Why You Should Never Apologise To A Moron
We’ve all been there. A friend’s girlfriend, a colleague or a reader of your lighthearted blog post has taken offence at something you’ve said but you can’t figure out why they’re so upset. The reality is that we live in an age when a person’s feelings count for more than logic and it is the feelings of a perceived victim that matter rather than what was said or done to offend them.
Examples of recent actions of writers at the Bear which caused unexpected meltdowns include:
- Turning the lights on to find the toilets during Earth Hour;
- Suggesting a neighbour was at no obvious risk of asbestos-caused disease from a dilapidated adjoining property;
- Mentioning the word ‘explosion’ near a person of Middle Eastern heritage (note – it was not the Middle Eastern person that was offended);
- Not always saying hello to a co-worker first thing in the morning;
- Having ‘judgmental eyes’;
- Using ‘big words’ in an argument;
- Sending a birthday greeting on Facebook rather than by text;
- Not hosting barbecues; and
- Any article on this blog.
Truth be told, some people are easily offended. Some people like to be offended. There are times you know you are in the wrong (ie you’ve slept with your wife’s sister, murdered your neighbour’s pet or partaken in genocide). You should certainly apologise then. When someone goes into meltdown over something trivial, however, you simply cannot. The immediate temptation is to apologise quickly in an attempt to nip the argument in the bud. All this does is make things worse.
People who take offence at absolutely nothing do so out of a deep seated need to be validated. They feel so aggrieved at every other aspect of their life that they need to feel in control of something, or anything, to feel better. It’s not so much the apology they want. It’s the power they have over you by forcing an apology out of you. They are addicted to receiving an apology like its heroin and the last thing you should give to a heroin addict when they ask you for heroin is a hit of heroin.
By caving to the demands of the moron, you are giving them their hit and they are emboldened in their quest to hunt down more apologies. You may expect they will immediately say ‘that’s ok’ when you apologise and that will be the end of it. It will not be the end of it. They will bring it up time and again, repeat why what you did was wrong and try to extract further apologies out of you. Then, when you finally decide enough is enough and try to move on, they will accuse you of being unremorseful.
You will often find that if, for example, you apologise by email or text, they will simply not reply. This is the way they maintain the upper hand in the dispute. As soon as they accept the apology the power trip is over and they need to start hunting for another apology. That could take days! Otherwise you will receive a response that is roughly the length of the opening crawl in Star Wars explaining why you apology isn’t good enough.
It is time to fight back against the scourge of the small minded fool. A person’s feelings are important but having to apologise for everything any person finds offensive is a massive constraint of freedom of expression. Do not apologise to an idiot – you will only make the problem worse.