It’s a word that when used too much, corrupts our self esteem, comes across as annoying, and even makes people lose respect for us.
No, I ain’t talking about any sailor talk or cuss word that they’ll kick you out of Catholic school for. I’m talking about the word “sorry”.
Doesn’t seem like such a bad word….or does it?
I mean, certainly, apologizing for the wrongs we did or caused doesn’t seem like such a terrible act. After all, we should take responsibility for our little fuck ups in life. We should come forward and admit when we were wrong.
Thing is though, it’s possible to go completely overboard with an apology or confession, making it more of a redundancy than any actual sort of amends.
Furthermore, it’s possible to offer an apology in a situation that frankly doesn’t really call for one in the first place, making it rather...pointless.
It’s okay to admit your mistakes or wrongdoings. It’s not okay to make your life a constant apology for those mistakes or wrongdoings, or apologize when you personally did nothing wrong for that matter.
Research has shown that saying “I’m sorry” can actually make people think less of you.
It’s not a good habit at all. Besides, the procrastin8r never over does anything and this includes overapologizing. It’s too much work, man, and just not worth the effort.
Today, we’re going to look at how the only thing you should be sorry about is saying sorry too much. And without further ado, let’s dive...right into it!
When you say you’re “Sorry”, oftentimes, you’re full of Shit
The waitress brings you the wrong meal and you’re quick to say “I’m sorry. This isn’t what I ordered.”
Your neighbor’s dog bit you and you say “I’m sorry I scared your dog.”
Your friend forgets to pick you up for a ride and you tell him “I’m sorry I forgot to text you to remind you.”
Look dude, it wasn’t your fault the waitress brought you the wrong order or that your neighbor’s dog got a little wild and Christ, your friend should be the one sorry for forgetting to pick you up, man, not the other way around.
Face it, you’re not really sorry about most things that you apologize for and you know it. I mean, it doesn’t make fuck all sense to put yourself in a position to start taking responsibility for someone else’s mistakes or bad behaviors.
I mean c’mon, you’re only saying sorry to save face. You’re trying to not look bad in front of others. You expect them to think “Oh well he said he’s sorry, so he must be a good chap!”? As if!
All saying sorry does is make it look like you’re insecure (because you are) and can’t handle any sort of dispute with confidence (because you can’t).
By apologizing, more often than not, you’re trying to make yourself feel better, not the other person. You’ll think “well maybe if I apologize, they’ll think I’m a good person.” It’s all about you.
And here’s the thing: You’re not a good person for saying sorry and they won’t think so either.
A good person comes in clean with what they are unhappy or irritated about. They don’t beat around the bush with any sort of long winded apology. Oh sorry, so sorry, sorry I’m sorry.
They just get straight to it.
Perhaps you want to just be seen as a polite and good person, or maybe you just want to avoid any sort of confrontation. Either way, you’re not actually sorry for anything other than your own lack of self esteem.
By saying “sorry”, you are communicating submissiveness. You are eliminating the power behind your words. You are subconsciously telling the other person “You are above me” by uttering the words “sorry”.
Saying sorry is passive aggressive in a sort of way. Instead of confronting the situation head on, you’re kind of tiptoeing around it and acting like the problem isn’t there. Meanwhile, you’ll be bottling up all these negative emotions about how you really feel and face heavy repressed anger, all because you couldn’t be honest.
What the fuck kind of insecure thinking process is that? Seriously. Get a grip on yourself. Be able to come forward about your grievances, rather than place the burden of guilt on yourself for no goddamn reason.
I mean you’re only gonna wind up blurting out in a passive aggressive condescending comment later down the line, if you try to hide how you really feel behind an apology. And that’s all you’re doing, hiding behind an apology. You ain’t being real dude.
You gotta keep it real, man. At all times. Be real. Be genuine. And keep it that way no matter what happens. Don’t offer this fake apology to try and compensate for your own true inner feelings.
Call out your friend for not picking you up. Tell the waitress straight up that you didn’t order the veggie burger. Call out your neighbor for not having better control over his dog as the owner. Just say what you mean and mean what you say.
Don’t apologize for it.
Don’t say the “S” word and just say SHIT!
Rejection is inevitable. Not everybody is gonna like you or what you have to offer.
Conflict is inevitable also. Not everybody is gonna agree with you.
By saying sorry, you are attempting to avoid one of those two things.You’re playing a sort of “Get Out of Jail” card because the fact of the matter is, you want to “get out” of upsetting someone or having them abandon you.
