I’m done saying “sorry.”
And here’s why.
I say “sorry” all the time. I probably say “I’m sorry” to start 25 sentences each day. I am so very sorry multiple times a day, every single day.
To be completely frank, I am usually not sorry at all, not the least bit. I feel no budding or blossoming feelings of the great regret and remorse I am constantly alluding to. In fact, I am nearly always pretending. But the jig is up.
I have become weary of my own indirectness and the societal pressure inflicted on me to be a pleasant, accommodating, and, yes, apologetic woman. I am a 41 year-old woman with fully-formed opinions and a wide panoply of life experiences. I have an advanced degree, a passport full of stamps, and an acute value system. My voice and opinions are legitimate and are based on fact, intuition, and experience. After a lifetime of not feeling worthy- and feeling like my words were valueless, I now know my worth. I need to rid myself of this inauthentic “sorry” and step forward, theoretically, to claim my share of life in an unapologetic fashion.
To be crystal clear, I am not balling up my fists, waving them in the air, and angrily telling life to shove it.
I’ve tried that and had very little success with that approach. To the contrary. I believe in tact, politeness, and treating others with kindness and compassion. I am simply trying to peel away a layer of deceit within myself, and make myself a better person. I don’t think that saying “I’m sorry” as much as I do benefits me or anyone else in any significant way.
There are most certainly times when I AM sorry, and when expressing my remorse is a good thing (for me and others.) This does NOT naturally occur 25 times each day.
Here are 10 examples of when/why I say “sorry” when I am not actually sorry:
- As a filler to occupy empty conversation.
- To ingratiate myself to others.
- I apologize before politely asking an employee to do something well within their job description, like refill drinks, or take my order.
- I am especially sorry when I take up space: I am sorry my leg bumped into yours, and I am sorry our arms touched while seeking a spot on our shared armrest. I apologize for using our shared armrest. It’s clearly my fault.
- When I express my feelings.
- I regret that I disagree. It doesn’t matter if my conflicting viewpoint is entirely valid, I am still very sorry about it.
- My cats hear “I’m sorry” when I am cooking dinner for my daughter and they have to wait for their wet food, while a bowl of dry food sits untouched.
- When I have to ask anyone to do anything, even if I am asking them to do something they volunteered to do.
- I am sorry for my human weaknesses and limitations.
- I am sorry for my human needs, and normal bodily functions.
- Legitimate tragedy. Loss, pain, disappointment, hard times. Friends, I am sorry. I feel your emotions and grieve with you. This “sorry” is palpable, and I want you to know that I genuinely share it with you.
- The times I legitimately mess up. “I’m sorry” is no panacea, but I think it goes a long way to express my genuine regret over my frequent, foolish mistakes.
- We can not forget the sarcastic, bi***y “I’m sorry.” The “I’m sorry” that is a swift and effective passive-aggressive jab. The ever popular “I’m sorry, does my uncompromising feminism offend you? I’m so sorry I believe in equality.” #SorryNotSorry. Nope, not giving that one up. I can only be so perfect, right?