Earlier this week I was in the middle of a situation that got me thinking about apologies and forgiveness. It was between two people, both of whom I know but who don't know each other. Person A unintentionally hurt Person B, there was a heated verbal exchange at the time which I witnessed and was drawn into. I tried to mediate but A wouldn't apologize and instead insisted on leaving, which only further infuriated B (she can be very headstrong and aggressive at times).
None of this involves Sandy by the way.
About twenty minutes later A phoned me and said he wanted to apologize face-to-face to B the next day. Sounds reasonable right? So I left a message with B to let her know. The following morning she called back and told me she appreciated that I cared enough to try to make things right (which I know she genuinely did), but that as far as she was concerned it was over and she didn't want to see his face again.
All this got me thinking. Although I didn't see the incident I do believe A was in the wrong, not because I want to side with B but because I know the circumstances behind what happened. And yes I believe he was also wrong in not staying to work things out at the time.
In the heat of the moment tempers and emotions flare and we don't always think clearly. I respected A for wanting to apologize to B, especially in person and not by phone or e-mail. The fact that B wouldn't accept and wanted nothing further to do with him or the situation was really disappointing. I've known her for years and would have hoped for better.
What are your thoughts on this? In what situations would you not accept an apology from someone?