Do you know how to apologize? Are you a forgiving person? Well, stay tuned as we discuss Apologies and Forgiveness… on this edition of Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: ELIJAH R. YOUNG, HOST, RELATIONS PODCAST
Guests: Elijah R. Young
Date: November 18, 2013
Frank: Do you know how to apologize? Are you a forgiving person? Stay tuned as we discuss apologies and forgiveness, on this edition of Frank Relationships.
Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com. You can also download the podcast of this and other archive shows on iTunes or if via your favorite podcast app.
Once again I’m joined by my co-host with the doctorate, Dr. Gayl.
Dr. Gayl: Hey, Frank. Can’t wait for this show today–get some tips.
Frank: You were missed last week, but that’s worn off after that comment. Thank you.
Dr. Gayl: Already?
Frank: I was looking forward to chopping it up with you today and I wasn’t sorry about it, but now I am. I apologize to me for such blasphemous thoughts.
Dr. Gayl: Whatever. You know you need me in your life.
Frank: I will not argue that. Yes, we all need a little you in our life.
Dr. Gayl: Right.
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Today’s guest is an on-air personality in his own right. He started his internet podcast three years ago with his friend and co-host, Sarah Storer. I want to find out about that co-host. I want to know whether they had–
Dr. Gayl: What you trying to say?
Frank: Something special going on or whether they’re–
Dr. Gayl: Because you looked at me, kind of sideways when you said that-“I want to find out about that co-host.”
Frank: Yeah, I want to know what lead them to creating a show together. Whether they were in a romantic partnership or whether they were like us and they just saw each other–
Dr. Gayl: And us?
Frank: Once a week and didn’t want to ever think about the other along the way. I’m curious as to whether their partnership is different than ours. Do you understand?
Dr. Gayl: What are you trying to–that was so loaded. Maybe you can find out when you ask them, because that was really loaded. But I’m going to let it go.
Frank: Other than to call it loaded, you’re going to let it go?
Dr. Gayl: I’m going to let it go.
Frank: Okay. Did you let it go? No, you didn’t let it go. You called it loaded. Alright.
Dr. Gayl: We’ve got issues.
Frank: Their show, The Relationship Podcast is about improving your social, professional and romantic life one episode at a time. And theirs is five days a week. See, ours is just once a week for an hour. Theirs is five days a week for half hour.
Dr. Gayl: What are you trying to say? I don’t call you at 5:00 A.M. and say, “Cook me breakfast. I’ll be there in 30 minutes.”
Frank: What? What is that? On their show they discuss dating tips and tricks, personal improvement, relationship issues and much more. Since getting started, their show has grown significantly and he and I have decided to partner to introduce our respective audiences to one another.
Maybe we’ll introduce our co-host to each other too. But she might be a good co-host, like she might–
Dr. Gayl: What the hell does that mean–
Frank: She might actually be–
Dr. Gayl: Frank Love?
Frank: Supportive, on time. You know–
Dr. Gayl: Don’t do it. Don’t.
Frank: She could be a whole another kind of co-host and I don’t want you tainting her. He’s got a good thing. I’m assuming he’s got a good thing going and so, no I’m not going to introduce–no you, no. I’m not going to do it.
Dr. Gayl: Just keep it moving. Just keep it moving, because what I have to say, I can’t say it right now, so just keep it moving.
Frank: You can expect to hear me on episode of his show soon as long as–
Dr. Gayl: Just you?
Frank: As long as Dr. Gayl doesn’t tick him off too much and he doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore.
Dr. Gayl: Just you?
Frank: I think just me. We have to see how you do today. But your teeth are looking really white. I got to give it to you–
Dr. Gayl: They look good, right?
Frank: They look good, yes.
Dr. Gayl: And you told me you liked my new hair color.
Frank: Yes, I can’t figure out how you managed to have a different hair color every day? What is that? Our guest–yeah we do have guest, not just me and you. Our guest is none other than, Elijah R. Young and we’re going to unapologetically discuss apologies today. We can start with you. What do you want to apologize to me for?
Dr. Gayl: I think you should start.
Frank: You can apologize for that. Welcome to the show, Elijah.
Elijah: I am dying over here. I’m–
Dr. Gayl: We have issues, right? Maybe we need to come on your show to work out our issues.
Frank: She’s trying to intro her way into my appearance on your show. You hear that? “Maybe we need to-” like I said, I was coming.
Elijah: Good. I don’t know. I don’t know. We’re not licensed counselors. *(inaudible) 07:07
Frank: And the thing is, she is. She’s a psychologist.
Dr. Gayl: I’m not licensed. I do have a doctorate though.
Frank: Whatever that–
Dr. Gayl: And a couple of Masters.
Elijah: So they took the license away after they saw–
Dr. Gayl: No, don’t do it.
Elijah: How you were acting.
Frank: After they listened to the show and saw her insubordination. It was ridiculous. I was a part of it. They called me to the, what is it–the court? Whatever it was. They called me to whatever it is that you go to–
Dr. Gayl: To get a license.
Frank: Tell the people that are not doing well and I really spilled the beans on her.
Dr. Gayl: You would do me like that?
Frank: I did it. You just haven’t got the letter yet. I was crying and I was upset, because of the way she treats me.
Dr. Gayl: Oh, my gosh. Whatever.
Frank: Okay, Elijah–
Dr. Gayl: Anyway.
