Do you find yourself saying sorry all the time?
Do you feel guilty, ashamed, or blamed for things beyond your control?
Research shows women apologize more frequently than men.
Saying sorry all the time can be a sign of anxiety, OCD, or abuse.
Saying sorry too often affects our relationships.
Girls constantly receive mixed messages:
- Be confident, but not conceited
- Be smart, but no one likes a know-it-all
- Ambition is good, but trying too hard is bad
- Be assertive, but only if it doesn’t upset anyone else
What are we teaching our children (and especially our daughters) when we say sorry all the time?
When an apology is warranted, of course it should be offered, but acting a victim and saying sorry for instances outside our control isn’t healthy.
There’s a big difference between a real apology and just saying sorry.
I am raising servant leaders and precision of language is important. We’re respectful but unapologetic when we express our needs.
I don’t want my kids to feel they have to be sorry for being who they are.
Stop Saying Sorry…
Stop saying sorry for emotions.
Don’t say sorry for being sensitive, emotional, or passionate.
Stop saying sorry for getting angry.
Stop saying sorry about asking for help.
Stop saying sorry about speaking your mind.
Stop saying sorry for your past.
Stop saying sorry for telling the truth.
Stop saying sorry for being successful.
Stop saying sorry at home.
My house is messy and I won’t be sorry for it since we live here – all day, every day.
I don’t say sorry for asking my spouse or kids to contribute to our household care and cleaning.
I changed my language to be assertive and express my needs.
I am polite but firm when I request the dishwasher unloaded or laundry put away. I can’t and won’t do it all when we all must work together for a smooth-running household.
I stopped saying sorry for needing “me time.” Self-care is important and as an introvert, I need more alone time than the rest of my family members.
Stop saying sorry at church.
Sorry seems to be a very churchy word.
It doesn’t have to be. Change the narrative.
Empathize without using the word sorry.
When we hear bad news, we often automatically say, “I’m sorry.” We express sorrow and sympathy the way we have been conditioned. But we could use better precision of language than saying sorry for things totally beyond our control. When people confide bad news, by all means I sympathize and empathize, but I don’t have to apologize for it unless it is truly my fault.
I can tell someone that I understand (if I really do.) I can say, “That’s unfortunate.” or “That sucks.” Most people don’t want advice or to hear if I’m sorry; they just want me to listen.
When people ask me for something I can’t or don’t want to do, I don’t have to say a sorry no. No means no. I don’t have to offer an apology or explanation. I protect myself and my time.
Stop saying sorry socially.
As a large homeschooling family, we could do so many activities and attend so many field trips and classes, and get so over-involved – and never be home.
No means no. I am very careful about our time and how much we’re involved in. I say no often and unapologetically. I don’t have to offer reasons to anyone.
It’s easier to say no and change to a yes later than the other way around. People don’t handle disappointment well.
When my kids have a scheduling conflict, we all have to compromise. Someone has to arrive early or get picked up late so we all get to where we need to be.
Stop saying sorry at work.
Stop saying sorry for taking time to respond or to do a job well.
Stop saying sorry, even if you’re at fault for a mistake. Use better and more positive language.
I found myself saying “sorry” a lot, even for small errors or something that was completely out of my control, so turning regret into gratitude really helps. Not to mention keeps everything professional, neutral, and not off emotion. ~Maya
Alternatives to Saying Sorry at Work:
- Thanks for flagging!
- Good catch! I will make the updates/changes.
- Many thanks for noticing the error, [name], we will [verb].
- Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will [verb].
- Thank you for clarifying.
- Thanks for the nudge! (If you missed a previous email)
- We appreciate your inputs; moving forward, we will [verb].
- Thank you for your feedback; we will incorporate this into our process.
I used to get all prickly and sweaty and my stomach was in knots when I got emails citing any mistake, even if it wasn’t my fault. I recently tried this out in work emails a couple times and it worked like a charm! I feel more in control and not at all anxious. And I got lovely “thank you” replies from my colleagues.
And never, ever say sorry for asking for payment for your work. Bloggers, artists, and other creators should be compensated for their time and work.
Don’t make the kids say they’re sorry.
We’ve all been there. Maybe we’ve done this.
Kids do something thoughtless or even mean.
We expect them to be and say “sorry.” We want to teach manners and social acceptance.
Making kids say they’re sorry doesn’t teach them anything.
Making kids say they’re sorry is more about us than them.
What to do instead of making kids say they’re sorry?
- Role model.
- Affirm feelings.
- Offer choices.
- Let them work it out on their own.
Kids often empathize better than adults can. We can learn from them!