“Sorry! Don’t mind my handwriting!”, “Sorry! Don’t mind my dancing!”, “Sorry, could you please make way?”, “Sorry to interrupt, but....”, “Sorry to cut you off...”, “Sorry, I’m late...” these are some of the statements we make on a daily basis. Ever since childhood, we are taught to say sorry when we commit any mistake.
The word sorry means to feel sad for someone’s misfortune or it is the feeling of regret and repentance. But often we use it as a gesture of good conduct and mannerism. For example, you say sorry when you have to make a point while the other is presenting, or there is a piece of bad news you have to share. The latter is most prominently seen with Doctors, who despite trying their best have the responsibility to share the bad news.
Whenever such statements are made, it pulls down the energy around. More than helping the sender elevate the delivery of the message; it depresses and puts the receiver at a downscale even more than the message. It does act as a communication bridge, but denounces your self-esteem, eventually putting you at a compromising position.
How can this be even possible? Did you feel a nerve wreck right now? What were we taught in childhood, what are we reading now? Well, here are a couple of perspectives on why should you never be sorry or be apologetic, or apologize for.
Why sorry doesn’t mean anything!
1. Opinions- thought processes; opinions keep differing from one person to the other. They should, which is good. But being sorry about it? Simply because your point of view is different from the other, you don’t have to compromise on that. Even when you don’t feel like having or have opinions. You are who you are. Why be sorry about it?
Let us imagine a conversation between your friend and you. Both of you don’t agree. But when you counter, you might tend to say, “Sorry to disagree, but here is my point...” When you are going to oppose your friend, then why be sorry about that? Well in a debate you can use to buy more time. But hey! This is a conversation that is happening between the two of you. If you are opposing, then you just oppose it. It cuts down the unnecessary and drives your message/ vantage point straight to what you want to say.
Same goes while you and your set of colleagues or classmates are involved in a presentation or a round table meeting. There is no need for you to be sorry for the opposing thoughts and opinions you have. When you dive straight to the point, it has a stronger impact.
2. Appearance- hello! You are the creator’s entity. You are brought into existence the way you are. Of course, you can work out, become fit; exercise is good for your body. But it is your body, your soul that is breathing it! It is alive, fresh, and kicking! You definitely don’t have to be sorry of how you look, how you dance, how to sing! It is a natural gift presented to you!
Here is the deal. Becoming self-aware of what troubles your mind when it comes to your looks, your appearance, your behaviour, is step one. Step two is accepting the same; be it the element you are proud of or is an imperfection (please uh... we stay in the era where Imperfect is the new perfect. Catch-up to this if you are new to this! :D) Step three is owing to the same. Come what the others say, you are who you are. Denial of the same puts you to a sorry position, compromising your self-esteem and self-respect, often making you the butt of laughter.
So what! You should wear what suits you the best, makes you look the best in your own eyes! There is no need to be sorry for who you are. You are the best the way you are!
3. Emotions- being hormonal, sentimental, or emotional, it is okay! Really! Of course, you have to get stronger. But not by being sorry about it. Everyone goes through ups and downs, roughs, and troughs. Each has good days and bad days. Some handle it bravely; while some are on the way of handling it bravely. Experiencing emotions makes you human.
Being sorry about it somehow doesn’t fit into the picture. Expressing that you had a rough time, or are facing some issues, just takes the burden off your shoulder (hey, you do drama and behave filmy means, it looks theatrical alright. There is an entire occupation dedicated with that. You can give that as well a shot! :p) But being sorry about how you feel, it somewhere puts your own worth down before you.
Being ready to deal with your emotions, accepting the same, helps you become self-aware. If you have this feeling that there’s no more of trustworthiness around you, instead of being sorry, remember that you are with yourself, every time, every second, and every breath! You are your own trust and that listening ear. Talk to yourself. But being sorry about your emotions and the jumping hormones causing that does not fit into the picture at all!
4. When you haven’t done anything wrong- often in relationships, we end up saying sorry for no fault of ours. Of course, it is patch-up to maintain the relationship. But it might end up with you being in a compromised position. You don’t have to be sorry when there is no fault of yours, and you know that.
Sometimes there are people who shift the blame on you or say sorry and just get away through it, but that isn’t really a healthy practice. It can make you weak and vulnerable. It is important to communicate the same.
At times even the ego talks, like, “Why should I say sorry when it is not my fault?!” to this, a few relationship advisors say that admission of fault is more of a responsibility. Also, you don’t have to be sorry for other’s faults. If it is their mistake, they own it. You asking a sorry on their behalf would put you down at times. (Unless the court of law drags you up litigation, making you vicariously liable for other’s fault! :p)
5. The bad news- hardest might be this. To hear someone’s loss, to convey the message of loss or death is the hardest. We agree that you are showing sympathy. Saying sorry does make it easier for you to convey that message. But it has already put the person receiving that in anticipation. Rather it is better to dive straight to the point, tell them that the battle between life and death was fought the hardest. Show empathy. Just listening to their grief would do wonders!
The same approach of focusing on finding a solution or a breather that is required would reduce the anticipation to a great deal of extent! In childhood, in the traditional school of education, we all might have lost one or the other book. Instead of being or saying sorry to the owner of the book, focusing more on finding the book, or finding a replacement for the book is a feasible option at any given time!
The extra reason
6. Women and sorry? - as much as it sounds astonishing, most of the time the female category is tutored from the very beginning to be apologetic. To be apologetic for having opinions, for having a dream of their own, for raising her voice. Wait, this was very much prevalent before the women actually raised their voices! But yes, there still are people who still believe women are victims of wrongdoing. We’ve been put under this message generation after generation.
Women tend to use more of ‘sorry’. For example, if they could receive a call, the first statement to make is “I’m sorry, couldn’t receive your call earlier”, “Sorry, couldn’t reply to your message before”. Some say sorry when they are just in their normal home suit, or when cooking doesn’t turn out so great! But why, is our question! Efforts have been put, as much as you could. So you ought to be appreciated for the same!
But time has brought in a lot of changes. Change to various perspectives, to various approaches. It is no more the era of one category of human existence being submissive. The more one begins and ends up with sorry; it is putting their self-worth down. That is something that we don’t want.
So what do we do!
Solution - “Sorry, I’m late!” is one dialogue we wouldn’t have missed to make in our lifetime. This is obviously followed by a reason starting with the word because! But don’t you think after reading so much, the word sorry brings a negative wave to the already damaged situation? Plus the reasoning is just the icing on the cake, isn’t it?
So, what should be done? Give this a positive twist! A solution as to how can the damage is controlled! How the wrong situation is made right! Let us narrate it better with an example.
Let’s say you have to ask a known person of yours a question. Imagine you start with “Sorry to disturb you...” Though your intention is not to disturb or say sorry, thanks to manners that we do, it already has disturbed the person! Instead of saying, “Thank you, it might be really helpful if you would enlighten us/me on...” or “Would like to connect with you on the subject... Do let me know if interested!”
That leaves a progressive way forward. A positive approach, better connect, and a good start. It does make the other feel good about knowing more from you. Still doubtful, isn’t it? Then go ahead and try it by yourself!
There are times when you are actually at fault, like the word’s second meaning, feel bad about making a mistake, one must ask sorry. Seeking for forgiveness shows that you really care for the other and own up to your mistakes. Sometimes saying sorry isn’t just enough. You might end up doing wooing acts. But remember to do so without letting your self-worth, self-esteem, and self-respect be hurt.
However, when it comes to being apologetic for those unnecessary situations, sorry, the user is not allowed to execute saying sorry!