I’m sorry. It’s okay. No it’s not.
A few weeks ago, I found myself participating in this short conversation. I’d say, “I’m sorry”. The person I said it to would say, “It’s okay” and I’d respond, “No it’s not”. In each situation the person I was saying, I’m sorry to wasn’t someone I’d hurt. It was someone who I loved, whom I had witnessed getting hurt. I had this interaction three times, with three different people, within a week. I felt like I was summoning a Genie except it felt more like Beetlejuice had arrived. The situations were terrible and awful and I felt terrible and awful for the people I was having this conversation with.
Each time I uttered the words, “I’m sorry,” it was because I felt truly sympathetic and pained to what they were experiencing – hurt, deception, and disappointment. I was especially sorry that they were experiencing these things when they were all 100% avoidable & unnecessary. They didn’t need to go through what they were going through but nonetheless they were.
Each time they responded, “It’s okay”. I knew they were trying to make me feel better. They didn’t want to see me upset or crying. They didn’t want me to feel the hurt, deception, and disappointment that they felt. Consciously or unconsciously, they wanted to minimize the situation.
Each time I said, “No, it’s not,” it’s because I wouldn’t let them minimize it. I wouldn’t allow them to sweep it under the rug. I didn’t want them to push it aside or push down their own feelings. I wanted them to understand, “It’s not okay!” It’s not okay to go through what they’re going through. It’s not okay for needless hurt and disappointment. It’s not okay to treat people this way. I especially wanted them to know, do not minimize this. Do not ignore how you feel. Please feel. Please notice. Please pay attention. Because one day, the next time this happens to you, the person who hurt you will hear, “It’s not okay”. This will be the day that you don’t allow this behavior in your life anymore. This will be a day of change for you.