How to Respond to an Apology for Bullshit

In five days, Saturday Night Live hired and fired comedian Shane Gillis after using sexist, homophobic, and racist language, including racial slurs and taunting with a Chinese accent, all leaked on social media. … In her initial statement, Gillies seemed to be trying to apologize. “I’m a comedian, which pushes the boundaries,” – he wrote it in Twitter . “Sometimes I miss … I’m not going to offend anyone, but I try to be the best comedian I can be, and sometimes it takes risk.”

After facing further criticism and his firing, Gillies dropped the apology in half . “Comedians find it funny to make public statements, but here we are. I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. It cannot be taken away. ” While some people, including Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Young , have accepted Gillis’ statement, sometimes bad apologies need to be corrected.

When you get a crappy apology from someone, whether it’s a minor accident or using profanity that is justified as “comedy,” it’s important to be clear about your point of view — and realize that not everyone deserves forgiveness.

Point out the flaw in their apology.

If you’ve just received an apology and still feel that your feelings have not been heard or acknowledged, let the person know why you are feeling insecure. You may have felt that they qualified the apology (“I’m sorry, but …”) or that it was mostly insincere (“I’m sorry you felt this way”). If you hear such vocabulary or contrived excuses for their behavior (“I’m a comedian who pushes the boundaries”), calmly state why their apology seems unsatisfactory, and repeat your point of view.

A genuine apology should be simple and express that person’s responsibility for their actions and a commitment not to repeat the same mistake in the future. (“I screwed up” is a good start.) And be careful when listening to explanations that do not absolve them of responsibility. “I always explain when I apologize, how else should my apology be sincere?” posted by one user on a recent Reddit thread . “I want you to understand why I did what I did, what led me to this and why / how I understand that I was wrong. Intention matters with errors. “

You should also never doubt its authenticity. Their tone when apologizing should convey his sincerity; if it seems robotic, it probably isn’t the apology you want. If he is full of remorse and regret, it may be sincere, but only you can judge.

Give them a chance to apologize again.

Perhaps the person who should apologize to you did not realize how he offended or offended you, or he did not hear everything you said. Once you validate your point of view, you’ll have to give them a chance to actually apologize (and perhaps better understand how and why you feel unresolved). Of course, it shouldn’t be that hard for a person to understand some mistakes (like racist jokes), but if someone really seems to be clueless about what they did wrong, give them an opportunity to learn if you feel generous.

On the other hand, keep in mind that you also need to give time to think about forgiving them; it doesn’t always happen overnight or during a single phone call, so don’t let anyone pressure you to resolve the dispute immediately.

You don’t have to forgive them

Let’s remember one thing: whether it’s a bad apology or a sincerely sincere apology, you don’t have to forgive anyone. However, if it’s a minor accident, like a stranger bumping into you and spilling your coffee, a quick, sincere apology will do. “If someone has difficulty in sincerely apologizing, don’t let it go forever and never forgive him,” writes u / elaphros . “It’s okay to get angry. To hold on to an offense is not. ” The forgiveness in this example should be immediate, or if they are a full member, the middle finger is also effective.

On the other hand, you don’t need to accept someone’s apology for a more serious offense, such as recording comedic jokes using racial slurs or a mocking accent. You have the right to decide when something that bothers you crosses the line, especially when you feel that the person’s apology doesn’t amount to real remorse (or that his story doesn’t provide sufficient evidence that he won’t make a similar mistake in his life. ). future). Does this mean that society should despise them forever? Probably not, but forgiveness must be earned. And when to give is up to you.


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