I’m Sorry You Feel That Way

This post is very ranty and sort of angry, so if you’re looking for good vibrations, I suggest not reading this. If, on the other hand, angry and ranty is what you like with your cup of cocoa, read on.

I’m sorry you feel that way.

People who say this need to fuck off. They need to fuck off so hard that they meet themselves last Thursday, and then they and their time travelling double need to fuck off again. There’s nothing more dismissive and less apologetic than “I’m sorry you feel that way.” It’s a way of telling someone to go shove their feelings up their ass without actually saying the words. It has the sneaky benefit of inducing rage in the recipient whilst maintaining the appearance of politeness in the person who said it.

If someone tells you something you did made them feel bad, don’t tell them you’re sorry they feel that way. Try telling them that you’re actually fucking sorry. (The fucking is optional.) You might find it gets results.

Oh, whilst we’re listing dismissive phrases “You just like to argue” and “You’re crazy” are also pretty high up on the list of things assholes say. Just so you know. Oh wait – this is an even better one, pull this one out if you really want to dismiss a person and their feelings completely. Are you ready? Here goes:

“You’re only happy when you’re unhappy.”

There aren’t enough expletives in the world, really, there aren’t.

10 thoughts on “I’m Sorry You Feel That Way

  1. WiserDoc

    You are quite right in your interpretation of that phrase. It would be eminently preferable for them to just say, “You are completely wrong in how you are viewing this situation, and I do not agree with a single thing you have said.” That is what they actually mean. They will not say that they are sorry, because they are not. They will not apologize, because they think you are totally wrong and they alone are in the right. They feel justified in what they have done. As you suggest, the phrase leaves no door open for further discussion or possible resolution. The only reply left to you is, “And I’m sorry that you are incapable of considering any other viewpoint but your own.”

    1. Loki Post author

      “And I’m sorry that you are incapable of considering any other viewpoint but your own.”

      This is so much more eloquent than a spluttered “just because my feelings aren’t yours doesn’t mean they’re not real”.

      Empathy, like height, or the ability to metabolize alcohol, is a quality delivered in differing amounts to various people.

      1. WiserDoc

        Any heartfelt response has an eloquence all its own, and you say, the capacity for empathy varies widely. I sincerely hope that the feelings of hurt and anger are fleeting.

  2. DisneyDyke

    Either be actually sorry and try and apologize for reals or actually be agressive-agressive. Or be passive-agresive but only if you wanna be an asshole to an asshole.
    The sad thing is people are sometimes dismissive with people they actually care about.
    I think blowing off some steam and ranting a little helps some so I hope you feel better and not so hurt.
    Telling people “you are crazy” is fucking awful too. But when they are polite about it and say shit like “it’s your bagagge”, “that’s because you are insecure” might actually be worse.
    You do have a way of dismantling apparent politeness, Loki Renard.
    Anyway, I sincerely hope you get a meaningful apology (even if a clumsy one) and that you feel better.

    1. Loki Post author

      “The sad thing is people are sometimes dismissive with people they actually care about.”

      This is very true, very wise, DD. Not everyone processes emotions on the fly very well. Some people just sort of shut down – and if you’re a talker type, that’s basically the equivalent of trying to put out a fire by adding gasoline vapor.

  3. sparrow

    “I’m sorry you feel that way” definitely brings the conversation to a grinding halt. It is often resorted to by people who cannot deal with confrontation, so they resort to this sleazy way to take credit for apologizing when one has not apologized at all. They look upon an apology as an admission of guilt rather than an expression of remorse for having unintentionally caused another pain.

    Sometimes it is an underhanded, passive-aggressive, socially inept, cowardly, arrogant way of discounting another’s feelings and calling them ‘wrong’. It is sometimes something said by someone who thinks they are always right and who takes no responsibility for causing the hurt another feels, leaving them to question if what was said that was so hurtful was intentional or unintentional. That not only hurts, it destroys trust. Conflicts that end in this way are never resolved. Relationships in which conflict is consistently mishandled in this way are doomed unless both parties learn to communicate and listen with love, not self-righteous defensiveness.

    Arguments are good in a relationship if they are an honest and mutual communication of feelings and both parties care about and respect each other’s feelings. If one partner is consistently an arrogant asshole intent on getting their own way, on winning, on being ‘right’ and making the other ‘wrong’, there will soon be nothing to sustain the relationship. Their only hope might be in seeking to learn to better communicate with a facilitator or councilor. Otherwise, the baby is going to get thrown out with the bathwater.

    I could have said all that in one word: Ditto.

    1. Loki Post author

      Very good points, sparrow.

      Some people do just suck at fighting. I really do think fighting well is a learned behavior – and not everyone can manage it. Which is not to be condescending, just to acknowledge that some people will panic and say the first thing they think will make the conflict stop. Which gets you nowhere, but is at least somewhat understandable.

  4. pippin

    That’s quite an egocentric and cold-hearted person to dismiss your feelings! And that last bit is an incredibly insensitive thing to say. I’m sorry that’s happened to you; I know how that feels. *hugs*

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