There is an episode on the CBS show, “The Good Wife,” where a male character tells the female lead character that women are always saying “I’m sorry” and men are typically do not. Later in the episode, she experiences this walking up the steps to the courthouse (she’s a lawyer). A guy is coming down the steps, maybe looking at his phone or something, and as they pass one another, he bumps into her shoulder with his, and she drops the file she’s carrying. She says, “I’m sorry” as she reaches to pick up her file. At the same time, he says ”Watch it” with a scowl on his face, and stalks off. She thinks back to the conversation that she had with her colleague.
It got me to thinking. There are so many times during the day where i find myself apologizing for little things. Sometimes they are things that shouldn’t require apologies, or aren’t even my fault. You probably do it too. It’s almost automatic, and it happens most frequently with females. Have you ever been in a store aisle and someone needs to pass you or reach across you, and they say “sorry” when a simple “excuse me” will suffice? What are we so sorry for? And that’s the other thing, we aren’t sorry. We are attempting to be polite. Being mannerly is different from begging forgiveness. Being sorry, implies contrition, or wrongdoing of some sort. I’m just trying to reach the Oreos and you’re standing in the way….excuse you! Sorry, not sorry!
Don’t get me wrong, there are times and places for sorry. Sorry I missed your call. (Am I really?) Sorry for your loss. (Of course I am!) Sorry, we’re not home right now, please leave a message. (Or was I really just screening my calls?) At any rate, you get the picture, but we have got to get off of autopilot where saying “I’m sorry” is concerned.
“Feeling sorrow, regret or penitence.” That’s Merriam-Webster’s definition of sorry. If I’m walking around saying sorry all day, not even conscious of the number of times, or the appropriateness of its usage, what am I reinforcing in myself? They say you can form a habit in 30 days. If I automatically say “I’m sorry” five times a day, for all of my adult life, eventually, I’m going to become sorry. Do you want to be a sorry person? I know that I don’t.
I want to live my life with no regrets and apologetically. Does that mean that I will be rude? Of course not!! But what it does mean is that I’m not going to censor myself to make other people feel comfortable. I’m going to do things that I want to do without being so concerned with what others may think or say. It also means, for my haters, that I’m going to stop apologizing for enjoying my life because you seem to be miserable in yours. Not sorry…