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Thread: Remorse

  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default Remorse

    How do you express remorse?

    Or do you tend to not express it?

    Do you tend to feel remorse?

    What are your expectations about how remorse is expressed by others?
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    I tend to feel a lot of remorse and shame but I think that's mostly to to falsely thinking that I can control my life/ all situations. The wrong belief that some other action would have prevented or enabled X. I can feel shame about very little things so when it's something that I actaully did do it can be paralysing. When I was younger I would flee from these situations (sometimes I still do) and that only makes it worse. But I think I've become better at asking for forgiveness which I generally approach very formally as a way of avoiding the scary emotional ascpects of the situation. Generally letters and gifts. The gifts aren't bribes but they are sort of like a pennance. I generally feel the need to do something or give something rather than just clearing the emotional air.

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    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I have plenty of reasons to feel remorse in my life and I do... I should too, considering some of the things I've done. I've put a lot of effort into changing myself for the better, and I've apologized to those I could apologize to, because what sort of person doesn't do that?

    no need to go around expressing it though... too much of a downer thing to do
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I tend to analyze situations for a while and do the best I can to make amends. After that, I find it to be a kind of reminiscent pleasant feeling for some reason. Not sure why. Maybe just from whatever I learned and how I've grown. If I make major mistakes with people, after all the loose ends are tied up, I don't mind setting people free. Some times take longer than others. But in the end, I just accept it as a part of life.
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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    My remorse is most likely to take the form of figuring out what caused the problem in the first place and trying to correct it so that I do not repeat the same action. I can't say that I knowingly would hurt someone else, but freely acknowledge that I have inadvertently done so by thoughtlessness or by misinterpretation on one or both party's parts. I used to take all negative feedback as truth, but as I've gotten older have realized that everyone comes with their own set of expectations, reactions and assumptions. I also hated the burden of blame, and so sometimes would over compensate by apologizing or taking responsibility for things that weren't even in my realm of control. Then when others didn't seem to be treating me with the same consideration, I found it frustrating.

    What I've found works better is more communication to understand 1) I have hurt someone 2) provide context for how my and the other person's words or actions were interpreted and then 3) discussion about what would work better for both parties.

    I think that EJCC suggested that Fe tends to be more about investigating specific outcomes and courses of action to avoid or to pursue, vs Fi which is more likely to examine intent and thinking patterns that resulted in the mistake. Probably the best answer lies somewhere between the two.

    When I realize that I have done something wrong though, I will apologize, but sometimes may not feel that verbalizing it is adequate. Because I'd most prefer remorse from others to be expressed through attention and change in action (my feelings are transient and not really an integral part of my identity - they are more indicators that something is awry that needs changing), that's likely why my response is likely to be more action oriented than verbally oriented (talk is cheap and sometimes doesn't express the depth of sorryness).

    I was just thinking about it too and sometimes I feel like my delayed processing time in figuring out reactions, feelings, or noticing patterns may make it seem to others that I am avoiding responsibility, when that is anything but the case. I want to be sure I have it accurately figured out before I verbalize a lot.

  6. #6
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    My remorse is most likely to take the form of figuring out what caused the problem in the first place and trying to correct it so that I do not repeat the same action.
    With hindsight, I can see I have treated a lover badly, but I can also see that at the time I didn't know what I was doing.

    And I expect that often today I don't know what I am doing, so I may treat others badly.

    And also I can see others often don't know what they are doing, and so treat me badly.

    It's an interesting situation where we don't know what we are doing.

  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    For the purpose of this thread only I will talk about my oldest scenarios of remorse.
    My earliest memory of remorse is me sitting in a high chair crying and various people are trying to cheer me up, but I feel frustrated and angry and just keep on crying, but also felt a little badly about it.

    When I was in the fourth grade my mother taught a one-room church school which I , my sister, and my brother attended. There was a little girl also in fourth grade named Desiree who had a few oddities. She was slight, had very pale skin, straight blonde hair, and glasses that turned dark in the sunlight. There was also something unusual about the sandwiches she brought for lunch. My sister and I ignored her and left her out. I remember we even gossiped about her with another kid. We were becoming the mean girls. We felt angry, would pretend to smoke cigarettes, would wander about the town, stop by convenience stores and look at the porno magazines.

    My mother noticed we were leaving Desiree out of play at school and she said to me, "I have seen you leaving Desiree out, and I think she feels the same way you did when Beverly did that to you last year". It made me uncomfortable and angry that she would say this, and I told her it was completely different, but I knew it was exactly the same.

    Soon after my mom was forced to resign as a result of a church feud, and we were homeless for a few month, but had a friend who took us in to stay in their backyard one-room structure.

