Sorry… Not Sorry

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“Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

Mark Twain

I had the pleasure of attending the Women’s International Beer Summit last weekend. It was wonderful because it featured amazing women from different parts of the world who worked in different sectors of the beer, cider, and mead industry. I really enjoyed the presentations. They ranged from learning how to taste beer like a pro, smelling hops, and tasting different honeys used in mead. Some of my favorite speakers were Julia Herz, Ashleigh Carter, and Annie Johnson. Their style was to encourage women to put on their big-girl-panties ( not their exact words) and make a difference in the beer industry. One of those 3 women made a comment about women saying sorry too much. They urged the women in the seminar to ” Stop saying sorry!” I heard it and it went in one ear and out the other. However, I’m writing this post because the same comment came up in another unrelated seminar less than a week later.

About 2 days ago, I watched a video in which Corinne Crabtree of the No BS Woman Weightloss Program made a similar comment that women should stop saying sorry and that their lives didn’t have to serve as a huge apology. After hearing this comment twice, I reflected on my use of the word sorry. I personally hate when people don’t apologize when they have wronged someone and expect a continued or repaired relationship. I instill in my children that it’s imperative that they apologize and be specific in their apology. I’ve been hurt by people who decided to be ” wrong and strong” after crossing the line. I feel actions and words hurt worse when someone shows no remorse or acknowledge that they have hurt me. In that regards, I feel all people should apologize more. However, as I reflected on the edict of these strong women, I realized that they weren’t talking about those instances of apologies and saying sorry. They are talking about the habitual ” I’m sorry” that many women throw around like it’s aizuchi. Yes, men do it too. I just see it or notice it ( big difference) in those that are more feminine.

I am guilty of this crime. I and many others say sorry when we haven’t done ANYTHING wrong. Any inclination of imperfection or offense is met with a sorry. I think I have done it to expresses to others that I recognized something I did wrong as opposed to wronging someone. Those things are not the same. To me, it seemed polite or thoughtful. However, many perceive saying sorry often as weakness, submissive, annoying, and frivolous. Sorry does not have to be in the same manners category as please and thank you.

Here are some examples of times you may be saying sorry unnecessarily and some alternatives:

  • You bump into someone and say sorry – Excuse me would sufficient.
  • You did something that someone wouldn’t prefer and explained yourself by starting out with, “Sorry, but..”- Just state your position and keep it moving.
  • You are about to make a comment that is contrary to someone else’s comment and say sorry before making your comment- Make the comment and leave out the sorry.
  • You run late for a meeting and say sorry entering the room- Sit down, take your place, and explain yourself ( without sorry) only if asked.
  • You assume that you offended someone and then say sorry – First, don’t assume. Second, if confronted, explain yourself and only say sorry if they confirmed or it’s obvious that you hurt them.
  • You misspoke or make a typo and then say sorry- No more saying sorry for mistakes. The only person that needs sorry in the instance is you for being so hard on yourself.
  • You made a minor mistake or receive correction and then say sorry- Get the feedback, make the changes, and leave out the fluff.
  • You snort when you laugh and they say sorry- No sorry needed. Your laugh is cute and if people don’t like it… Too bad.
  • Someone you know did something wrong and you say sorry for THEIR actions- BIG NO NO!!! Tell that person they should consider apologizing if you feel that strongly. Even young children could benefit from this and there is no need to apologize for a baby.

The take home message is that you are allowed and should feel free to have your own thoughts, emotions and opinions without needing to feel like they are a hindrance to others or worth an apology. You are human and allowed to make mistakes. You are not responsible for how other adults feel, think, or act. That’s their work to deal with.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I’m sorry if you didn’t. Actually, I’m not sorry, but I would like your feedback and comments. Please subscribe if you can relate or don’t want to miss future content.