A wise family friend once told me to stop saying “sorry” all the time. That got me thinking about just what I’m apologizing for when I say this overused word.
I see people saying “sorry” every day, and it’s not just saying sorry when we bump into people by mistake or step on their feet. I see people using the word when they give their opinion about a topic and then feel they need to qualify that opinion with the word sorry.
We are taught from an early age to express our feelings and say what we’re thinking. As we grow into adults, passing through schools, sports leagues, and then into our business and professional life, apologizing for our opinions and thoughts reflects how cautious we’ve become in navigating personal and professional relationships. How many times have you found yourself starting a sentence with “I’m sorry?” To a guest at my hotel, “I’m sorry, but is there a problem with your room?” To my boss, “I’m sorry, should I have handled that differently?” You could have just said, “Should I have handled the situation differently?”
Saying “I’m sorry” puts you on the defensive side. At work, saying it too often can actually lead your boss to make the assumption that you’re unsure of what it is you’re doing. If my boss asks why I did something a particular way, shouldn’t my response be to answer that question and not start with an apology? Don’t assume that just because your boss asks you a question, that what you did is automatically wrong. No!
I’ve also noticed that women will apologize when they become emotional in front of someone. In my experience, people who apologize for crying in front of me makes it seem like I can’t handle their emotions, and well, that bothers me to a certain extent. “I’m sorry I’m upset,” just isn’t necessary. We’re all human. Yes, we can say sorry when we bump into a stranger at the store, but when it comes down to doing our best at work, speaking our mind, especially when we’re asked to, or showing our emotions, let’s not say that word. It’s overused, and just a habit that we’ve created in our society.
I have the habit of saying sorry. That being said, ever since my family friend told me to stop saying sorry, I’ve been more aware of when I use the word and naturally don’t use it as frequently. That, my friend, is a beautiful thing.
Oh, and don’t get me started with “you know.” No, I don’t know, so tell me.
I ain’t sorry, honey!