Frank: You want to start. I’m going to give you the floor.
Dr. Gayl: Elijah, I’m sure you don’t treat your co-host like this, because you guys are together five days a week. There’s no way that you would treat her how Frank treats me. Did you just hear how he went in on me for five minutes straight and I was quiet and took it.
Frank: She believes she was quiet and took it. That’s the rough part. She actually believes that.
Elijah: Yeah. It might be worse between Sarah and I.
Elijah: We release the shows five days a week, but we try to record once or twice a week.
Elijah: She’s a professional improver and I’m an amateur improver and we just go wherever the spirit takes us.
Frank: So, you’re some sick puppies too?
Dr. Gayl: Right. Ya’ll sound a little worse than us.
Dr. Gayl: You see how we came together when–
Frank: Man, that was good.
Elijah: Yeah. Look, ya’ll going to make me send a text. Call back up.
Frank: Hey, we want her on the show.
Dr. Gayl: Hey.
Frank: That’s right. Okay, apologies. Go on, the floor is yours.
Elijah: We had the idea for the show about three years ago. But we just go around to starting the show on August 19th. That’s why we were so surprised at the growth in how fast the show’s adopting. In fact, a couple days ago, we just passed 70,000 downloads–
Elijah: And it’s our 50th show.
Elijah: Total, yeah.
Frank: Very nice.
Elijah: It’s a lot of fun. It’s really just two good friends talking about relationships and our job isn’t to be the expert. Our job is to go find the best information and to package that in a way that our listeners can understand. And then, add our opinions and recklessness on top.
Frank: Got to have the recklessness.
Dr. Gayl: Got to have recklessness.
Elijah: Oh yeah.
Frank: And you don’t typically interview people. Is that correct?
Elijah: We don’t, but we’re starting to–
Elijah: With Frank Love.
Dr. Gayl: [Wait a minute] 10:05.
Elijah: And Dr. Gayl.
Frank: Very good idea. I don’t know about the Dr. Gayl part, but good idea on on Frank Love. That’s–
Dr. Gayl: Stop it.
Frank: That’s shrewd.
Dr. Gayl: You know what, Elijah? I’ll come on a different day. How about that? He can come on his day and I’ll come on a different day.
Elijah: That’s fair, because Sarah, really wanted to be here today and she couldn’t, so I think that’s fair.
Frank: Well, in all desire to want to see you guys be successful, I suggest you schedule her for 8:00 A.M. and plan to record at 9:00 A.M. Okay? She’ll probably have trouble calling in on time. It’ll be the traffic by way of Verizon. The phone lines got backed up between–where is it–her home and where you guys record they were so, don’t–that’s me to you.
Dr. Gayl: I do a million and one things.
Frank: That’s me to you. I’m looking out for you Elijah. And I’m looking out for you Dr. Gayl, I’m don’t want him making–
Dr. Gayl: Can you just keep it moving with the apologies, because you’re going in really hard right now?
Frank: Okay, you’re sorry.
Dr. Gayl: No, you are.
Frank: You are sorry. You are a sorry individual.
Dr. Gayl: No, you are.
Frank: Okay, Elijah, when is an apology warranted?
Dr. Gayl: Other than now.
Elijah: Other than right now?
Dr. Gayl: Other than right now?
Elijah: To me. You’re ganging up on me, because I feel *(inaudible) 11:33 way, because I got ganged up on. But honestly, when we did the research, any time that you harm your partner, an apology is warranted, and by partner, will extend it to mean friend or family member. Anyone that’s close to you or that you care about.
But what happens a lot of time is that we turn that around and we apology when we think that we’ve harmed people and we don’t apologize when they feel harmed. If I said something offensive, but it was okay to me and Dr. Gayl felt some kind of way about it, I need to apologize to her.
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Elijah: It’s fair.
Frank: You might as well start apologizing.
Elijah: Because she does, not because I-
Dr. Gayl: Because I always feel some type of way.
Elijah: Always, always.
Frank: How do you deal with the dynamic when a partner may feel hurt, but whatever wasn’t done to hurt them. Let’s say you don’t like fried chicken and–
Frank: And your lady likes fried chicken so–
Dr. Gayl: And that’s all she cooks is fried chicken.
Frank: That’s not-okay, can I create my own example, please?
Dr. Gayl: I was trying to help you think.
Frank: No thank you. Okay, apologize.
Dr. Gayl: No.
Elijah: No, no. That’s a good point, right, because if I’m driving with my lady in the car and we hit a deer and she slams her head on the dashboard and I look at her–I look at the deer and I drive over it. “I didn’t mean to hit the deer, you’ll be alright. That doesn’t make her head feel any better.
Dr. Gayl: That was a pretty morbid example.
Elijah: She’s still hurt. A lot of times we look at apology through our own frame of how we view the world, but we really need to get that prospective, to turn it around and say, “How does that person really feel about what just happened,” and you need to decide whether you care enough to give an apology.
I had a friend who offended her best friend in some way and I told her “Listen, if that’s your best friend, go make it right.”
Frank: Can you share juice?
Elijah: Forget how you feel.
Frank: I don’t want to hear just some way–offended her in some way. I want to hear what happened.
Elijah: Okay, let me tell you the scoop.
Frank: You can even make it up.
Dr. Gayl: Tell us.
Frank: You can even make it up. Just make it a good story.
Dr. Gayl: You change names.
