Why I'm not saying "Sorry"

I'm Sorry.png

Why I'm not saying sorry


Once I started to see it I couldn't un-see it. All of a sudden it seemed every woman I was in a conversation with would say, "Sorry" at least one time during the chat. Then, I started noticing I was saying it all the time as well. Multiple times a day. 

What was I so sorry about? 

Dictionary.com defines sorry as: "feeling distress, especially through sympathy with someone else's misfortune"; or, "in a poor or pitiful state or condition".

I can't speak for all women, and wouldn't want to. But, my own experience is that I apologize because I feel like I need to make sure everyone else is happy, and if they're not, I must have done something wrong (and need to apologize). 

What's interesting is now that I'm paying attention to my "sorry's" I realize I usually only say it to men. Or to women whom I don't know very well (or feel intimidated by). 

Hmmm....that seemed concerning to me. 

Why am I so sorry? Do I really feel "distress or sympathetic" when I'm apologizing? Or is something else going on? 

I AM a sympathetic person, but, when I feel compassion for people I usually don't feel the need to apologize. I want to dig in and find out what is wrong and help the person feel seen. I don't start apologizing.

Do I really think I'm constantly doing things wrong that need apology and forgiveness? 

I mean, come on...if I'm really doing something wrong, I should not just be flipping around the word sorry. Right? I should be confessing, talking, seeking restoration. MAYBE that conversation will include the word sorry. 

So, why am I always flinging that work around? Now it seems so insincere! 

Is it my job to make sure everyone is always happy with everything I do, and if they're not I should apologize? Oh, yes, there it is. THAT'S what I think. (And I don't like admitting it.) I think it IS my job to make sure everyone is happy. If I perceive they are not happy, it's my fault. And if it's my fault, an apology is in order.

This seems so obviously OFF. I mean, come on, how can it be my responsibility to make everyone happy? How often is it really my fault that someone is bothered? And, if I'm not at fault, why in the world am I apologizing?! 

Today I practiced what I'm learning. I had to bite my tongue, but I did it! Our roommate was getting food out of the fridge and seemed to be really rummaging around. I realized I might have forgotten that I had taken up his shelf with something. I almost said sorry. And I WAS sorry that I took over his shelf. But, instead of apologizing, I hoped up and said, "Did I take over your shelf?" He said it was no problem and he didn't mind. So, I said, "Well, thank you! I will be able to get it off your shelf this afternoon." 

And that was it. I didn't need to go into some huge apology. I didn't need to shame myself. I was clearly sensitive to the situation, showed respect and didn't have to say sorry.

I DO think there is a time to say sorry. It's not a bad word. I want to be quick to humble myself when I blow it (especially with my kids). But, for me, for now, I'm working to say the word less. And, it feels right. It actually feels more respectful to others and more honest. 

And for that, I'm not sorry.

Kate Hagen1 Comment