Using and Abusing the Word "Sorry"

Stop saying sorry. Recently, I have been in a lot of uncomfortable situations that have forced me to communicate with a lot of people. To which, it almost seems like an instinct to say sorry. This could be from a culmination of reasons. It’s possible it’s being a mixed race femme in a world of marginilization, or maybe it’s just my social awkwardness. Whichever it is, "sorry" slips out of my mouth, even if it’s an inappropriate situation (I will seriously say "sorry" when the girl in the grocery store trips me).

Most of the apologies that leave my mouth I genuinely do feel bad about, which I considered the norm. One of my friends enlightened me with the fact that I have absulotely nothing to be sorry about. He was right, I shouldn’t feel bad about most of the things I say sorry for, that’s life. When you open a response with "I’m sorry", it automatically validates them to be at least a tad angry with you. It’s implying that it’s your fault. The normalization of sorry is actually a little bit disheartening.

For most people, "sorry" is just a way to add fluff to a response/conversation. Don’t be afraid to be direct, the fluff isn’t helping anyone (especially not yourself). When you are genuinely sorry about something, there are different phrases to show this. Using phrases like, “thank you for waiting” or “thanks for being so understanding” gives them no choice but to wait or be understanding. When you speak, you’re setting a precendence on how people should treat you. "Sorry" automatically sets a negative tone, and to the beginning of a conversation, that can start to annoy people. Removing "sorry" from your vocabulary can prove to be a challenging thing when it’s all most people have none. Remember to own your confidence, and it’s okay to stop being so sorry about everything.