- Nov 2021
One of the people I spoke with was asked to apologize for an offense that broke no existing rules. “I said, ‘What am I apologizing for?’ And they said, ‘Well, their feelings were hurt.’ So I crafted my apology around that: ‘If I did say something that upset you, I didn’t anticipate that would happen.’ ” The apology was initially accepted, but his problems didn’t end.
Even in cases where one apologizes for offences which don't break existing rules and the apology is accepted by the transgressed, the social ostracism doesn't end. This is a part of the indeterminate length of the social sentences that transgressors suffer.
What exactly are these unwritten rules? In some cases they may be examples of institutional power wielding influence in cases where people aren't giving the full benefit of humanity and consideration to others. Some may call some of these instances microaggressions or social constructs similar to them.