How To Apologize And When You Shouldn’t

You know that person, the one who says “sorry” seemingly every other sentence? Be honest, what do you think of them?

When I ask that question the most common response I get is, “I don’t think of them.”

Ouch! This is one of the reasons why the word “sorry” made it on my Words To Lose list.  But what if you have done something wrong and you are sorry what do you do? Pick from my Words to Choose list. Apologize.

I know you are thinking, “what’s the difference?” When you say, “I’m sorry,” it comes from a place of weakness. I picture a dog with its tail between its legs or a person with their shoulders rounded and head down.

Now visualize the person apologizing with their head up and eyes forward.  ‘Apologize’ is a verb — an action. When you say, “I’m sorry,” you are using an adjective, which is a describer of you. Not an action made by you.

When you’ve done something wrong, apologize for it. That said, be careful with using either one of these phrases too often. If you haven’t done anything wrong, don’t apologize! You can say, “Excuse me,” or, “Pardon me,” or simply talk through whatever it is that you want to talk about.

If you apologize too often, people will start to believe that you’ve done something wrong.

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