    Desiree's family started having us over for dinner and were working to convert us to their religion. My sister and I began to feel remorse and so we gave Desiree some of our favorite posters from TigerBeat magazine and apologized. I felt like I had done the right thing, but I will always remember that I excluded someone for no better reason than that they seemed vulnerable and unusual. I can't think of any other reason we did it because she was perfectly sweet and wanted to fit in.

    As the years went by in school I made more effort to befriend the students who didn't fit in and I think a lot of it is because of Desiree, and I realized that I had the capacity to be a mean girl, and I realized the complete stupidity of such a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    With hindsight, I can see I have treated a lover badly, but I can also see that at the time I didn't know what I was doing.

    And I expect that often today I don't know what I am doing, so I may treat others badly.

    And also I can see others often don't know what they are doing, and so treat me badly.

    It's an interesting situation where we don't know what we are doing.
    On some level that goes to the core of all hurts, I suspect.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  8. #8
    Riva
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    For me it is mostly action than expression.

    The expression will come sooner or later though.

    hmm.. though actions speak louder than words when it comes to remorse maybe words speak louder than actions. I guess where a 'sorry' is due let it be said.

    But if I am not mistaken what you are looking for is not apologies but real heartfelt regret? Now that is a tricky question. One cannot measure it. Maybe one need to simply learn how to sound sincere.

    How do you express remorse?
    Usually it takes time.

    I either immediately feel remorse or feel it when I feel embarrassed about myself which usually happens a few weeks after the incident took place.

    Either way expressing remorse takes time. Even if I immediately feel it I would not immediately express it. I need the time, I need the place to do so. If I realize it is taking too long I will make small talk - to see the state of the person I have wronged - smoothly change the subject and apologize.

    Or do you tend to not express it?
    Depends on how strong the feeling of embarrassment. Eventually it will haunt me and then no matter how long ago it was I would.

    I might not do so considering the practicality of the situation. Sometimes a sorry would only make things worse, sometimes it would only bring out old wounds therefore might not help.

    And most times indicating that I care is better than a sorry logic dictates. But if the subject is brought to conversation and I realize the wounds haven't healed I would apologize.

    Do you tend to feel remorse?
    Unless one is a psychopath or a sociopath one would always feel remorse.

    What are your expectations about how remorse is expressed by others?
    If I really like the person I'd feel the need to shout at them. A listening ear on those occasions is what I need not a debate.

    If I'm not so attached to the person a private apology and not-repeating the harmful act is what I need.

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    My deeply loved aunt passed away last year, and she was an ISTJ. She lived alone and had an abrupt communication style and had some issues regulating emotion. Periodically she would rake my mother over the coals with unfair judgments, and did the same to me a couple of times. At those points her words were poisonous and hurtful, but it wasn't her authentic self. Her actual heart was made of gold and she would save every penny of her modest income living frugally and then give money to people. She would send me $5 every week when I was in college.

    She didn't have the ability to apologize directly, but would in a very subtle way that involved expressing a different mood and trying to be helpful. I suspect she struggled with a lot of personal guilt and would lash out when it built up to overwhelming. She didn't need to feel such guilt and I wanted to hug her and tell her she is okay. We didn't expect apologies from her, but understood her personal way of communicating.

    Guilt and remorse are complex psychologically. These are an area of extreme vulnerability and should not be toyed with or jerked around. It is beyond important to treat this aspect of human beings with gentleness and respect. I have a huge issue with demanding apologies from people because I have primarily witnessed this as a control tactic. Interestingly enough, in its most extreme form remorse specifically is used to initiate new cult members. Many cults do this, but the ICOC requires new members to make "sin lists" and they are berated and must confess to the point of weeping. I realize that most general people don't take it to this extreme, and I can certainly understand wanting an apology from someone who has wronged me, but it cannot all be approached in the same manner.

    I haven't apologized for all my wrongs and people have certainly not apologized every time I've been wronged, but talk is cheap anyway, and the only apology that has meaning in my mind is changed behavior. It is way too easy to manipulate and convolute communication with all the torn and twisted words of apology and remorse. I try to limit giving and receiving of such to times it will actually benefit either myself or the other person.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I feel remorse for things I did and said to my father while he was alive, when I was in my late twenties. I'm now five years older than he was when he died, and can see things more from his perspective, perhaps. I try not to get too caught up in this but I carry it. I try to use it to keep me from saying things now that I will regret the rest of my life if that person should die before I have a chance to realize and apologize for my wrongs.

    All I want from another person is that they acknowledge what happened. One sentence, just a couple of words. Or I am even good with an unspoken apology -- a change in attitude, a gesture of any sort toward me -- I'll take it, and try to move forward.

    P.S. I don't have relationships right now in my life that would have me deep enough into them to do something I'd feel remorseful for. I tend to like to keep it that way. So I don't have much to say about how I express it right now in my life. I guess I keep my distance so I don't have to.

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