How rude am I?

I’ve noticed in the past year or so that I have stopped responding to people when they apologize for doing something they shouldn’t have done in the first place, instead of saying a very insincere, “That’s okay.” I get a vague feeling that I’m being rude by not acknowledging their apology, but I am also feeling like I’m tired of people doing whatever they damned well please without ever giving a thought to how it affects other people, and thinking that an apology makes everything okay and erases their bad behaviour.

So, how rude am I being? Can anyone think of a better response to situations like this that doesn’t involve calling the other person a stupid git?

Depends on how well I know the stupid git who makes the mistake. If I know them very well, I might use “stupid git”. Others, I’d say something like, “Well, now you know why I said you weren’t to do that. Have you filled out your next-of-kin referral card for the next time this happens?”

I don’t know if you’re being rude or not. Maybe slightly. But I think that you are not doing yourself any favors by not acknowledging the apology.

I think, though I could be wrong, that not saying anything likely has a similar effect as you saying “oh that’s okay”.

I think that what might enforce their future “good behaviour” so to speak, it would be better to acknowledge their apology in such a way as to let them know that you expect it NOT to happen again.

Maybe something to the effect of “I’m so glad you understand how upsetting X was when you did it, and I’m glad to know you are sorry and won’t be doing it again, thank you”.

Hope that helps?

Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for - something that doesn’t totally let them off the hook for their own actions. I feel like I’m halfway there by not just brushing it off with a “That’s okay,” cause sometimes it really isn’t, but I’m stuck on the second half.

When you’ve done something you shouldn’t have, and you apologise for it, what kind of response would you consider to be appropriate?

The OP reminds me of the psychological “game” of Schlemiel as described by Dr. Eric Berne in his book: “Games people play”.

If Featherlou would get dragged in a game by someone playing Schlemiel, not saying “okay” is the only way to stop playing the game (or " antithesis").

Good point. I’ll think about that.

My husband and I discussed this yesterday, and we think simply saying, “Apology accepted” might be the way to go - doesn’t incite violence or anything, doesn’t absolve people of their bad actions, but lets them know that you heard their apology and are willing to let things go.

I don’t like to say, “That’s okay,” because if they’ve had to apologize for what they did, then it certainly wasn’t “okay.”

If someone says, “I’m sorry” or “I apologize for…” I usually say, “I appreciate that” meaning I appreciate their apology. Or sometimes I just say, “Thank you”.

No, you’re on the right track. When someone says I’m sorry, I say something like “I don’t want you to be sorry, I just want XXXXX”. You can still show empathy where it’s appropriate by showing you understand why they did what they did but if they make the same mistake twice, then some more drastic action may be called for.

This is what I was going to say.

I agree with both of these. Depending on the situation and the person involved, both can be useful ways of respecting apologies without letting them off the hook.

I can’t tell you how many times I used Rigamarole’s exact words in my last relationship! :rolleyes:

Or,“Please don’t do that again.”

It also might depend on exactly what kind of offense you’re talking about. Is it really something that everyone agrees shouldn’t have been done, or is that your opinion and not necessary that of others involved? Some people apologize just to show that they’re aware of the other person’s feelings, rather than in recognition that they’ve done something “wrong.”

An example situation might help here. Otherwise, it’s mostly speculation.

There are people who occasionally do some dumbass rude thing and genuinely don’t realize it, and then genuinely apologize once they do realize it. Then there are thse who are asshiles pretty much as a matter if routine, and their insincere apologies are about as routine.

It’s rude not to acknowledge a genuine apology. Howver, in the process of doing so there’s no need to validate whatever bad behavior started the whole thing.

Depending on the situation, another response I like is “I’m glad we talked about that,” which doesn’t let anyone off the hook, but acknowledges that in certain kinds of relationships it’s better to talk about things. Obviously, this is not for the “I’m sorry” when someone accidently bumps you while you’re shuffling through the line at the grocery store. But if you’ve had an actual conversation which resulted in the other person realizing that he/she was wrong and then apologized to you, it’s nice to acknowledge the process (talking is good, letting things stew is bad).

I just want to say that I never thought of this sort of response and I’m glad to have it in my pocket should the occasion arise. Thanks CanvasShoes and thanks featherlou for starting the thread.

Apologies can be tricky. It’s important to accept them if only so you don’t seem the unreasonable one, but the way you accept an apology can be very telling. When dealing with business associates, acquaintances and co-workers, a simple “apology accepted” will do. It’s what happens during and after those words are spoken that count. Keeping a straight face and immediately ending the encounter (“now, if you’ll excuse me…”) definitely lets the person know that the apology doesn’t mean you’re now buddy-buddy and that a repeat event will not be tolerated.

With anyone, avoiding future openings to be abused are your own responsibility. If the offense was social (i.e., embarrassing or offensive behavior in public), you might avoid social interaction with that person in the future. If the offense involved divulging confidences, make sure you no longer tell that person anything you mean to remain private. So, even if the person promises that it will never happen again, you can feel very comfortable in saying “I know it won’t.”

I’d prefer not to give specific examples - let’s just say that they are situations where offense and apology could have been avoided with a very small amount of forethought and/or thinking about other people, which seem to be getting more and more rare.

I always say “Apology accepted, Captain Neda.”

This implies that I would prefer them to be falling to the floor with their throat telekinetically crushed, but in a light-hearted way.

If it’s not a major offense, when someone says, “I’m sorry” I will usually say in a lighthearted fashion, “As well you should be!” but I always follow up with a thanks in some way to let them know I appreciate the gesture.

For more grievous offenses, or when it’s necessary to maintain a good relationship in spite of the incident I think it’s important to be as forthright as possible. Something along the lines of, “I appreciate your sincere apology in recognition of the seriousness of this issue and the understanding that steps will be taken to ensure this situation does not arise again in the future.”