Elijah: No, she had said something to offend her friend to another friend, you know ladies. They were talking about–
Dr. Gayl: Stop it. Stop it, Elijah.
Elijah: And her friend got wind of it and she was like, “Well, she shouldn’t have been snooping around to get wind of it.” That’s not important. What’s important right now is she got offended and that needs to be dealt with first. Later you guys can talk about, “Why are you snooping around.” But what we seem to do is defensively, we say, “Well, you hurt me 12 days ago, so get over this one,” instead of just acknowledging, “You know what? I did something maybe unintentionally to hurt you. Let’s go ahead and work this out right now. I had my chance to be mad, but I didn’t. I can’t bring it back now.”
Frank: Is it reasonable to understand that we don’t have to apologize to each other all the time? How about we co-understand that we’re going to offend each other and we don’t have to apologize to one another, because offending each other just comes with being close? Is that reasonable?
Elijah: You can, you can. Apologies aren’t really meant to be thrown around like candy or confetti. These need to be serious infractions. A part of it is just toughen up a little bit and understand your partner. If you understand your partner is kind of abrasive, then you can brush some of that stuff off. But I think it’s the lack of understanding and the lack of empathy toward who your partner is or how they handle emotions or how they handle conflict really leads to a lot of the arguments and a lot of the fake apologies, which we talk about a lot on the show.
Frank: What’s a fake apology?
Elijah: Oh, I love fake apology. It’s not, “I’m sorry.” It’s, “I’m sorry that you feel a certain way. I’m not wrong.” So, Dr. Gayl, “I’m sorry that you feel like you weren’t invited to the show, but that’s not my problem.” The entire apology–
Dr. Gayl: Actually, it’s not your fault Elijah. It’s Frank’s fault for not inviting me but go ahead.
Frank: And I’m not sorry.
Elijah: I know. I know. Listen–
Dr. Gayl: Okay, that’s the fake apology. What’s the real apology?
Elijah: A real apology has three parts.
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Elijah: The first part is–
Frank: Oh, I’m hurt that you–
Frank: I’m hurt that you have broken it down so methodically like a real apology has three parts. I’ve never thought about–
Dr. Gayl: Because you don’t give out real apologies. Go ahead, Elijah.
Elijah: Listen, I’m going to let ya’ll handle that on ya’lls own time.
Frank: Yeah, I was kind of–you got me there. I don’t even–
Dr. Gayl: Didn’t you see–
Frank: I don’t have a–
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Frank: Quick come back.
Dr. Gayl: Right. Go ahead, Elijah.
Frank: That’s pretty impressive.
Elijah: It was interesting to learn that there are three real steps. The first is acknowledging that what you did was wrong. I would start the apology by saying, “Listen, Dr. Gayl, I know that you love the blue M&M’s and I intentionally went and ate every single one and then showed you in a vine video that I ate everyone to your face, in front of your friends. So you need to acknowledge the infraction and the second is to actually apologize.
Frank: What was the infraction? Was it the eating all the blue M&M’s? Was it eating some of the blue M&M’s–
Dr. Gayl: No, he ate all of them.
Frank: Because you know that she likes them? Or was it showing the video in front of her friends or even taking the video?
Dr. Gayl: It was all of it.
Elijah: Yeah, it was joy I had in making the video and then the joy I had in showing the video to her and then the joy I had in watching her face go from elated to sad in front of her friends and drinking her cheers.
Frank: That’s sucks.
Elijah: Yeah, all of that was bad.
Dr. Gayl: Uh-huh.
Frank: Wow, that’s just beautiful.
Dr. Gayl: Stop it.
Frank: Did you really piss her off?
Dr. Gayl: Alright, what’s number two, Elijah?
Elijah: Number two is the actual apology. These don’t have to be in order. They just all have to be there. You actually have to say the words, “I’m sorry.” Then, the third part is, more important to women and we’ll talk about this later.
More important to women than to men–but she needs to ask for forgiveness. So, Dr. Gayl, can you forgive me–
Dr. Gayl: So, I’m sorry for–
Elijah: For all of those things?
Dr. Gayl: Eating all of the blue M&M’s and the package, making the vine video and showing it in front of your friends. I–
Dr. Gayl: Apologize. Do you forgive me? That’s how it goes?
Elijah: Yes, and here’s the thing, until you give a real apology, the hurting hasn’t stopped yet. That’s the problem with fake apologies. You can’t really start to get forgiveness until a real apology has been given and you can’t give a real apology until you’ve stopped hurting the other person.
Dr. Gayl: Okay, let’s say this, Elijah–
Elijah: Say it.
Dr. Gayl: Let’s say I really don’t want to give a real apology, right, and so I do give the fake apology. I’m sorry that you feel in some type of way, Frank, that your favorite color is purple–
Frank: And gold.
Dr. Gayl: And mine is red.
Dr. Gayl: Actually, crimson and cream, anyway–
Frank: For the record, let’s be clear that I am clear that you said your favorite color and then you said purple and I added on a color and that’s two colors. And I’m clear that I went outside the bounds and you’re not clear that you went outside the bounds by saying red and white, two colors. I think you should apologize.
Dr. Gayl: Whatever, so–
Frank: You were wrong.
Dr. Gayl: No, this isn’t a real apology.
Frank: But you were wrong.
Dr. Gayl: Wait a minute. This isn’t a real apology.
