear the difference?

"I'm sorry you are so offended" is a subtle form of blame the victim. It implies that the victim is being petty, silly, or too sensitive. It takes no ownership for damaging behavior or words and places the responsibility on the "offended" person.

Mormons think their behavior should automatically be excused because they meant well or because they are right and if you just saw things from their point of view you would agree.

When some Mormons apologize they make it sound like you are in the wrong
When I was still TBM but questioning church doctrine and policies I shared with my best TBM friend the questions I wanted answers for she apologized/said:-

"I'm sorry you feel that way."

That sounded like it was my fault for thinking there could be anything wrong with the Church. I felt like she was blaming me for having questions.

Of course the conversation ended with her testimony. Her testimony to me meant she had no empathy for what I was going through in trying to sort and sift through the struggles I was having with the church doctrine/history/policies. Testimony is offered to end the conversation.

Crazy uh, I walked away thinking I did something wrong and then I said to myself, "Wait a minute! All I did was say I had questions and shared what some of them were."

Southern Utah Apostate
Re: Find reasonableness in apologies.
No, Mo's aren't capable of any kind of deep sincerity as long as they're in the cult...

"I'm sorry you don't believe. If only you would pray harder. I'm sorry you can't feel the spirit. I'm sorry you've let Satan into your heart"

It's an unreasonable expectation.

Re: Find reasonableness in apologies.
I'm gonna play devils advocate on this because sometimes people ARE being too sensitive or petty!

I can't control how people feel. Only they can. When I tell someone "sorry you feel that way" it's not an apology. I say it as a way of letting them know that I can't control how they feel. Sometimes it's NOT my fault that someone feels they are hurting over what they "perceive" I have done. So, I'm not going to "apologize" but I acknowledge they are feeling sorrow. I'm just not gonna take blame unless I truly have done something wrong.

Which in that case I just say "sorry"

Perfect example of what I'm trying to say, Helen.

How to tell the difference?
If someone is telling how they're feeling with no connection to the person or their Mormonism, then of course whatever their friend answers isn't connected to an apology.

I'm having a terrible day because of losing my job and having a bad cold.

Answer: "Sorry you feel that way."

This one shows what I'm saying:

"I'm frustrated and I'm having doubts about the church and feel lost with nowhere to turn."

Answer: "Sorry you don't have a strong testimony of the truth. And sorry you seem offended over it."

Re: Find reasonableness in apologies.
Good point. This could often come up when TBM's are crying about your loss of belief. I'm not going to apologize for having integrity and standing for the truth. Yes, it might be easier to go with the flow and try to be a people-pleaser, but that doesn't make it right. I may feel bad that someone feels pain and that they can't see clearly, but I'm not going to apologize for doing what's right.

Re: Find reasonableness in apologies.
caedmon Wrote:
Mormons are masters of the "non-apology".
"I'm sorry you are so offended."

This is, very rarely, an appropriate response. But when it is sincere, it should be accompanied with explanation. "I'm not sorry about what I did, as I still think it was the right thing to do / for your own good / whatever, but I am sorry that suffered by it."

Delivered curtly, it just means "Gosh, I'm disappointed you aren't able to admit that my actions were blameless. I wish you'd get over it."

Re: How to tell the difference?
Yeah. I see what you're saying. I was over-generalizing it a bit. My bad! (Real apology)

In terms of mormonism and faith and the "sorry your testimony isn't strong" bs I agree that kind of apology is lame sauce.

No, you're good. Thanks!

laperla not logged in
TBM Brother
He put me in the emergency room many times from his torture.

His apology: Why can't you let go of the past?

Re: TBM Brother
I had a girlfriend who used that line a lot. She especially loved using it right after I started bringing up examples of her abusive behavior towards me. Which I only gave because she specifically asked for examples. The conversations literaly went like this:

"Can you please stop doing x?"
"What do you mean? When have I ever done x? Can you give me any specific examples?"
"Well, you did x on Friday night while we were doing y."
"Oh my god, stop bringing up all these things from the past."

Drove me batty, I didn't put up with that for long, but for way longer than I should have.

Goes with the "doctrine", you can't nail it down
But they learn it from their leaders. None of them have ever apologized for anything.

FB lit up with Uchtdorf's statement "mistakes have been made".

Uchtdorf: "Mistakes have been made"

Me: "For what exactly" (In my mind there are dozens of possibilities of things for which they need to repent.)

Uchtdorf: "I'd rather not say."

Yeah there's no repentance. Just evasion.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"