When it comes to the words “I’m sorry” people either say it too little or too much. On one end of the spectrum, you find those who think they don’t owe an apology to anyone, no matter what they do. On the other end of the spectrum, you find those who say “sorry” for every little thing.
I find myself in the latter category. While I feel you should never over-apologize, it’s better than under-apologizing.
People either say it too little or too much and rarely do you find someone who knows when to say it and when not to.
The dictionary’s definition of the word apologize is: to offer an apology or excuse for some fault, insult, failure or injury.
So why do I feel the need to apologize for things that don’t fall into the category of “fault, insult, failure or injury?” And not just me, everyone.
Have you noticed that sometimes when a friend is telling a story and says something like they were late for class or explains some other small inconvenience to them, you or someone replies with an “I’m sorry.” But in the grand scheme of things, do we really care? No. And if your friend being late to class was no fault of your own, then why apologize?
Does all of the over-apologizing take away from the meaning of the word sorry? When you use the same word for when a friend’s parent dies that you used when the same friend broke a nail, does it really mean that much?
A rule of thumb: If something mundane is out of your control, don’t apologize.
Even more importantly, don’t apologize for something that someone else did. If it’s not your mistake, you shouldn’t feel obligated to make up for their actions. The only person you are responsible for is you, which means that you shouldn’t be speaking for or making up for anyone besides yourself. People who apologize on someone else’s behalf are only enabling the person who is too stubborn or rude to say the words “I’m sorry” to someone that has earned them. It’s those kinds of people that drive me crazy.
I’m not asking for empty words. If you feel no remorse, then I don’t want to hear those words. But I just don’t understand how some people can honestly not care when they hurt someone, insult someone, or show up an hour later than when they said they’d be there. If you’re one of these people, all I have to say to you is: get your act together and start owning up to your mistakes. Because you are the type of person that hurts others.
As for the over apologizers, I suggest you stop saying those two important words when they aren’t necessary. They make you seem weak and subordinate, so people will walk all over you. Especially if you apologize for doing the right thing simply because someone doesn’t agree with your moral compass. Do what you think is right, and don’t apologize for it.
The words “I’m sorry” are important ones and shouldn’t be over or underused. If you disagree with me, than that’s fine. I’m not sorry for speaking my mind.
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