Friday, August 11, 2017

Sorry, not sorry.

I’d like to consider myself a fairly accommodating person. Perhaps too accommodating at times. The upside of this tendency is I’m a pretty flexible gal. The downside? I tend to reflexively apologize or take blame for things that aren’t my fault.

Ever have a day when someone else wasn’t paying attention to what they were doing and they basically plow right into you? Yeah, me too. My first reaction? “I’m sorry!” And while some may argue that that phrase is basically a filler expression everyone uses, I tend to think there’s a little more to it than that. At least for me. And that's just one example of how we tend to throw the "I'm sorry" expression around throughout the day. 

Lena Dunham recently wrote an essay on the subject matter and had a great idea: She called it an ‘apology log’ and it’s a great way to see how often you’re saying this word and how many times it is a sincere apology versus an awkward, reflex filler.  

So I tried it and let me tell you... it's insane how much I used the phrase as a filler expression. BOGGLES my mind, insane. I noticed I did it more so at work then anywhere else.

Thanks to a tip, from the Every Girl website, for work issues I’ve been working on omitting that first “sorry to bug you…” or “sorry to be annoying but…” because am I really? Or am I saying that to get them in a better mood? To get them on my side? It can be difficult for me to just ask for what I want, or acknowledging my authority in situations and I’ve found that throwing meaningless “sorries” in the mix distances me from growth. So no more. 

I’ll end with Lena’s final thought because I feel the same way:

“When I replaced apologies with more fully formed and honest sentiments, a world of communication possibilities opened up to me. I’m just sorry it took me so long.”

Until next time... 

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