KARMiC MINUTE: She Hung Up On Me
Welcome to KARMiC Minute. These are shorter pieces that I want to share with you right away – right when they’re on my mind. Right when I feel the need to ponder a topic or discuss something that occurred. After all, even though this is a blog post and podcast, it’s still real life. Think of KARMiC Minute as peek into my journal:
Someone hung up on me today.
She said I wasn’t listening and she wasn’t going to waste her time talking to me.
My first reaction was that yes, I was listening and I asked a question because I didn’t understand, not because I was distracted.
I wanted to say that I’m sitting at the kitchen counter, drinking coffee and am fully engaged. I wanted to tell her the TV is off and my computer is closed. I wanted her to know that she had my full attention but I just didn’t hear what she said. Maybe I was lost in a sip. I don’t really know.
But I do know that I shouldn’t have been hung up on.
She said bye and that was that. It was a quick and quiet disconnect that removed me from the conversation in an instant.
It felt final. Like I had no opportunity to continue – either to repent or revolt against what I saw as a one-sided door-slam. Saying good-bye and ending a conversation in person or on the phone should be a mutual decision.
I was ready to apologize today before I was hung up on. I was willing to take responsibility for how I made her feel. But at the same time, it kind of bothered me that I felt this way. Saying, “I’m sorry” didn’t feel like the right words, because I wasn’t really sorry! I wondered if my urge to apologize was actually passive aggressive. Was my potential, “I’m sorry,” just a nicer way to express my displeasure at the wrong turn the conversation took? I felt conflicted.
I thought about the words, “I’m sorry,” and how often they can backfire, causing the apologizer to be seen as the aggressor. When we unnecessarily say, “I’m sorry”, it comes off more like indifference or exasperation. Apologies should not be reluctant. They need to come sincerely and naturally from the heart.
So the thought I want to leave with is this: the next time I fall into the bad habit I have of saying, “I’m sorry” as a way show how exasperated I feel, I’m going to say, “I love you,” instead. This way, I’ll always stay on the giving end of a conversation, not just the receiving end.