Frank: What isn’t a real apology?
Dr. Gayl: Because I–
Frank: You’re not giving one.
Dr. Gayl: Right, that’s what I’m saying, so my point, Elijah is, is it okay to give a fake apology, because I really don’t care that Frank’s–
Frank: That I’m offended, that she doesn’t know–
Dr. Gayl: I’m sorry that–
Frank: The different between one color not two.
Dr. Gayl: I’m sorry that you’re offended, that your favorite colors are purple and gold or old gold or whatever it is.
Frank: You get props for knowing–
Elijah: You have to ask why you’re taking the time-
Dr. Gayl: To give the fake apology.
Elijah: Yeah, because what you can really do is just hit him in the throat and walk away.
Dr. Gayl: I could.
Elijah: Then he’ll know you’re not sorry for real.
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Elijah: What happens when you get that fake apology is, you’re like is it’s more, “I don’t want to deal with this anymore. Can we please stop?”
Dr. Gayl: Right, so let me just say this, so he–
Dr. Gayl: Can shut the hell up. Okay.
Frank: Do you have like video in here or something like that? You’ve seen the throat moves she’s done to me before?
Elijah: She seems like that type of person. She seems like she aims for the softest part.
Dr. Gayl: Right, because I can go chopper style.
Frank: What style?
Dr. Gayl: Chopper style.
Elijah: She can go chopper style.
Dr. Gayl: Chopping style. Chop, chop, chop.
Elijah: Like 2002.
Dr. Gayl: That song was out when I was online and my online sister had this chopper song.
Frank: I don’t even know what that is and everybody doesn’t know what online means. So yes, you’re just–you’re losing our audience. Would you happen to be in a Greek letter organization, Elijah?
Elijah: I am not.
Frank: Okay, alright.
Dr. Gayl: He knows about it though.
Frank: You’ve watched a “Different World” or something like that? You saw “School Daze.”
Dr. Gayl: “School Daze.”
Frank: Yeah, “School Daze.” See–
Elijah: Yes, exactly.
Frank: You have seen “School Daze?”
Dr. Gayl: Who hasn’t seen “School Daze?”
Elijah: “School Daze,” is one of the few DVDs I believe in.
Frank: Talk about a movie that is such a classic years past when it came out. If you went to–
Frank: An HBCU–I don’t know about-well, I did go to a non-HBCU for grad school, but I don’t know about non-HBCU’s for undergrad, but damn, Spike Lee nailed it in that movie–
Elijah: Yes, he did
Frank: Very well. What a great, great movie. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.
Dr. Gayl: As we digress.
Dr. Gayl: Alright, let’s get back to the point ahead.
Elijah: I mean that was worth it though.
Elijah: It was good.
Dr. Gayl: It was, I agree. So, listen Elijah, how can Frank learn how to apologize better to me? How can men learn how to apologize to their women so that it’s heartfelt and they feel it and they understand it and it’s real?
Frank: So, it’s official, you’re my woman?
Dr. Gayl: I’m your radio wife. I’m your radio wife.
Dr. Gayl: That’s all.
Elijah: *(inaudible) 22:22. I like that. I need to know it’s real.
Frank: Right. Let’s be clear.
Elijah: When you apologize to a woman, and Sarah may disagree with me on this, but she’s not here, so oh well. I think you really need to prove that you understand the emotion behind it. A lot of times for women, proving that you understand how she feels instead of just addressing the facts, like, “Yeah, so what,” but the real infraction may be that she feels like you’re not considering her needs.
You need to do a little research. If you’re going to apologize to a woman, specifically you need to understand there might be an emotion behind that act that she’s mad about and that takes a little bit of awareness on your part.
Now, if you’re apologizing to a guy, there are a couple of different rules. First, you need to be on his time.
Dr. Gayl: What does that mean?
Elijah: *(inaudible) 23:21 five days.
Dr. Gayl: What does that mean, be on his time?
Elijah: I was about to tell you.
Dr. Gayl: Oh, I’m sorry.
Frank: See, she wasn’t on your time.
Dr. Gayl: That’s why I don’t know how–
Frank: She’s rude.
Elijah: Exhibit A.
Frank: Interrupts and is loud, so alright.
Elijah: Frank, I’m starting to understand you right now.
Elijah: I’m starting to feel you a little bit more.
Dr. Gayl: That was so funny.
Frank: Thank you. Thank you.
Elijah: But for guys, when guys lose their cool, they only have that internal clock that cools them down. You can’t speed that up by any means.
Second, you need to stay on task, like I talked earlier about bringing up that up. Like, “Oh well, you stepped on my dog’s face three weeks ago. What about that?” You can’t do that to a guy, because he’s going to be like, “Why are we off topic? I don’t even want to talk about this,” and then he’s going to shut down. Then, this is the key. Once it’s over, once you apologize, you need to let it go. Don’t bring it up again two weeks ago when the meat loaf’s cold, like nothing, nothing.
Dr. Gayl: Okay, so Elijah listen.
Elijah: If it’s over, let it be over.
Dr. Gayl: I feel some time of way about your rules for guys.
Frank: She feels some type of way.
Dr. Gayl: I do. I don’t know how that way is–
Elijah: That type of way is a *(inaudible) 24:34.
Dr. Gayl: For a lack of a better word, but I feel some type of way. So, listen, how do you know what this clock is? Am I supposed to wait–
Frank: Yes, sit down, shut up. That’s it. That’s it.