In general, saying sorry makes you look weak. It communicates that you can’t cope with someone being mad at you or thinking ill of you. The strong thing to do is come forward with what you think, honestly.
Man, it ain’t a big deal to disagree with someone or even have them a bit upset at you. In relationships, you have to be willing to be an asshole, at least kind of an asshole.
It’s like you want to have this unattainable image of perfectionism. Ain’t nobody perfect, dude!
But you say sorry to cover your ass and make you appear as not an asshole. It doesn’t work though. Thing is, you're actually being more of an asshole by trying to avoid conflict (and apologizing) then you ever are by bringing up said conflict in the first place.
You want to hang out with your friend but already made other plans, so you tell him or her “Sorry but I can’t make it.”
You can’t make it. What the fuck you sorry for? Sure, they might not be happy about the fact that you can’t hang out, but c’mon dude. It ain’t that deep. Nothing worthy of an apology there. Just say you can’t make it and move on. You don’t even have to explain anything.
You don’t have to justify what you do or say in any way. As a matter of fact, when you try to justify what you did, to another person, you are placing the power within their hands. You are basically sub communicating that you’re seeking their permission and approval, for them to give you the “a-okay”.
You’re telling them that you place higher value on making them feel good and appeasing to them, than you do over your own sense of pride and self dignity.
Dignity is respected far more than politeness. Remember that. But that’s a whole other topic for another day. Just keep in mind that when you apologize, you are people pleasing. You are placing higher value on another person, and in a sense, worshipping them as some sort of god or goddess, trying to earn their favor.
Get rejected. Upset people a little. Cause some controversy. Express yourself. Don’t apologize for being you.
Being Sorry for Everything Lowers Your Self Esteem
If you constantly think you have to apologize for something that means you think you’re constantly doing something wrong, and that really starts to take a toll on your feelings of self worth and confidence.
You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an asshole.
Truthfully, by overpologizing, you are doing yourself more harm than good. You’re making yourself appear inadequate and invaluable, as if anything you say or do must be defended.
Play life offensively. Now I don’t mean you necessarily need to be a walking insult book and offend anyone and everyone you come across, no, but I mean take matters into your own hands, take the ball in your own own court, if we’re sticking to the metaphor.
On the contrary, always playing the defense means you’re uptight. You’re consistently sitting on the edge of your seat, trying your best to maintain balance. You’re reacting to things rather than taking (slow n steady) action.
Let loose, relax. Lean back. And do everything unapologetically. Be unapologetically you.
Do what you do. Say what you say. And don’t look back.
Don’t choose to say or do something and then be sorry for it, or say you’re sorry for it.
Recently, a family friend was sitting and eating with us. This guy was smacking his lips really loudly, like, REALLY loudly, like a cow eating grass. It was disgusting.
I told him to stop chewing like that.
He said it was a bad habit and I was like, well drop that bad habit. He said he couldn’t. To which I replied ‘it’s easy. Just close your mouth while chewing instead of opening. C’mon now. I can’t believe I’m teaching a grown ass man how to eat his food.”
And you know what? He stopped.
Was it a bit “assholish” of me to call him out on a bullshit? Maybe. But had I not said anything, he wouldn’t have stopped. And worse had I apologized and said something along the lines of “Sorry, but could you stop chewing so loudly?” he’d still be smacking those lips like he was a musician playing his instrument on stage.
Had I set the tone of “sorry to address this but…” he wouldn’t have listened, yet alone put a stop to his loud chewing.
And you may think that would be awkward. Yeah, it was. But awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You must learn to use social pressure to your advantage.
Create pressure, awkward moments, and don’t back down under an apology. Just stay firm, maintain eye contact and maybe even give a little nod.
Let people know what you’re not okay with and again, don’t apologize for it.
Overapologizing Decreases Your Impact of Future Apologies
Now I want to address something and make it very clear. Ya know, obviously throughout this article, I’ve made a cold case against apologizing or using the word “sorry”
But, let me tell you this, there are certain things you MUST apologize for. Cheating, breaking a promise, or some other form of betrayal definitely calls for an apology, to name a few examples. But whatever it is, it must be something deep, something heavy.
It’s not your average little “oopsie”, it’s a big ass mistake or wrongdoing. You must actually hurt the person (not just make them slightly unhappy). To avoid apologizing for something like that would be immature.
You must take responsibility for your fuck ups. Own it and apologize.
