Humble Pie has to be the worst sort of pie in culinary history. It never ever tastes good no matter what topping it is served with!
Today I wanna talk not about the humble pie that comes like the proverbial fall right after pride, but about the one you are forced to eat when someone who is perceived to be in authority over you does wrong but you still have to apologize because of your position.
It sucks right?
If you are human and Nigerian it probably has happened to you at least once. I am starting to think that’s why ‘e pele ma’ is a compulsory part of some people’s vocabulary. It’s of course almost always uncalled for but if it massages the villain’s pride then you live to die another day!
A couple of days ago, a woman and I served on the same committee and during a function, she would shout at me almost every five minutes like I was one of the hired helps we were supposed to be organizing. Anywhere else I would have given her a piece of my mind or probably quit without a backward glance and stormed off. I was irked that I was burning calories for an unpaid cause and instead being paid with negativity at every turn. Now imagine my surprise when she announces loud enough for ‘oga’ to hear that I have been offending her since morning? The offenses apparently were my responses (non-verbal) to her shouting at me all day. In my mind I am like WTF? All hopes of an apology from her fly out the window and I look her in the eye and point out that she is the one who has been shouting at me all day and then I get asked to apologize because it’s back talk and she is my ‘senior’. I was so angry. I was hungry too but my belly turned at the first taste of humble pie. Soon as my job was done I exited the building and mentally resigned from the committee…
Still sent her an apology sms later on. Sometimes I surprise myself- I am constantly conflicted with the ‘what would Jesus do?’ mantra that plays in my head and when I am not being headstrong I actually give in to it. I would’ve liked to tell you that I got immediate gratification and she had an epiphany about the craze wey worry her that day and called to apologize but no such luck (Jesus that one’s on you).
I started thinking, how do you eat humble pie without getting sick? I know someone who got into a lot of trouble for refusing to eat this exact kind of pie. He said the pie kept getting stuck in his throat. He couldn’t imagine apologizing when it was he that had been wronged. Not everyone is cut out for the fight to prove a point and here are five unorthodox ways of getting that pie down:
- Switch off. Give them what they want with an obvious lack of sincerity. This is the human road, not the high road but it gets the job done with minimal satisfaction for the villain.
Apologize and then later on try to reason with the person in private. Please note that this might be counterproductive depending on the sort of character the villain has. Don’t set yourself up for another helping of humble pie.
Give the silent treatment right after the incidence. Strict formality, polite but very professional. No more smiles, shared laughs or unnecessary eye service. Just get in there, do your job (do it well if I might add) and get out of there. This works particularly well if the villain realizes that he is being treated special and you are saving your smiles for ‘normal’ people.
Forgive. That’s what Jesus would do. Act like you really did do something wrong. Seek penance, mend fences and move on. Who knows, one day that act of humility might speak for you.
Seek revenge! Hold the grudge for as long as you can till the moment presents itself and strike! And if you are too morally upright to openly seek revenge, pray that one day God makes you king like Joseph and your vile elder brothers come bowing down in awe. (I wonder if Joseph gloated?)
Eating humble pie sucks (I think I said that already) but sometimes there is a lesson to be learnt and some unseen good to be gotten out of it. No matter which one you choose from the options above, remember that we have all been villains at some point perhaps unwittingly and that for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction (Newton’s law).
Have a great day Chutzpah fam,