I say sorry so much that sometimes it flows out of my mouth without a second thought about whether it is the right phrase to use in that specific situation. Saying sorry is a great way to show empathy, to acknowledge a wrong doing, or because you have intentionally or unintentionally caused inconvenience or displeasure for someone.
Recently I came across a quote on Pinterest which inspired this blog post- say “thank you” instead of “sorry”. The next time that you want to say sorry for running late, instead say “thank you for waiting for me”. Instead of saying “sorry for rambling on” say “thank you for listening to me”. Instead of saying “sorry for constantly asking you for favours”, say “thank you for being there for me every single time”.
This will help you, and the ones around you, focus less on the negative aspect, if there is any, of the situation. It will also help you practise gratitude. When you are running late to meet a friend, for example, instead of focusing on everything that is going wrong, ask yourself, what am I grateful for in this situation? You are probably grateful that your friend is patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for you to arrive instead of canceling her plans with you. You might be grateful that the traffic is not so bad. You might be grateful that it’s not snowing or raining which might have delayed you further.
Alot of times we also say sorry when we have nothing to be sorry about. Sometimes we are invited to be somewhere we are not comfortable being and we say “I’m so sorry that I can’t come”. Instead, we can say “thank you for understanding why I feel uncomfortable being there”. By saying sorry in situations where you have nothing to be sorry about, you are seeking reassurance or approval for the decision that you have made. However, by saying thank you instead of sorry, you can feel empowered and unapologetic for the feelings that you are rightfully feeling. I often find myself in situations where I am running late but instead of leaving I will wait for the right moment so that I don’t appear rude or I say “I am so sorry but I have to run”. Next time, I want to confidently say “Thank you for meeting with me. I have to leave now because I am running late for another commitment that I have already made”.
The next time you find yourself wanting to say sorry, ask yourself “did I do something wrong that warrants an apology?”. If the answer is no then don’t say it! Sometimes, you have to say sorry and sometimes you have to say sorry and thank you but whenever possible, replace the sorrys with thank yous.