Throughout my life, I’ve found that I am a constant, “I’m sorry.” When I am confused, I say I’m sorry. When I am hurt, I am apologizing. Even when I’m excited or proud, I end up saying “I’m sorry”.
Why am I apologizing for not understanding, for being hurt, for actually being happy?
As defined by dictionary.com,
sorry: adjective, sorrier, sorriest.
- feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.
Sorry is a term that is supposed to be used when you regret hurting another person, when you want to sympathize with them, or in an act of pity. Nowhere in this definition does it say that you should apologize for your own feelings, whether they are positive or negative or just plain feelings.
Do not feel bad for having emotions. Stop blaming yourself for other people hurting you. Do not continue the habit of apologizing for just being you.
While engaging in conversation with friends and family, try replacing “I’m sorry” with what you actually mean. When your boyfriend seems upset, don’t just apologize. Try, “I’m confused.” “Are you feeling alright?” “Did I say something that upset you?”. Any of these options will create an open line of communication, rather than a simple “I’m sorry” that leaves both parties unsure of what you’re apologizing for. When you forget about plans with a friend, tell them the truth. They don’t want to hear an empty apology for the thousandth time. They’d much rather hear, “I completely forgot that we made plans for tonight. Can we reschedule?”. When you get an A on a paper and your classmate gets a C, do not apologize for your accomplishment. Yes, this would be a great time to practice the sympathy “I’m sorry”, as long as it is honestly an apology out of sympathy. You have every right to be excited about your great grade and should not belittle what you have achieved in order to make someone else feel better.
It is incredible how much more positive your life will become when you stop apologizing and start saying what you truly mean. It will create an opportunity for you to express your emotions, rather than bury them under apology after apology. There will be significantly less confusion and greater understanding and communication.
Cut the “I’m sorry” out of your vocabulary and replace it with the truth.