How many times do you find yourself saying sorry in a day? It’s such a common thing to do that we’ve lost track of the true meaning of sorry - and of thank you, for that matter.
Of course, there are absolutely times when having the strength to admit you are wrong is essential. Who doesn’t get things wrong sometimes? And conversely, there are certain Things You Should Never Apologise For.
But what we’re talking about here is the habitual use of the word sorry as a form of politeness. Being overly apologetic can leave you feeling guilty when you actually have nothing to feel sorry about, and it can actually make the person on the receiving end of your apology feel a bit underwhelmed.
Changing the narrative results in a subtle shift from guilt to gratitude that can make a big difference in the way people react to us, and ultimately how we feel about ourselves. You will feel more confident because you are taking control of the situation, rather than asking for forgiveness. And it shows appreciation for the person on the receiving end of the explanation by thanking them for the part they've played in the situation, rather than making it all about you.
So think carefully about the words you use and if what you actually want to say is thank you, don’t say sorry!
1. Say thank you for your patience, instead of apologising for being late.
2. Say thank you for taking the time to listen to me instead of saying sorry I’m not good company today.
3. Say thank you for calling me back instead of sorry I missed your call.
4. Say thank you for the invitation and politely decline instead of sorry I can’t make it.
5. Say thank you for helping me instead of sorry for taking up so much of your time.
6. Say thank you for appreciating me instead of sorry for being such a pain.
7. Say thank you for sharing your knowledge instead of sorry for my lack of understanding.