Monday, April 18, 2011


Recently, my mother made some comments about one of my brothers that she thought were amusing but he, and everyone else around at the time, took as insulting. After being told that what she said was offensive and hurt my brothers feelings she did something a lot of people can't seem to do. She apologised to my brother and is trying to make sure she doesn't do it again.

I am proud of her for doing that. She didn't have to be told to apologise, she knew that she was in the wrong and it was the right thing to do. She didn't go to lengths to try and explain it away, she thought it was funny but the fact no one else in the room did spoke volumes to her. If she had to be told to apologise it would have meant nothing. Kind of like if you apologise without knowing what you did wrong.

It reminded me of an ex-friend. To make a long story short, over a period of years she proved herself to be extremely unreliable, selfish, and way too bitchy at times. It became even worse in the last year or two of our friendship. She knew something was wrong so she sent an IM saying that and apologising if she did something wrong. Keep in mind she is the type of person that if you apologised without knowing what you were sorry for she would NEVER accept it and probably rip into you. One of the many problems was her double standards. So I let her know a bit of what was wrong and she actually started trying to defend the more indefensible things. Then she pointed to her previous apology not knowing what she apologised for and said "Well, I already apologised, I don't know what else I can do."

Now maybe I expected too much. I expected two things. A real apology and some sign that she would at least TRY to change and become more reliable and less bitchy/rude. I didn't expect a great epiphany just some sign that the same bullshit would lessen and/or stop. It was too much to expect from her so the friendship just died off. I could have told her that she should have apologised but then it would have been forced and meant nothing. I could have told her that she needed to change but once again it is something a person has to realize on their own or it means nothing.

Talking with mutual friends she basically made everything my fault. I "threw our friendship away". She just didn't understand that she was wrong, should REALLY apologise and try to change. Well, unfortunately, that is about all I expected out of her. Even most of the mutual friends tired of her BS and stopped bothering with her.

It is amazing how many people simply can't admit that they were wrong. Or that they might have been wrong. It reminds me of the Fonz on Happy Days saying he was wrrr wrrr wrrr .... wrrr wrrr wrrr or he was sorrrrrr sorrrrrr sorrrr. My father was one of those people. He never admitted when he was wrong and never found it in himself to apologise until he was dying.

Because of the concept of "face" I found that when dealing with many Koreans, especially bosses, they couldn't admit fault or apologise. Even if it was clearly their fault or mistake it wasn't. At the most it was a "misunderstanding". If you pushed it then you were even more in the wrong, not them. It made it hard to deal with, or trust, those people at times.

1 comment:

  1. I hate this about Korea. In order to allow my superior to save face should he do something to cause a problem, I must apologize for misunderstanding his instructions to me (even though I didn't misunderstand; I just did as he told me to do) and no one can outright say that he was just being an arrogant douchebag who wouldn't take the time to listen to anyone else's opinions. There's so much two-faced backstabbing here and it's always the low man on the totem pole who ends up covered in shit. In my opinion the saving-face mentality combined with the "respect your elders even if they're wrong" bullshit of Korean business really prevents any true accountability or integrity. Everyone is just out to cover their own ass regardless of who else gets hurt. I'm amazed anything ever gets done here because there's so much shadiness involved in everything.