I’ve noticed for quite some time that this particular post is viewed on a daily basis by several different individuals…on some days it’s as many as five. It has never been one of my popular posts on WordPress. I was curious as to why my stats show it has been viewed on an almost daily basis since I wrote it over a year ago. So…me being me I decided to Google the words “sorry you feel that way” and there it was…the link to my blog post on page 2 of Google.
I’m not sure why this one post is getting so many views, but I think it’s safe to say several people a day are googling those words because they want to know just what they mean to other people.
Since writing that post I’ve come a long way from the woman I was at that time. The person that was on my mind when I wrote it is now a distant memory. On the rare occasions that he does cross my mind…I have no feelings at all, good or bad. I know now I never needed anything from him to gain closure and move on. I did it all on my own in my own time. I wrote about the experience from my perspective and how I felt. No one but myself and the other person knows the extent of what was said to cause me to feel the way I did and that’s the way I want it. At the time I cared, but now I see that I don’t need anyone in my life that would make me feel guilty for having feelings or an opinion. I still believe they never meant to hurt me, but to blame me while maintaining his innocence was cowardly. Maybe I’m not completely over that part, but that’s good because it stays as a reminder to be more careful next time.
I am fascinated that people still read it long after I made peace with the situation that caused me to write it. The only comment it received was from someone who said “I think it’s impossible to make anyone feel a certain way. It’s their responsibility to own their own feelings. The phrase is not uncaring or dismissive”.
I will agree that a person should own their own feelings. The commenter did get that part right! I did own my feelings and the part I played in the situation. I know where I failed and what my shortcomings were….and I learned from it. Some of life’s best lessons come from difficult times.
But in my opinion where the commenter got it wrong is here…we’ve all said something to someone that made them feel a certain way that wasn’t good. We all perceive things differently, we all have different personalities, and we all feel things differently. Things said CAN be misinterpreted, but if you said them, you still own them and you should be prepared to answer for them honestly.
So while we have to own our own feelings it doesn’t mean we should be ashamed of how we feel or made to feel like we’re wrong for feeling the way we do. It’s okay to feel, but we are responsible for how we react and respond. In other words, feel it, but don’t make a bad situation worse in the way you interact with others. Feel it but don’t let it control you.
Now having said that, there will always be people in this world that will say all the right things for all the wrong reasons. People lie. They’re deceitful and manipulative. They know what to say to get what they want. They prey on the vulnerable and weak. When it’s time for them to back those words up with action, it’s never their fault. You took it wrong. You misunderstood. You’re too emotional….and they’re very fond of saying “I’m sorry you feel that way.
So while I moved on long ago from my experience, the lesson it taught me remains. Just because I mean what I say and back those words up with action, doesn’t mean everyone else does too. Not everyone has the same heart as I do. I don’t trust people until they’ve proven to me that I can and I have a wall around me for my protection. It’s not very high because I still try to see the good in everyone, but it’s there nonetheless.
…and on the occasions that my words or actions hurt someone, I acknowledge their feelings, give them a sincere apology, and do whatever I can to own my part for hurting them. Sometimes that means brutal honesty in the way I feel, but I’ll never make anyone feel bad for the feelings they have. I’ll listen, do my best to understand, and NEVER say “I’m sorry you feel that way”!
Here are a few memes because let’s face it…a lot of people do believe “I’m sorry you feel that way” IS a fake apology.