This is the second installment of my "What Not To Do" series. You're probably saying to yourself, wow, I'm not familiar with this series. That's ok. The first installment in this series was posted on 9/10/05, originally entitled: "Random: CL Boys Scare Me." But, in the spirit of this series, I'll rename that post as soon as I toss this one up.
This little gem was inspired last month by not only my own experience but also that of a co-worker. So, enjoy.
I'm a student of humanity. I love to watch people. They're so fascinating because they're so stupid. Every now and again I'm properly motivated to write a "what not to do" list. Now, in my opinion, if I’m writing it, then its amazingly obvious information that, in my opinion, should occur to everyone. But, sadly it does not.
Here's my what not to do when you're trying to make up with someone:
1. Don't blame them: If you lied to someone and they caught you, apologize. Don't keep going on & on that you didn't do anything wrong. If you hurt someone's feelings, say that you're sorry and move on. Don't make excuses 'cause they don't want to hear it. On the off chance that it is their fault and you want to reestablish the relationship, blaming them isn't going to reestablish that relationship. However, if they're not talking to you, even if you don't think its your fault, it probably is.
2. Don't ignore the problem: Ok, so now you’re not talking, what do you do? Something. Flowers, chocolate, singing telegrams, skywriting, doesn't really matter. But, ignoring the problem only makes it worse because then you look like the dick you really are, and that's probably not the image you're trying to build.
3. Don't get annoyed if the person doesn't forgive you immediately: Ok, you did something stupid. We've established that. Damn it you said sorry and that should make everything better. Uh, no, that's not how it works. For you to be sorry, you have to mean it. Usually that entails dealing with what you've done immediately (see #2) and moving on. So, if you did ignore the problem, you're not going to be forgiven immediately. Or, if you did something amazingly stupid, then it takes time for the other person to get over it. I know, you would get over it, but this person isn't you. So you’re going to need to be kind & patient with the other person and deal with the issue on their terms. (I know this is a stretch.)
4. Don't call and leave pathetic voicemails: "Well, I guess I'll talk to you when you want to talk to me" is the absolute wrong attitude. You screwed up, why would the other person want to talk to you. You have to make them want to talk to you (see #1). Do something nice for them.
5. Don't ignore birthdays/holidays/life changes: Ok, so Christmas came & went, their birthday came & went and you didn't contact them to wish them a good day or say you're sorry. Now you've just annoyed them more. If you've upset someone, take the time to fix it before the holiday. By ignoring it, all you're telling them is that you don’t want to deal with them.
6. Don't try to make the other person feel sorry for you: Had a rough year? Got the flu? Dumped by the significant other? That's nice, deal with it on your own. Trying to obtain pity from the person who's annoyed at you isn't the best plan. They don't care if you got the flu. If you got dumped by your girlfriend, they will probably just figure that karma is paying you back for how you treated them. But, pity will not push them to forgive you. All you're doing is elevating yourself above the other person in saying your problems are more important than theirs (probably how you got into this situation in the first place). Besides, you don't have a clue what the other person is going through. You got the flu? Maybe they were in the hospital? You got dumped? Maybe they lost a loved one? Just for one brief moment stop thinking that the world revolves around you. Other people have problems so stop dumping your issues on them.
7. Don't ignore what the other person has told you: If they ask you to stop doing something, stop doing it. Don't continue figuring that it'll work itself out. It won't. Or, if you discussed the situation and the other person told you what it would take to make it right, here's a bright idea, do that. If they told you to call, call. If they told you to care, care. Ignoring conversations, letters, and any other hints that may come your way would be known as a bad plan, don't do that.