autumn leaves

(Un)necessary apologies

We all say things we regret. We all worry about whether we’ve said the wrong thing. Sometimes for years. Maybe that’s some sort of anxiety; lying in bed at night worrying about a silly comment you made 13 or 14 years ago.

Well, today I saw an old friend who I studied for my PhD with. We used to spend all day evey day together during the week, sometimes 12 hours and more if you count the bar after the lab. She’s a wonderful friend and listened to me spout a lot of garbage over the years I’m sure. We haven’t seen each other in four and a half years though.

However, I have always worried about something I said to her about himself and eczema, from which she also suffers. It was inconsiderate and not really kind. When I’m having a worryful time, I think of that and wish I could go back and not say it, express myself differently, at least apologise right away. I remember her calling me out on it: “well that was t very nice”. But I was so surprised and shocked at the impact of my words I didn’t respond.

So today I took the opportunity to tell her I was sorry. “There’s something I need to apologise to you for” I said. After I explained she said she didn’t remember the conversation at all, that I needn’t worry.

Even though she doesn’t remember my unkind words, I hope she knows how much I care what she thinks and feels. She thinks my apology was unnecessary but it wasn’t. By telling her I was sorry, I’ve shown her how much I value her friendship as well as lifting a weight from my own mind. It was necessary, just as important as the hug greeting and the sporadic messaging, as it demonstrates how I feel rather than assuming she knows.

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