My wife and I took a trip to the grocery store the other day. I rather enjoy food shopping with Jules. She meticulously picks out the freshest items and I follow her like a puppy carrying the baskets and carts. She’s the cutest. It makes me happy.
The only problem is that every time I go to the grocery store, I am surrounded by people saying sorry to me over and over again. Last time we went shopping I counted 7 people who said sorry to me.
I’m not sure what they were sorry about.
This is becoming an epidemic. It needs to stop.
Examples of When You Don’t Need to Say Sorry
If I’m turning a corner while pushing my shopping cart, and we almost bump into each other, don’t say sorry. It’s perfectly fine to say excuse me, but what are you sorry for? Are you not allowed to occupy the space that you are occupying? Are you not allowed to be somewhere?
Or maybe your cart is in front of you in the aisle, and you are looking at some items and I have to slightly maneuver my cart to the side of the aisle as to not hit yours, that doesn’t mean you have to say sorry.
You could simply move your cart out of the way. Or better yet, you may not need to do anything at all. If there’s enough room for me to get by, you could continue about your business. I will be able to get by just fine. I don’t want an apology.
Sorry in the Workplace
I’ve been in a position of relative authority for some time.
When I lived in Florida, I spent most of my time in the Stodzy corporate office. That’s where our team still works out of. I had my own office.
Any time an employee (mostly women) would knock on my door or walk into my office, they would say something like… “hey, sorry to bother you but I need this thing.”
It’s not necessary. Please stop apologizing to me because you need to tell me something. You can just tell me.
Or if two people are in the middle of a conversation, and you need to speak to one of them, you don’t have to apologize when it’s your turn to speak. You can simply wait for them to stop speaking and eventually the person you need to speak with will turn to you in anticipation of what you have to say.
Which means it’s your turn to speak.
At that point, don’t say “sorry to bother you.” Rather say, “I need a moment of your time” or better yet, say what it is you need to say because you are a person with worth and value and what you say is just as important as what anyone else says.
WHY ARE YOU SORRY??!!!!!!
I think a lot of people would do well by participating in assertiveness training. It’s important to be tough and assertive and formidable.
Notice, I did not say that it’s important to be an asshole. Having assertiveness is not the same as being rude or dismissive. It means you don’t apologize for being a person.
Because you should not be sorry to ask for someone’s attention. You should not apologize for taking the initiative to do your job. If you need someone’s attention to get your job done, then knock on the door and politely ask them a question.
Stop saying sorry. It drives me nuts.
When You Should Say Sorry
When you hurt someone.
If I say something to Jules that hurts her feelings, I should apologize. I should say sorry and I should mean it.
If I am late for an appointment, I will apologize. If I let someone down or I did not hold up my end of an agreement, I will apologize.
Because those are actions in which I need to redeem myself. I need to make amends for hurting people. I need to always be mindful of times when I made mistakes or when I was selfish, self-centered or self-seeking.
When you say sorry over and over again, it takes the value out of an authentic apology. It belittles what it really means to be self-reflective enough to admit a mistake or to apologize for a wrongdoing.
Sorry means something. Don’t waste your sorry’s.