As humans, we often judge our own actions based on our intentions and others’ actions based on the results.
We tend to think that, as long as we did not intend to hurt someone, it’s okay then if we do end up hurting someone, because we cannot help it. We didn’t mean it… Right?
There is a word in English called “Inconsiderate”. And I think many of us fall prey to it. We try to be nice and we can be very nice when we wanted to. We try to not be douchebags but we ended up being one sometimes anyways. We, humans, are a bunch of accidental assholes. (Well some are assholes on purpose but that is not the point here!) What’s important comes next.
It’s crucial to apologize and own up even if you did not mean to do something. Because you have already done THAT something, regardless if you planned to or if it’s an accident. The actions that you had done and its effects will not go away. The milk is spilled. The deed is done. And you did it, so you are the one responsible for it.
I am by no means asking you to be weighed down by these. But if we never learn from our mistakes, history will repeat itself – and people will get hurt all over again. Sure, you did not handle it well this time, you should acknowledge that and try to avoid doing the same thing next time.
Else, what is the point of saying sorry if you going to repeat it again? That makes the apology invalid and cheap. Of course, acknowledging you did something wrong in the first place is the required initial step. If you cannot even see that you are wrong, how can you try to make up for it?
When someone hurts you, you would think “He is an awful person, he snarled at me.” instead of “He might be feeling bad today, that’s why he snarled at me.” The intention (for self actions) versus result (for other’s actions) is very apparent here. If you snarled at someone, and get reprimanded, what would you say? “Oh, but I was having a bad day, I didn’t mean to!” Bingo!
If we can apply the mentality for our actions onto another’s actions, we will be more understanding and mindful. We will not be so fast to judge or get hurt, since we are less likely to personalized things. And also be able to put ourselves in others’ shoes more readily than when we are feeling defensive and slighted.
But being selfish humans as we are – that is not likely to happen. Or maybe I am just a pessimistic person, hah!