One of the many core lessons that the elders taught me coming up is that being remorseful for a wrong is different from being remorseful over the fact that the wrong you committed didn’t get you what you wanted.
Ever have that one friend who is ALWAYS cheating on their partner, but their partner ALWAYS looks surprised when they found out? Ever count the number of times you’ve shaken your heard once you hear they’re back together again? “He got forgiven for THAT?” “Why did he TAKE her back after what happened?” Some things just seem to not make much sense in our minds – even though we’re on the outside looking in.
Many times people who get busted doing something they shouldn’t have (cheating, lying, stealing, etc) often whip out the old remorse card with great alacrity. The question I often ask myself whenever I see this happen is: are they truly sorry for what they did or are they truly sorry for getting caught?
Now some people just have a habit of finding themselves in the same situation consistently. It doesn’t matter what people tell them, they just have a knack for messing up. Those folks are probably more embarrassed that they were in the same situation, in spite of the efforts of people to steer them away from it.
But you’ve got the slick bunch who are just sorry they got caught, and know that pulling out the old remorse card is just another step in getting closer to what they want. I tell you, some of them are so good that they will turn the water works on, and give an Emmy award winning performance to boot. They have all the lines down pat, they know what strings to pull – and at the end of it all, they get to have their way.
I knew of a friend who dated a woman who was so good at playing the game that even we SHE was wrong HE was the one being all apologetic. If you tried to stand up to her though, that’s when her true colors would shine through. It’s not gender specific either, as I can shake my head at many a story where men have been caught cheating red-handed and with the other woman in his lap and got a “slap on the wrist” as punishment from his partner.
So why is it important to tell the difference between the two? Well, no one wants to be taken advantage of, that’s for sure. More importantly though, it’s being aware of the difference allows us not to put ourselves in situations that we are the guilty party we don’t incur the wrath of others. Understanding the real reasons behind our actions will allow us not to do confuse being remorseful with manipulation and not to be subject to the pros at that game.
Always been sorry loses its meaning after a while. Even the most unintentional klutz has to face their consequences of their actions.