Dr. Gayl: Am I supposed to wait one hour, five hours, the next day, two days from now, next week? How long do I have to wait and what am I supposed to doing in the mean time? Am I just supposed to be kicking it with my friends and my alliances or by myself? Am I just supposed to go to the gym or read or workout? Can we talk about something else?
Frank: Or taking a breath-
Dr. Gayl: What am I supposed to do?
Frank: Or letting the partner speak every once in a while.
Elijah: Here’s the thing. One, you need to know your partner well enough to know how much time they need. If we’re talking about a marriage situation–I mean, you guys have been doing this show for a year. So, you guys know each other pretty well. A lot of that is just–
Dr. Gayl: And we still got issues.
Elijah: Being open enough to learn your partner. It never stops. It’s always going to happen. But the other thing is, a lot of times, you can just ask. Say, hey “I want to talk about that. When do you think would be a good time?” Just be direct. I think a lot of time women want to beat around the bush. Just go, “Look, I want to talk about the flambé incident. Can we do that now or can we set a time to do that?
Frank: I don’t think men deal with flambé at all. There’s nothing male–
Elijah: Well, listen, listen, she’s apologizing. So, I didn’t say–he’s already mad.
Dr. Gayl: Alright.
Elijah: I’m the one that’s upset. She did something with the flambé.
Frank: Gotcha. She did it. I understand. Flambé is by definition, female. It’s a female something.
Frank: I don’t even know what flambé is.
Frank: But see, the “a” sound at the end of it makes it feminine.
Dr. Gayl: Whatever.
Frank: I took French or Spanish. One of those.
Dr. Gayl: You don’t even remember.
Frank: Yeah, right. I took one of those languages and I learned that there’s masculine and feminine.
Dr. Gayl: Alright, so Frank, how–
Frank: And that’s feminine.
Dr. Gayl: How long do you need to think? Are you one of those types of guys that you need time to think?
Frank: I want time and I want the kind of time where I want to be able to say, “I’ll let you know.”
Dr. Gayl: But why?
Frank: Because that’s what I need or that’s what I want. I want to be able to let you know and so for you to stand in front of me and say, “So, you’re going to let me know, when? In five hours, 10 hours and what should I do in the mean time?” No, none of that is–just step back.
Dr. Gayl: Okay, so what should I do in the mean time while you’re thinking? Why does it take so long for you all to think though? That is so annoying. I wish I had–
Elijah: Hold on. Hold on.
Dr. Gayl: I wish I was there.
Elijah: Why is it?
Dr. Gayl: I’m sure Sarah would agree with me that, that is so annoying, that you need time to think.
Frank: I just want time.
Frank: Give me time. It could be to cool down. It could be to process. It could be even just to hold you. Not you. Definitely not you.
Dr. Gayl: That was a little–the unconscious always tells the stuff. Did you know that, Elijah? Anyway, go ahead.
Frank: It could just to hold you, my partner, and just be quiet, but I don’t feel the need to run my mouth all the time.
Dr. Gayl: See, you didn’t have to say that though.
Frank: I said I don’t–
Dr. Gayl: Run your mouth.
Frank: Feel the need to run my mouth. Now, I didn’t say you felt the need to run your mouth, but when I didn’t say that you were running your mouth, so maybe that was-hmm. Yeah, I get it.
Dr. Gayl: You still haven’t answered the question. Why do you need that time? What about the time is significant? What’s so difficult with answering the question right then?
Frank: Well, I don’t have an answer right then. If you’re wanting an answer or demanding an answer, I just don’t have it. And if I don’t have it, anything I give you would be just to appease you and I don’t want to appease you. I want to be sincere.
Dr. Gayl: So, give us a time frame of the amount of time that you need, an hour–
Frank: You’re still asking–God, you’re asking me the same question.
Elijah: Hold on, hold on. Here’s what you should do Gayl. Assume that the time needed is infinity and then be surprised when he comes to you.
Frank: That will never work for her. She will be saying–
Elijah: It would work. It would work if you did it.
Frank: It would work, if she did it, but she couldn’t do it. She’d be sitting there with her arms crossed, tapping her foot, “Are you ready yet?”
Dr. Gayl: Is it time yet?
Frank: Acting like I am doing her wrong by wanting some time to just be to myself or be–.
Dr. Gayl: Because I don’t think that men realize–
Dr. Gayl: How annoying that is. Women, we’re smart, right?
Frank: Okay, you’re mixing–
Dr. Gayl: So, we can process very well and very quickly. We don’t need eons to process our feelings and emotions and to put that into words. We just don’t.
Elijah: But, but, but, here’s the problem. Here’s the actual problem you’re making–
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Elijah: Dr. Gayl.
Dr. Gayl: Alright.
Elijah: If you want to apologize, if you want to apologize for offending him, why would you annoy him more? You’re not done offending him yet. You’re not even ready to apologize, so what I would suggest–you said, “What you do in the mean time?”
Dr. Gayl: Uh-huh.
Elijah: Make a show of love. Do something loving towards him until he turns around and you will find that that turn-around time becomes shorter.
Frank: Are you really starting stuff now? Do something loving while she’s irritated.
Dr. Gayl: Right. What the hell?
Elijah: Yeah, but wait, if you’re irritated, you’re not in the space to apologize anyway–
Dr. Gayl: I’m not the one apologizing.
