“I’m sorry”. The majority of the times I hear this sentence are almost never indicative of true regret, a lesson learned, or a relationship mended. I often hear people furiously apologizing for random situations out of their control and for which they are not responsible. Sound familiar? Are you a chronic apologizer? Saying “I’m sorry” excessively can create guilt, low self esteem, or an unrealistic fear of conflict. When we find ourselves in one of those situations where “I’m sorry” is about to needlessly pop out, try one of these alternative, self-affirming reactions.
1) Trust Yourself – Unless your intention is to ruin other people’s day, it is highly doubtful apologizing multiple times in a twenty-four period is going to be necessary. Know that you have the right to feel confident and comfortable in your actions.
2) Accept The Situation – If you feel like apologizing for an awkward situation you happen to be present for, instead of taking on responsibility just comment on the reality of what’s happening. Maybe it’s humorous.
3) Help Your Fellows – If you and a stranger collide in a crowded area, instead of apologizing for an accident, ask if they are alright. It might turn into pleasant grocery store banter rather than something to feel guilty about.
4) Embrace The Heartfelt Apology – Sometimes saying sorry is necessary. Do your best to recognize those situations and make your apologies genuine and meaningful. Look at what you learned through this situation.
Think twice next time you are about to say “I’m sorry.” Ask yourself “What am I apologizing for?” If that question doesn’t prompt a specific answer and a real emotional reaction, save it and embrace your right to live guiltlessly!