When I started listening to the Unsorry Mag Podcast earlier this week I fell in love with it because one of the first things the hosts Sam and Lea discussed was saying sorry. They talked about when they say sorry, why they say sorry, and when saying the word ‘sorry’ becomes meaningless. I decided to follow in their footsteps and actually pay attention to how many times a day I say sorry and in what situations.
It was very, very interesting…..
- To my line manager for his mistake
- To a parent for being late
- For going to an interview
- For really wanting that job
- For secretly not wanting that job
- For asking to borrow a colleague’s charger
- For wanting to ask a colleague a question
And on, and on, and on. Most of the time, I didn’t need to say sorry for any of the things. Most of the time when I said sorry I made the word lose power because there was no point for it being said.
I also noticed when other people said sorry to me. Especially when there was no point:
- My colleague for wanting to ask me a question
- The barista at work for forgetting I wanted my latte in a mug and not a disposable cup
- Colleague wanting to borrow my charger
And on, and on, and on.
It’s almost never needed so when it is needed it means nothing.
This was such an interesting experiment and one I am very glad I did. The day after I was so aware of saying sorry when it wasn’t needed. I think the amount I said it decreased by about 50%!
Saying sorry has been my default way of paying attention to what another person says and then doing my own thing. That needs to change. There is need for me to apologise for wanting to do things my way.
I don’t need to apologise for existing or wanting to talk in a meeting or wanting to ask a colleague a question. And I certainly don’t need to take the blame for my line manager’s stupid mistake – even if the only person who knows I have taken the blame is me and him. Especially if it’s just me and him.
It is time for me to change this because sorry is a word which should have power and meaning. By saying it all the time I have striped it off that. Now how will people know I am being sincere?