I had an interesting experience today. I won’t go into details, but I learned that someone who had wronged me was unrepentant and was never going to apologize. This led to something paradoxical.
It had been very important to me that this person admit what they had done and apologize for it, and I could not make myself forgive them without this. Although I understood how sometimes you have to forgive someone even if they aren’t sorry, in order to be able to move on and avoid being consumed by hatred and anger, I couldn’t do it in this case; I had successfully prevented myself from feeling anger and hatred, but I still wanted the closure of an apology.
What changed is that the person made such extreme efforts to avoid facing facts or talking to me that it became ridiculous and pathetic. Once my primary feeling about the person had become pity, and I knew that they were just emotionally incapable of taking responsibility, I no longer needed an apology, and I found that I was experiencing forgiving them even though it had not been asked for.