That said, you don’t want to go on and on about it. Your goal is not to make amends but to let it go and move on, to say “What happened, happened and I’m sorry.”
Your apology should just be a statement of accountability, not a beg or plea to “work things out” or otherwise have them offer you some form of forgiveness. And once you say sorry, that’s it. Don’t keep apologizing. Don’t keep sending texts or leaving voic mails or writing e-mails or snail mail letters.
They already know you’re sorry and it’s not like the more you tell them that, the more likely they are to forgive you. Forgive yourself and don’t seek that forgiveness form someone else.
And look, the reason why you should only ever apologize on BIG things (and not minor, small inconveniences) is because doing so will make your apology have IMPACT.
It will communicate that you mean it, that you’re genuinely sorry.
See, ‘cause if you use that word all the time, then “sorry” really doesn’t hold much weight, even if you do actually mean it.
Overaplogizing makes the word “sorry” overused and washed out. People will get sick of hearing it. They won’t believe you, even if you truly are sorry. After all, you say it all the time.
“Oh he’s just saying that just to say that. That guy is always sorry, about everything. Of course he’s sorry about this!”
On the other hand, if you rarely, if ever utter the phrase “I’m sorry”, people will double take when you do. “Wait did he just say he’s sorry? That guy never apologizes FOR ANYTHING. He must…really mean it!”
You don’t want to build the reputation that you’re quick to apologize. You want to make it clear that you’re only sorry when you really mean it.
And even then, you can use something like “I was wrong” or even “I fucked up”.
“Sorry” is powerless word. You hand over the power to the other person. You are at their mercy.
You have to really, really fuck up big time in order to shell out the sorry word, seriously. In most cases, you can get away with just a simple “It was wrong of me.”
Sorry is like the nuclear bomb of apologies (or you very well should treat it as such). It is your absolute LAST RESORT you wanna use in confessing your mistake or wrongdoing.
As a rule of thumb, you get one “sorry” per person, per life. That’s it. Use it well.
Now, to be fair, you could probably say you’re sorry more than just once to a person, but keep in mind, the more you say it, the less impact it will have in the future.
Treat your “sorrys” like it’s a very limited supply, not something you hand out willy nilly.
I’m not saying “Don’t say you’re sorry even if you fucked up big more than once.” No. The idea here is to use it as sparingly as possible, so that when you do use it, it still has a strong effect.
Now that we covered why apologizing is a bad habit, let’s take a look at one simple way to actually break that habit.
Be thankful instead of sorry.
This is the easiest way to get rid of your over apologetic nature.
Flip the script.
It’s a simple little mindset shift. Instead of being sorry about the negative, be thankful for the positive. I’ll give you a few examples so you can catch the idea of what I’m talking about.
Instead of being sorry for being late, say “Thank you for waiting for me.” (You’ll probably use this one a lot as a procrastin8r)
Instead of saying “sorry” when someone criticizes you or points out a mistake, just tell them “Thanks for pointing that out. I’m glad you brought that to my attention.”
If you feel like you’re rambling on and on, don’t aplogize for talking too much, just say “Thanks for listening to me babble” or something to that effect.
You get the gist. By being thankful, you’ll actually boost your self esteem. Finding things to appreciate instead of things to be sorry for makes you feel like you’re worthy and put bluntly, kicking ass.
Be thankful I told you that, little ass kicker.
Call People Out On Their Overapologies.
You may know now that “sorry” is overused and as you tear that page out of your dictionary, you’ll start to notice just how much people will apologize to YOU for little mundane things that require no apology whatsoever.
The best thing to do in this situation is say “I forgive you.” Those words will turn heads.
They’ll tell you something like “Sorry I forgot to wish you happy birthday” or something else equally as dumb and no big deal.
Just tell ‘em you forgive them for whatever little shit they did.
They may look at you kind of funny like “What? No, you don’t have to forgive me. It ain’t that deep.” Exactly, it ain’t that deep. Don’t say you’re sorry in the first place.
Again that may build some social tension/pressure, but that’s a good thing. Compelling relationships aren’t always polite. They ain’t always joyful.
Don’t apologize for your imperfections and don’t let others in your life do so either. You’ll be able to create stronger, more dynamic connections with others than you ever had “sorrying” your way through life.
Be imperfectly you. And make no apologies for it. You’ll attract people who do the same, and that’s what you want.
Genuine people with genuine connections, not fake people with fake apologies.
Take it easy,