Wow! Two days in a row! Unheard of!!
My mom has always told me how important it is to be able to apologize. Simply apologize. Back down, relent, admit defeat, and say you’re sorry. Honestly, I didn’t completely believe her until I got to college and had roommates. Sure, my younger sister Julia and I shared a room throughout high school and we were able to drive each other sufficiently crazy. Neither of us would apologize for anything and sometimes we would go to bed at night without talking it out (something I hate). But I sort of assumed that we only fought because she was my sister. Not because we were trapped in an enclosed space together and are two different people who have different opinions and ideas about how to do things, but simply because we are related.
But then I got to college and I learned the true power of an apology. My roommates and I are best friends, but we do bicker. We all have pretty strong personalities and sometimes, as is natural, those personalities clash. Sometimes I will say things that I don’t necessarily mean (or that I do necessarily mean, but I have chosen to not word my concern in the kindest of ways) in the heat of the moment. When this happens, I have learned that it is best to NOT try to explain exactly what I meant by that slightly spiteful comment, but to instead back down, relent, admit defeat, and say I’m sorry.
Sure, sometimes it’s important to stand up for yourself. But, as the saying goes, I have learned to pick my battles. Is it really necessary to argue with my roommate about whether or not I closed the door too hard the night before? Or whether or not my clothes have been slowly inching towards her side of the room a little more frequently than normal? No. I just know next time to be more considerate about the door and to pick up the stupid clothes. And to say I’m sorry. Apologizing makes the other person feel better than I would have ever imagined. When my roommates apologize to me for something room-related that I have (gently) accused them of, I feel as though I have been heard and as though my needs are important and appreciated. When they fight me on silly things, I feel small and as if they just don’t care.
So thanks, mom, for always drilling into me the importance of just saying sorry. You have saved me from many a petty argument.