THIS IS A TRANSLATED VERSION OF THIS SWEDISH POST!
One of the few bosses, whom I actually really respected and had a lot of confidence in (he might even have been the only one) once said to a colleague of mine (who just recently discovered what it means to be a manager and felt a bit lost):
”If you have to make a decision, just pick something. Don’t be afraid it might be the wrong decision. As long as you feel you did the right thing, and can actually stand up for your choice, and the decisions you make I will never blame you. I’ll back you up 100%.”
This backbone is today very rare and IMO lacking in most companies. Probably among people in general too. The ability to actually dare to stand up for the decisions you make, even the wrong ones, or the ability to stand up for your own opinions. Today too many people trim their sails to every wind, and eagerly denies to ever having said what you’re claiming. How could you even state such a thing?
Better to trim our sails to every wind…
I’m having problems with this attitude, behaviour or whatever you should call this. I’m not a perfect human being, I take wrong turns – every day. I do things I afterwards think weren’t that smart. Really. In hindsight I realise that had I only done this or that differently, everything would’ve been much better. But it’s always easy to in hindsight have all the answers, it’s always easy to stand there with all the pieces of the puzzle and judge this and that person for doing whatever he or she did.
So why take the high road? Why do everything simply because it’s easy?
People behaving like this makes me really sad too. Had people dared to stand up for their choices and said: Hey, we did something shitty here, can you forgive us? Is it ok? Well, I guess it’s ok then, because deep down inside I know I also frack up some times. When that happens I’d like people to forgive me, too, so of course you usually accept stuff like this, whether you like it or not. At least that’s how I work, I rather aquit than condemn. Given the opportunity that is.
It’s human to err, and human to forgive.
But when there is no explanation, or no words what so ever, but only this one big denial, it’s not as easy to forgive and move on. You just get stuck in the same spot, waiting for that confession.
The road to hell is full of good intentions
Many years ago I was out travelling with 3 of my girlfriends. We’re visiting our current boyfriends who were also travelling, well, there were 2 couples of the 6 people meeting.
Things didn’t really go as planned, and 1 couple broke up. In Bali the breaking up guy behaved like a total douche, and had sex with a prostitute, who beside the point stole my lovely shoes in the morning. He bragged about this for me and my boyfriend, and was almost eager to confess this to his ex girlfriend. I, being her best friend, saw only pain in this confession, and I advised him against telling her.
I had no evil plans of going behind his back.
When I later that day met my best friend I reconsidered. Pain or no pain, I’d probably would’ve wanted to know had it been me. If nothing else it might help her get over him, realise what a pig he was, so I told her. It wasn’t really like I had an evil plan in mind from the beginning by advicing him against telling her, just so I could tell her myself.
I just felt compassion, and thought she should know.
Later that same evening it was revealed that I’d told my best friend everything, and her ex boyfriend in pure aggressive desperation kicked the chair I was in, so it and me both went flying like small gloves (Swedish expression). In my hand the glass I’d been holding had split into a thousand pieces. This broken glass scratched some of my skin and plenty of the meat off from my right thumb. I couldn’t write (I had no laptop during these days, only a stationary computer) for several weeks, I had to drug myself on a daily basis with plenty of codeine (the strongest medicine I could get in Indonesia) in order to avoid the pain the healing process inflicted on me, I had to avoid sun and bathing, and the healing process was so slow down there in that humid weather.
The boy, who also had been my friend, never apologised.
I could easily admit, in hindsight, I’d done wrong. It wasn’t my story to tell. I should’ve encouraged him to tell it himself, but I didn’t. I acted wrong. I could’ve told him that had he given me the time to talk this through.
Instead I got to hear from every Tom, Dick and Harry how sad he was about ”all of this”, how stupid he felt. I should forgive him. Of course I should.
He never makes any mistakes! What could he possible have done to hurt you that much? Forgive him, he’s telling me he’s sorry.
I also should mention all his friends look at him like he’s some kind of god – they simply worship him. He can do anything, they still love him. Neither me nor my best friend have ever understood this kind of worshipping, but that’s how it was. And probably still is.
Now I had to be the bad guy because I couldn’t drop it when I told my boyfriend he was no longer welcome in my/our home (the friend, not the boyfriend). At least not when I was around. This was apparantly rabid of me, not at all ok. Because I had several of my boyfriend’s friends telling me I couldn’t behave like this. I had to forgive him.
My honest standard reply was: I will forgive him when he gives me an apology!
One day he called for my boyfriend. Since my boyfriend wasn’t at home we talked a bit – about everything and nothing. Finally he said: Can’t we just forget all about it?
Just like that.
I wanted to know more specifically what he was referring to, but he wouldn’t speak of it. He couldn’t even apologise for abusing me. I was wrong, fine, I’ll say it again, but there’s no excuse to abuse another human being. Regardless.
Can’t we just forget all about it? No apology, just a simple deletion. In one stroke.
Now I’ve gotten myself into a similar position. Nobody has physically abused me this time, but somebody did wrong. Or more like it, things have changed and I’m getting caught in the middle somewhere. For me, the details aren’t very important, but at least I feel I deserve an apology. I deserve somebody standing up to say: This sucks, Charnette. I’m sorry, but this was all handled wrong. I APOLOGISE FOR THIS UNFORTUNATE BUSINESS!
But no, in our society and for some people it’s very hard to actually apologise. With an apology you might actually show somebody you have a heart, that you care, and you actually have morals. Besides someone might understand you’re playing by your own rules, and you’re the boss of what’s wrong and what’s right.
No, it’s better to deny everything. Sweep it all under the rug. The swelling you see it’s not such a big deal, you can always deny it exists at all.
Deny everything – admit to nothing!