A Mindful Approach To Saying Sorry

"I’m sorry." 

I find myself saying those two words entirely too much.  How often does someone accidentally bump into you, but you’re the one who apologizes? How often do you apologize for canceling plans? How often do you apologize for forgetting even the most minuscule of things? For me, it’s too often.

I’ve found myself mid-apology wondering why I’m even saying those two little words. Am I really sorry? Am I being genuine? The answer 99 percent of the time is no. I find I've been letting those words fall out of my mouth instead of taking the time to think and truly express how I feel. It’s easier to simply apologize than to communicate. But just because it’s easier doesn’t mean it's right.

When along the way did we decide that we are the ones at fault for every single thing?  When I find myself saying, "I’m sorry," I often feel like I’ve done something wrong even when I know I haven’t. These two words often said by habit can leave you feeling tired, confused, or even defeated.

We need to start changing the way we think about and use the word "sorry." We need to save those words for moments that authentically call for it. We need to save it for sympathy and genuine apology to our loved ones. We need to remember that many times we have nothing to apologize for. That it really is OK to say, unapologetically, “I don’t want to hang out tonight. I would really like to stay home and watch Netflix with my dog.”

I am not saying it's OK be inconsiderate of other people’s feelings. I am simply asking people (myself included) to be more thoughtful and intentional with their apologies.  We should never apologize for not knowing the answer to your boss’s question. It's simply not necessary. Changing "I’m sorry, I’m not sure" to "I’m not sure. Let me figure that out for you" could make a world of difference to our own self-worth, and maybe even your boss's perception of you. 

We need to learn to communicate with others instead of falling back on easy apologies. We need to be genuine in that moment instead of taking the blame for something out of our control.  It’s a difficult habit to break, and one that I am still working on myself. But we truly need not feel guilt or regret in situations that do not call for it.  We should be mindful about using words that are an honest reflection of who we are and what we feel or think.  So, save your sorry for when it means the most, and learn to communicate your authentic self through your words and actions.