sorry? only say it if you mean it


Ali McGraw to Ryan O’Neil in Love Story:
Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Puhleeze.

That famous one-liner set real intimacy and personal responsibility back by bounds.

We screw up. We trample over people’s feelings, we let our insecurities get the best of us, we make big fat unfair assumptions based on the past.

If you’re interacting with other humans in even the slightest way, you will at some point have good reason to apologize.

But sorry is one of the most misused words there is. We’ve diluted it. We need to give it back its power. Sorry is a powerful word that sends a very particular vibe to your brain. I’m careful how I use it. And when I do, I mean it with all my heart and I’ll do what ever I can to make things right. But I rarely regret things. I rarely pity people. And I’m almost never sorry for how I feel (thanks to a lot of therapy.)

sorry:
1. feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.
2. regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic.
3. sorrowful, grieved, or sad.
4. associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; dismal.
5. wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful.
6. (used interjectionally as a conventional apology or expression of regret): Sorry, you’re misinformed. Did I bump you? Sorry.

Do not say it if you don’t mean it.

Sorry is often used as band-aid for social discomfort. It eases the blow when we say no to someone, decline, or back out. Sorry can actually complicate the exchange. It’s unnecessary gooey-ness. Just leave it out and stand by your truth with grace.

To the salesperson: “I’m sorry, I’m not interested today.” Why be sorry? You’re simply not interested. If you genuinely wish you could help them with a sale, then say just that.

“Sorry to bother you…” Why assume you’re a bother? How about, “I hope I’m not bothering you, but …”

“Sorry you feel that way.” This is a very tricky usage because ultimately, you’re not responsible for other people’s feelings. If you were a genuine jerk and you hurt someone’s feelings, then really step up to the plate with something like, “I’m so sorry that what I did made you feel that way. Yikes. I wish I’d been more sensitive. I won’t do that again.”

But thanks to psychobabble and supposedly useful “communication skills”, the “sorry you feel that way” phrase is often just a dupe … it’s not an authentic apology at all. It’s condescending placation that is supposed to disarm someone who’s pissed off. Someone tried to use this on me once. They’d gone behind my back on an issue. I confronted them and said it was completely uncool. “I’m sorry you feel that way,” she responded. Oh reeeally?

Your word is your wand. If the word fits … and ONLY when it s fits … use it with all your heart. When you’re sincere, there’s usually no apology necessary.

related posts
^E1CFFDF9D213DCD421AF321F263914146A310A11C12D9DC0D1^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

You are worthy of your desires

To say no.

To say yes.

To have your deepest needs met.

To be seen.

To be loved for what is seen.

Featured @2x 456x456 (2)

Pressed against a star (a poem for longing to be home.)

You are worth waiting for,
tall beam of Light.
And I will open the door for you like our lives depend on it.

Featured @2x 456x456

Feminism is consciousness. Lessons for my imaginary daughter & women — including Kim Kardashian.

All communication begins with intention. A loving word, or flipping someone the bird. A treatise on feminism, or an ageist tweet out to your peers.

@angie.byrd@2x

Use your wings #Truthbomb elaborations

You’re cosmic. You are winged with light. And that means you have the power to get where you want to go, to see what’s really going on in a situation, to make excellent decisions.

Featured @2x 456x456 (1)

Walking away, music history, and not trying to heal other people. 9 of the Best Things I Ever Did (Volume 2)

I walked away. I held out. I weathered the craving to compromise. And wow, guys, having heart-centered high standards pays off. Big time. Life meets you where you honour yourself.

Featured @2x 456x456

Recovering from self-help exhaustion? Join the club.

My friend Jess Ortner and I had a great conversation about the downer of always trying to be up. Perfect for her podcast called Adventures in Happiness. This is one of my favourite, truly useful conversations for being on the so-called “Path”.

Featured @2x 456x456

Self help + helpful cynicism. A very real conversation about modern spirituality between girlfriends.

Emelia and I go about things from different ends and get close to the same bright center — real, no bullshit compassion. Put on the kettle and listen in.

Featured @2x 456x456

Just don’t expect crazy people to be sane (cause that’s crazy).

There’s so much sanity to just flowing with someone’s predictability— their norm, their nature. Accept it. Forgive it. Just tolerate it; or peace out if you don’t want it in your life. But don’t waste too much time trying to change it.

Featured @2x 456x456

6 opinions on having a creative opinion. (But only my opinions. Because…opinionated.)

May your heart be sweet. May your mind be clear. May your opinions be strong.

Featured @2x 456x456

How gentleness creates the big breakthrough

The most powerful practice of all has nothing to do with motivation or endurance. The most powerful pain remedy, elixir, solution, galvanizer, waker-upper, injection of strength is…gentleness.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This