Elijah: Because apologies are humbling.
Frank: You’re not even–
Elijah: You are. Don’t change the subject now. We were talking about women apologizing to men.
Frank: Yeah, what he said.
Dr. Gayl: What?
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You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re talking with Elijah R. Young, co-host of The Relationship Podcast, and we’re discussing apologies and forgiveness. Elijah, please tell our listeners how they can find you and your podcast.
Elijah: Cool, so this is called, Relations, the Podcast and you can find us at relationspodcast.com or just search for Relations, the Podcast on iTunes– or Stitcher, I’m sorry, we just got that too or fancy.
Dr. Gayl: Okay, so we talked about, we talked about apologizing to men, how do men apologize to women? I don’t think that you can answer that thoroughly, but I’m going to let you try, Elijah.
Frank: So if you don’t think–
Frank: He can answer, why don’t you just stop talking?
Dr, Gayl: I’m just saying, because he did the research on it, so I’m just letting him put his stuff out there. Go ahead.
Frank: You’re just telling him what his shortcomings are before he even starts talking. I got you.
Elijah: Right. Well it’s not a shortcoming, because I already answered it.
Elijah: Well maybe someone was talking so I’ll say it again. We were talking about how a man apologies to a woman, you need to understand the feeling behind the infraction. Remember, we talked about the toilet seat was being left up, maybe it was not about the toilet seat, maybe it’s not about you not being considerate of her needs.
A guy really needs to dig deeper into the infractions and find out what was the real hurt, because a lot of times it’s really easy to stay on the surface with an apology like, “Okay, I broke piggy, that’s fine.” But maybe the bigger issue is you’re stomping around her like you own the place, you saw me here, you don’t really think space is our space. You just think everything is about you.
So, it does take a lot more awareness and it takes a lot of empathy to apologize to a woman. I gave ya’ll love and respect. I did all the research now.
Dr. Gayl: Okay, cool. So, let’s move on, is there a point in the relationship where it’s just the apologies are just overwhelming and you’re just over it and you’re like, “Alright, I done apologized to you for-” The guy’s like, “Il apologize for the toilet seat being up.” The woman is like, “I apologize for annoying you, for asking you to hurry up and think,” and is it a point where you’re just like, “Okay, this just isn’t going to work. The apologies are overwhelming. I’m over it. I just apologized to you yesterday for being too extra–” because I’m a little extra.
Frank: Alright. I’m impressed that you–
Dr. Gayl: Did you like that, Frank?
Frank: Actually called yourself extra.
Dr. Gayl: You know, so is there a point where you’re just like over it?
Frank: Are you done? Okay.
Dr. Gayl: Yeah.
Frank: I think she’s done.
Dr. Gayl: I’m done. Question mark, period. I’m done.
Elijah: Yeah, that’s up to every individual person though. Your level of doneness is really up to you. But I think if the apology-forgiveness cycle isn’t really working out, then the real problem is, are you guys really forgiving each other? Are these problems really being solved or are you guys just putting Band-Aids on gunshot wounds and hoping it works out?
Frank: Which raises a very primal issue around the whole apology piece for me and that’s what is the purpose of an apology?
Elijah: The purpose of an apology is to really humble yourselves to the other person and say. “Listen, something happened. You had a feeling and I respect that feeling enough to take myself completely down and submit myself to your forgiveness.” Then, I give that choice to you and I sit back and I stop.
You see, the problem is, once you apologize sincerely, your responsibility is over. The ball’s in the other person’s court completely and you have to be okay with whatever comes back.
Frank: That’s interesting. The sincerity is interesting.
Frank: And being okay with however they respond. It’s like–
Frank: I always feel as though you’re not asking a genuine question if you’re not okay with the answer. If you’re asking a question and you’re going to have a problem with the answer-so, if I ask you Dr. Gayl, “Does my breath stink,” and I’m going to only be comfortable with her saying “no.” Well, that’s not really a fair question. I’m not being genuine and really wanting a truthful answer. Is that a similar sentiment?
Elijah: Yeah, that’s a 100 percent accurate and that goes back to what we talked about with just wanting to get things over verses really trying to push through the issues. Because, it’s hard to apologize, especially for people with egos and it’s hard to humble yourself to your partner and say, “You know what? Whatever you decide it’s all good. I’m going to go with it.” But you guys build a greater bond by going through that tough situation than to just gloss it over. Hope it works out.
Frank: Now, there’s a way of life or a way of looking at situations where we say– and I’m in this number–where we say that there are no mistakes, they’re just simply learning opportunities. If it’s a learning opportunity, it’s not really necessary to apologize, because you understand that people are learning along the way. That’s one piece. Then, the other piece is, if we are getting to know each other and if we’re trying to establish a space where we can be ourselves, some of the apologies don’t need to occur, because we have the opportunity to accept the other person.
If our partner–I don’t know, one of the examples that you’ve given along the way–if our partner offends us, we get the opportunity to be offended or we get the opportunity to just simply understand our partner and this is how they function and I’m not going to chalk it up as being against me or intentionally offensive. I may not like it, but I’m not going to chalk it up as offensive. I’m just going to chalk it up as, “This is my partner and this is the person in my life and I have the opportunity to get to know them a little better.” How do you weigh-in? What are your thoughts on both of those?
