I’m So Sorry!

When somebody — a celebrity, or someone you know — says, “I’m sorry for what I did. It was totally wrong. But I was emotionally upset at the time,” they’re in essence telling you: “I cannot control my emotions, and I’m not even promising to do so in the future.” What does it mean to control your emotions? Not to repress or deny their existence, as is commonly thought. To control your emotions means to manage them, think about them and apply reason, facts and logic to them at all times. For example, “My feelings are very strong right now. I very much want to do such-and-such. But it might not be right and I might later regret it. I’m going to think about this first. I’m going to weigh the pros and cons of the action I want to take, and I’m going to evaluate whether my emotions are completely valid, or only partially valid — or even groundless.” This is what people who “apologize” for wrongdoing don’t get. The premise of controlling and managing your emotions is that reason trumps feelings. This doesn’t mean feelings are always bad and wrong, while reason is always valid and correct. People can engage in flawed or faulty reasoning, and emotions are particularly guilty of encouraging this. But reason, facts and logic are the means thorough which you decide to either engage and indulge your emotions, or refute them.