Why silly sorries and sorry, not sorries need to leave your vocabulary for good.
The types of relationships we have with others depends heavily on our ability to communicate with honesty, care, and respect. Even the best relationships can suffer when we misunderstand, unintentionally hurt each other, or don’t realize that we must put effort into “the opportunity for repair.” In using sorry so often, we do two things: 1) we put our discomfort in minor infractions on others, and 2) we lessen the value of these words in times of serious need for them.
The “I am sorry” RULE:
First of all, it’s time to take the “silly sorry” off the table. This blog post is all about the “bumping-into-you-so-I-need-to-say-I-am-sorry-for-not-really-needing-to-be-sorry” sorry.
We have been conditioned – especially women- to always say we’re sorry. We say we’re sorry for things that we’re totally not sorry for. The “I am sorry rule” acknowledges that we use sorry in a way that actually devalues the words and actually creates a wedge between two people. It creates a space where meaningfulness and connection could have been, but instead you created an uncomfortable space by saying, I’m sorry.
Sorry is reserved for egregious offenses. You use “I’m sorry” when you have violated someone else’s core values or you have hurt and damaged a relationship and their trust.
When you use a silly sorry, you are not really sorry. You’re just uncomfortable. I am putting my discomfort on you now so that you can say, “Oh, Christine – no problem. It’s okay, no worries. Don’t worry about it.” And that makes me feel better, but what we’re really doing is putting our discomfort on someone else and not really owning that discomfort ourselves. We are asking the other person to fix it for us. And what THAT does is take away from the actual real and meaningful relationship.
Stop using “Silly Sorries”
Sorry, Not Sorry…
What happens when we take silly sorries off the table is that we start saying, “Sorry, not sorry.” What you’re doing now is defiantly validating yourself in that you’re NOT sorry.
Sorry, not sorry sounds SHITTY.
The truth of “sorry, not sorry” is that we are finally owning that we’re not sorry, right? But you’re still creating that wedge. You’re just basically saying I’m not sorry and what are you going do about it? And that’s not really what we mean either. Right? So, really what we’re trying to do is move away from this sorry, not sorry into something even better.
Showing gratitude instead of the silly sorry cycle gives you a chance to create meaningful connection while communicating your needs in a way that will leave you both feeling good about the outcome.
That’s next level “not sorry.”
The next next level communicators go even farther. They know how to breathe in their discomfort, own it, name it (internally), and then communicate out their needs with care, love, logic, and gratitude. When you get to this level, you also know when “sorry doesn’t cut it” and when a real apology is needed. And you know how to do it with an opportunity for repair.
Want to go “next level?”
Learn what to do when Sorry Doesn’t Cut It!
Tough conversations are HARD! Let’s work together.
About the author
Christine is the founder and owner of Roam Your Soul. She has taken her 20 years of leadership experience and combined it with her passion for building communities and space for people to thrive. Christine focuses on helping people who are confident yet know what they need to work on and helps you find deeper meaning in life through adventure, transformational learning, and authentic community.
Christine has a Master’s in transformational leadership/change management and is a strengths-based transformational coach. Christine is a professional presenter and public speaker at national conferences and enjoys facilitating workshops and professional development trainings for organizations. She is currently working on her PhD in Organizational Leadership, specializing in “the human factor” – the responsibility leaders have in creating “radical care” in the workplace and the connection between personal/interpersonal needs and joy at work.