Elijah: I love the idea that, because it reframes the relationship expectations, which admittedly even I’ve done this. You go into a relationship and you romanticize your partner. You put them on a pedestal. “I chose you, so you’re great. You’re fantastic. I make great decisions, so you have to be one of those great decisions.” But Sarah brought up an example in our forgiveness show where she works for a boss and her boss just understood that everyone was going to fail at some point, because people just aren’t perfect and that gave her the ability to actually immediately forgive and be so understanding, which it eases everything for everyone around you.
If we just understand that at some point our partner is going to do something that they need forgiveness for and we know that upfront, then we’ll be in a much better position to offer it quickly or to an even higher level that Frank was talking about, where we don’t even get offended in the first place.
Frank: Which do you recommend or do you recommend having all of them in the toolbox and being willing to pull out whatever is necessary in order to make headway in a given relationship with a given person?
Elijah: Well, it’s tough to say. My first reaction is to say that it’s a timeline. You would probably evolve from being offended all the time to, “Okay, well I understand that people make mistakes and I can forgive them quickly,” to “All this stuff rolls off my back and doesn’t affect me at all.” I think it’s more of maturity scale.
But there are certain things that you should just be offended about. If someone, if your partner hates dogs and they kill your dog and they’re like, “You know I didn’t like dogs,” you’re allowed to be offended about that. I think you can jump around the line as much as you like, depending on the infraction, but I do think it’s a maturing-up level and I think that example you gave would be the most mature.
Frank: With the example around dogs, your partner made it clear that they didn’t like dogs, they killed your dog, isn’t there even a learning opportunity there, which in that learning opportunity could very well be, to listen to–
Frank: Your partner and–
Frank: And what they did was ultimately reflective of who they told you that they were. Anything there?
Elijah: Yeah, that’s big. A lot of people fail to believe their partner or even believe people that they’re courting when they say things. We just had a call-in show where we just took listener questions and one of the questions was, “This lady told me that she didn’t want a relationship right now. Should I hold on?’ I was like, “Hold on for what?”
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Elijah: She just told you she doesn’t want one right now. There are four and a half billion women on the planet. Go work it out.
Frank: Earlier in the show I started talking about fried chicken and no, it’s not just a black thing. That’s not what I was talking about.
Dr. Gayl: Nobody said that.
Frank: I’m just–
Elijah: Chicken’s for everyone.
Frank: Yeah, thank you. I’m just clearing the deck.
Dr. Gayl: Because I don’t even like–I mean its okay, but I prefer baked chicken.
Frank: I do too.
Dr. Gayl: Yeah.
Elijah: Here we go.
Frank: I’ve been to this place downtown–two places downtown. You’ve got–what is the name of the place? I know you know. It’s a hole in the wall where you get a lot of liquor. You know.
Dr. Gayl: Why would I know?
Frank: You got to know it.
Dr. Gayl: Why would I have to know that place?
Frank: And there are a lot of guys there.
Dr. Gayl: Why would I have to know that place?
Frank: It stands–
Dr. Gayl: Well, I’m still single, so.
Frank: Yes, uh-huh. Okay, the two spots are Stan’s–
Dr. Gayl: Okay, I know Stan’s.
Frank: See and then you’re going to laugh at me. Okay, Stan’s and Shelley’s and we’re talking about in D C.
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Frank: There are two downtown spots. They’ve got great baked chicken–chicken wings. Great big chicken wings. Maybe I’ll take you there or sometime.
Dr. Gayl: Maybe you’ll take me on a date there?
Frank: I said maybe I’ll take you there sometime.
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Dr. Gayl: Anyway, go ahead.
Frank: Okay, fried chicken–
Dr. Gayl: Alright.
Frank: We’re talking about you Elijah. Okay, you don’t like fried chicken and your lady loves fried chicken. Now, most of the time you all strike a good balance, whatever that balance is. But on this day, she wants fried chicken and so she makes fried chicken and you come in the house–and you can eat fried chicken, you just don’t particularly like it. So, you come in the house and you’re upset that she only made fried chicken that day. And she says, “Look, I just made fried chicken, because I like fried chicken. I didn’t make it to irritate you. I made it because this is what I like.” But yet you’re offended, so when is the harm done, not harm, because it wasn’t done to harm you? Your irritation or your harm or whatever have, whatever you want to call it, is just simply a by-product of you not liking what was done, but it wasn’t done to cause you pain or something like that. It was just kind of a casualty
Elijah: Well, if we’re using the frame of every experience is a learning experience, both parties can learn from this. Me, as a person who hates fried chicken, I come home I smell this fried chicken, I can, like you said, I can choose to be upset or I can choose to ask a question.
I use this all the time. If I get into an argument. I say listen, “Maybe ask more questions instead of make more and make less declarative statements. You know I hate fried chicken, question is, I could say, “Oh, what did you make for me?” So, you can come in and trying to learn instead of trying to fight. That’s where the learning experience could be from my end.
From her end, if she’s craving fried chicken and she’s made this sacrifice for me, but she knows that I don’t like fried chicken almost to the point that I want to start an argument about it then she could have either sent me a text before I got home, saying, “Hey, I’m making fried chicken, you may want to pick something up, because I don’t feel like cooking twice and I just really want some fried chicken,” or she could have made an alternative, like, “Hey, there’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the refrigerator, I know you love those. So, I figured we both could eat what we loved together.”
