I get so frustrated thinking back to my High School experience. While the act of going to school taught me discipline and social skills, I so wish we had more practical classes. How valuable would a class on paying your taxes be? They could call it Being A Grown Up 101.
Recently, I had to do the most Grown Up thing I have ever had to do. I had to apologize for something I didn't do. They don't teach you how to do that in school.
Details aren't important, because sharing all them would diminish the grown-upness of the whole thing. But, I do want to talk about the complete unexpected unstatisfyingness of this particular apology. Even though I was positive I was not wrong, I wanted to make it right between us. Peace is very important, and so is preventing something like this from happening again.
Being the anxious obsessive I am, I really agonized about the whole thing. I practiced what I was going to say, prayed about it and even made sure that my 'speech' would be received well by rehearsing in front of my amused husband. Thinking of what to say was so difficult! What I really wanted to say was 'I'm sorry you created this drama that I now have to fix.' But, alas, that would not do.
Mustering up courage, swallowing my pride, and silencing my brain, I walk over to the person. I nervously recite my planned speech. Fully expecting my apology to be the catalyst to a civilized and adult conversation, I was almost immediately disappointed. That. Was. Not. what I was expecting.
I never once considered the fact that the other person has to cooperate with your apology. I anticipated a happy little reconciliation with a hug to top it off. Not what happend.
No one teaches you what to do if you apology isn't accepted. The relief I had hoped for was not waiting for me at the end of that conversation. Instead I wished I hadn't even bothered. I regretted my apology! At this time, I would like to remind you that I was apologizing for something I hadn't even done. I didn't do anything! But, I had to suck it up anyway, forcing myself to have an awkward conversation. All to be met with a fake smile and zero cooperation.
After a few days of reflecting, because that's what I do-obsess, I decided I had to get over it. I have done my part. I made the effort to make peace and can honestly say my conscience is clear.
Instead of anger/frustration/irritation, I have decided that I feel brave. It's really brave and grown up to be a peacemaker and to swallow your own pride for the sake of peace. That was a super Grown Up thing I did, and I'm proud of it!
Leave me a comment: What is the most Grown Up thing you've ever had to do? What would you teach in Being A Grown Up 101?