Never apologise, never explain… But why?
I guess if you’re Someone obsessed with being Someone Bigger, apologising might feel like a weakness: a chink in your armour that could too easily be exploited by the other Someones undoubtedly ranged against you – although personally, I admire a person with the guts to acknowledge their mistakes, but we all know I’m a dinosaur.
But for the average Jo/e… If you inadvertently screw someone’s plans, or trample with hobnailed boots through their emotional meadow – or even blunder into them while your face is in your iPhone – surely if those things happen, human decency demands that you apologise one way or another, and try to alleviate the damage.
Please note, though, that I did say ‘inadvertently’. If you consciously set out to do any of the above, that constitutes malice aforethought, and any apology you might offer will ring as true as a cracked bell and only add insult to injury. Which may be satisfying for you, but is NOT NICE – although I do admit that with certain persons I have known, I have felt the temptation to stick in the knife and twist. (I have resisted.)
Apologising, though, is quite different from grovelling. Grovelling is what you do when life, circumstance or other people have convinced you that you have the status of a bug and are by definition wrong about everything. Don’t go there. The scars ache in stormy weather.