A lot of it is understanding, but regarding arguments, it comes down to both people have opportunities where they could’ve made a better decision. How aware you are of that situation in the moment, which is like I need time to become as aware as they need to be will determine how well that infraction plays out.
Frank: What about repeating an “offense?” If a person apologizes for doing something, but then they do it again and they continually do it, how do you weigh-in on that? What’s do you suggest that their partner do to make sense of it or to deal with it, period?
Elijah: Now, remember both people have power in the apology-forgiveness loop. If there’s an infraction and there’s an apology and that apology-we’re assuming the apology was sincere, right, every time?
Elijah: If it’s sincere that person’s done. Now it’s my responsibility as a partner to accept it or not. Let’s use infidelity. If there’s an instance of infidelity and there’s an apology from the cheating spouse or the cheating partner, you don’t have to stay. You can leave and then forgive them afterwards, because when we talk forgiveness, forgiveness is clean slate never happened and a lot of people use forgiveness the wrong way and I think that’s where a lot of the issues come from.
Frank: So, it’s clean slate, never happened. So, you forgive–
Dr. Gayl: After the apology and you forgive them, it’s over.
Frank: It’s done. Don’t bring it up, again.
Elijah: It’s done. It never actually happened. In my first experience with this is us having an argument and now I was informed that knowing the Bible, you’re supposed to forgive, 70 times 70 times and–
Frank: Hold on. I don’t know about that.
Frank: In the Bible you’re suppose to forgive 70 times–
Elijah: Forgive 70 times 70 times a day.
Dr. Gayl: Yes.
Frank: Seventy times 70 times. So, 4900 times?
Elijah: Exactly, so basically you should let everything go.
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Frank: Got you. Each day?
Elijah: Right, and then if you’re a Christian, the idea is, Jesus forgave you completel, no matter what you did and it’s done. Now, when you accept it into your life and none of it can ever be brought up again, that is the the rule.
That is the biblical definition of forgiveness is, but if you just look into the dictionary, the actual dictionary definition of forgiveness is, clean slate, like it never happened. These things that keep getting brought up five, 10, 15 years down the road, forgiveness actually wasn’t given at all. It was more like, “I just want to get through the situation.” So, fake forgiveness is like the fake apology.
Frank: Interesting, and well, I guess forgiveness does mean, forgetting. “I forgive, but I won’t forget.” When someone says that, what goes through your mind?
Elijah: Then you’re not forgiving, because there’s a sense of power that you hold onto when your partner humbles themselves completely with a real apology and now you can either stab them with the sword a little bit or you can really forgive them. A lot of us like that power of holding something over our partner’s head to bring up later, which is where the forgive-but-don’t-forget ideology comes from. But really you’re hurting yourself when you do that, because you’re preventing yourself from growing with that person fully and fully embracing that relationship and fully enjoying that relationship, because in the back of your mind, there’s always, “I still got a dead dog.” You’ve got to let that stuff go.
Frank: Is forgiveness necessary or important or required? I guess required/necessary in a long-term relationship?
Elijah: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Forgiveness is necessary in short-term traffic jams.
Frank: I agree.
Elijah: You have to let that stuff go.
Elijah: Yeah, yeah and like I said earlier, your partner is going to offend you in some sort of way. It is going to happen, because we are all humans. We both come with two different lives of experience and that’s going to clash at some point.
Now, here’s the thing though, when you look at forgiveness, it’s not an event, it’s a process. A lot of time someone can ask for forgiveness and we feel the need to respond right then. We say, “I forgive you” or “I don’t forgive you.” I think a more appropriate response would be, “I will start the process of forgiveness,” and that’s more accurate, because if you-huh?
Frank: What about revenge? Revenge have any place in here?
Elijah: Look, it makes its way. You can be, you can choose to be revengeful instead of forgiving, but that’s a choice on your end, because if that person was really apologized, they are actually done and now you’re wrong by seeking revenge. Also resentment is something that happens a lot, because someone comes and they humble themselves and they give a real apology there. If you say you forgive them, they actually like it never happened too, because that’s the rule.
That’s why I think you should delay in saying that you forgive people until it’s really gone.
Frank: You’ve been listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with Elijah Young–Elijah R. Young an on-air personality who started an internet podcast with his partner three years ago. Their show, relationship, The Relationship Podcast is about improving your social, professional and romantic life, one episode at a time and it airs five days a week for a half hour.
During their show, they discuss dating tips and tricks, personal improvement, relationship issues and much more. Elijah, one more time, please tell our listeners how they can find you and your podcast.
Elijah: Very easy. Our site is relationspodcast.com or you can just simply search on iTunes, “Relations: The Podcast.”
Frank: Along today’s show, we’ve discussed the three steps to creating a actual apology, men apologizing to women and what needs to happen when a woman apologizes to a man. I don’t think Dr. Gayl has really gotten that yet. Anyway–
Dr. Gayl: I’ll work on it.
Frank: Okay, alright.
Dr. Gayl: I’ll practice on you, Frank.
Frank: Okay, thank you. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had discussing apologies and forgiveness as always it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and accepting as possible.
Let us know what you thought of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter @mrfranklove or at franklove.com. On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette, my assistant producer, Anayza Stewart, the man on the boards, Jeff Newman and my co-host–
Dr. Gayl: Oh, I got a shout-out.
Frank: Dr. Gayl. Keep rising. This is Frank Love.
END OF TRANSCRIPT