Hi! How are you?
Good, thanks for asking!
We’ve all had that conversation about… what? 3265879 times this very year alone? Were you really “good”? Ok, too easy. How about this one:
Hey, how are you?
Eh, not so great.
Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
But… were you really sorry? Or if you were the other person, did it matter if they were really sorry?
I ask because I was talking to a coworker earlier who was telling me about a friend of hers who was recently diagnosed with cancer. My immediate response was, “Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that.”
Another day, I learned someone had passed away. It wasn’t anyone I knew personally, but still, my first words after hearing the news were, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
Yet another friend recently broke up with their significant other. Yup, you guessed it, “I’m sorry it didn’t work out.” See a pattern here?
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So I was a little shocked, and said I was sorry, when a friend of mine said that I should stop apologizing. She mentioned that we, as women, apologize too often, for too many things. She’s not 100% wrong… because I say I’m sorry for almost everything. Someone else’s bad day, bad news, bad health, bad mood, bad aim, bad anything. If someone else is suffering for it, I’m automatically sorry.
And I mean it. It’s rare, but sometimes, when someone says they’re sorry… they really are sorry.
So is it true? Do we, as women, apologize too often? Does it make us look weak, or insincere? Does it hurt our ability to wave the feminism flag? Should we just learn to banish the word, phrase, or sentiment from our vocabulary?
My vote… is no. Let me explain why. It’s ok to feel sorrow for another person’s pain. It’s ok to apologize for (a.k.a. own) a mistake. I personally think it shows more strength, more integrity to own your actions, your emotions, your character than it does to pretend they aren’t there.
For example… everyone has a bad day. Everyone experiences a bad night of sleep, and at some point, everyone is forced to interact with people before caffeine has fully hit their system. Everyone snaps. Everyone barks. Everyone acts… less than their best.
I’ve done it. Oh heaven help people around me because there are days… I am truly sorry people have to be around me.
What if you make a mistake? Chances are you’re not the first person to have ever made a mistake and those same chances say someone else either has to fix, or in some way is affected by the mistake you made.
In either case… is there harm in just saying, “Sorry about this morning”, or “I apologize for..”?
In this day and age, there is already so much harshness, so many hardened outlooks on life, and such an immense amount of negativity, why can’t we take a step back, acknowledge the little things, and express an honest emotion over it?
I just don’t think being cold, hard, and rude makes a person appear strong. I think the ability to recognize that we’re all human, allows us to recognize we are all in this fight together.
In a world that seems to honor superiority over compassion I’ve taken my stance on sorry. I respect people that can admit they’re imperfectly human. I admire people who own their character… and I feel sorry for those who don’t.
What about you? What is your stance on sorry?