Here is an example of a distinction that can be very helpful in relationships:
“Masculine and Feminine communication styles are different and often diametrically opposed”.
The phrase “I’m sorry” in the masculine communication style is an apology; “I am sorry, I have made a mistake and I will do my best to not do it again”.
In the feminine communication style “I’m sorry” is used as a condolence. “I am sorry that you’re sick, I am sorry that we are fighting, I am sorry that you feel way”.
Problems surfaces when one meaning of “I’m sorry” is confused with another. If I expected “I’m sorry” to be an apology and it was delivered as a condolence, the behavior that I see in the person delivering the “I’m sorry” may look insincere. If I expected “I’m sorry” to be a condolence for something that happened to me and the speaker walks away believing they had delivered an apology, I may feel disrespected. And the speaker could respond to my feeling of being disrespected with: “What is the big deal here? I said I was sorry”.
Remember: Neither party did anything wrong in saying “I’m sorry”, in both examples, the phrase “I’m sorry” was delivered in with honest and integrity. From the humble beginnings of honest misunderstandings such as these, arise clouds of bitterness and anger that can tear a relationship apart.
Where in your life are you struggling because of a simple misunderstanding?
To learn more: contact Chris@landonwerks.com.