I’m not rude. I don’t block the grocery isles with my shopping cart so that nobody else can walk through. I don’t cut people off on the highway or honk my horn because you didn’t go through the green light fast enough. I don’t snub people–ever–even when I’m being treated rude in return.
So why am I constantly saying “sorry”?
As my sister and meandered through Barnes and Noble, we found ourselves saying the “s”orry word at least a dozen times. It’s the way we were raised. Always be polite. This thought process has traveled with me even into adulthood, where I find myself sheepishly saying “sorry” for everything. Sorry for the inconvenience in asking you to move so that I can gently squeeze through the grocery isle. Sorry that it took me just a little too long to move forward in the service line at the book store. Sorry that I’m confusing you on my coffee order even though you’re being overtly rude to me. Sorry.
Here and now, I am setting a pact. I refuse to be sorry.
Wait. That sounds a little silly.
I don’t mind being sorry. Really, I don’t. I’ll be the first to jump up and apologize if I’m truly in the wrong. But I’m realizing more and more, the importance of standing up for yourself. Because the instant that you say that you’re sorry, you’re also saying “I’m in the wrong.” This opens up not only a feeling of disrepect for yourself, but also an opening for people to walk all over you.
In other words, I’m saying “so long to sorry” when it’s unnecessary and wrong. I choose to respect myself enough to stand up for the fact that I’m not always the one who should be apologizing.
So long “sorry!” 😀
Pumpkin “Un”Overnight Oats
Pumpkin is one of my favorite oat mix-ins, especially now that the fall weather is officially here to stay.
Summer and fall collided this morning, as I mixed together a sliced, frozen banana into a bowl of “un”overnight, pumpkin oats. The combination was delightful, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow. Sorry to be so repetitive (pun intended.) 😉
1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger
6-oz. plain, nonfat yogurt
1 banana, frozen and sliced
toppings: 2 T. walnuts, sweetened & dried coconut, Trader Joe’s apple cranberry butter
Today’s Challenge: Respect yourself! Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry”, but also don’t be afraid to realize that you’re not always the one in the wrong. Stand up for yourself, respect yourself, and don’t let people walk all over you. You truly do deserve better, and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently!
This made me crack a smile. I used to say sorry a lot too. Then I didn’t say it enough! 🙂 I couldn’t agree with you more about respecting yourself and standing up for yourself. You go girl!
p.s. cranberry apple butter?!? yes please!
wow!! i feel so independant and strong rught now~like i could burst into a Beyonce ~”single ladies! or “independant women” song 🙂 im terrible fr saying sorry and someone in work commented on it just yesterday~but youre so right~NO MORE SHALL I PUT MYSELF IN THAT VUNERABLE AND WEAK POSITION<
See ya lata sorry!!
This is so funny…and true! Irish people say sorry All the time. If I walk into a table I say sorry. A few years ago I was in a cafe and I went up to the counter to get a menu. I said to the waiter (not Irish) Sorry, can I have a menu please? And he sighed and rolled his eyes and said why are you people always sorry. What are you sorry for? Say it again properly and I’ll give it to you.
Now I can’t say it made me stop saying sorry, but I say excuse me more now if I want someone’s attention, but I do still say “Sorry, can I just squeeze past you there?” in the supermarket, even if the person has their trolley sideways and is taking up all the space!
I love this! I used to say ‘I’m sorry’ for absolutely everything… especially in one specific relationship that I [thankfully] am not involved in now. It really is damaging to the self-esteem to keep insisting to yourself that you did something wrong.
In the grocery store situations like you mentioned, I think it should really be ‘Sorry that you are so inconsiderate and I have to be the one to work around you’ Haha.
I try and say “excuse me” instead of “I’m sorry” I feel like it has the same politeness but you aren’t saying that “I am in the wrong” or anything like that. 🙂
Your oats look delicious. I have two cans of pumpkin that need to get used, but I keep changing my mind with what I want to use them for.
As for saying “I’m sorry”, I remember in college thinking everyone would always say “sorry” and “excuse me”, and while it was polite, it seemed a bit overdone. But I shouldn’t talk, because I feel like I’m always the first one to excuse myself when walking through narrow aisles.
I do the exact same thing! It’s actually getting to be annoying to my friends how often I say it – they’re getting on me all the time to stop apologising when I don’t need to. And then of course I automatically say sorry for doing that! Such is life. But you’ve inspired me to at least try/ to be a little less apologetic 🙂
Terrific, thought-provoking post, Sarah! Thank you!
Oh my goodness I used to do this all the time too Sarah! Then I realized I was doing myself and everyone else a huge disservice by always acting like I had fault in situations where there was no fault! Now I just smile whenever I feel the urge to apologize for something silly.
This is wonderful!! I catch myself saying the “s” word too much too so I will stop that here & now! 🙂 Yummy looking breakfast!!
Move to a big city. No one is sorry in a big city. It’s every man for himself.
When I lived in Toronto I quickly turned into a rude person. I bump into you on the street, I’m not sorry. I cut in front of you in line, I’m not sorry.
…yeah I was that person.
As an American in South Africa, I live in a society filled with “sorry.” The term “excuse me” barely exists. (In fact, sometimes I suspect it’s only here because I brought it with me!)
It’s amazing what we will say or do in the name of good manners. When you’re brought up to be polite no matter what, it can be hard to change old habits. You can easily feel like a bad person when you do.
I’ve solved this problem by redefining the term “polite.” “Excuse me, could I get past you?” is mroe than polite. “I need to get off the phone right now; I’ve got something to take care of. Can we talk later?” is polite, even if it’s preceeded by “I need to interrupt you” because I couldn’t get a word in otherwise. Being polite and letting others walk all over us are NOT the same thing.
I think it’s important to be polite these days, as there’s so much that’s harsh and rude in our world. But it’s also important to look after ourselves. Perhaps some of us choose to be overly polite because we don’t know how to make our point politely. The solution to this is not to continue getting walked on. The solution is to investigate how to set our boundaries, how to communicate what we need to, while still being polite.
Being polite doesn’t have to cost you your self-respect. But saying “sorry” too often will!
I will be posting an article soon at http://www.makeachange.co.za on exactly this topic. It will contain some excellent ways to ask for what you need or set a boundary without feeling rude. In the meantime, take a deep breath before you speak. It can make a world of difference!
I realized this about a year ago. Sorry means that you “won’t do it again” – and you should only apologize if you MEAN it. So if “sorry” doesn’t meet those two criteria, then don’t bother to say it because you don’t mean it! I agree with you, it totally has to do with the way that we are raised. Being polite is rare, and it’s very sad it’s disappearing. I’ve found that I can still be very polite and courteous and respectful to others without constantly apologizing. It’s kind of invigorating!
Meagan, thank you so much for your lovely definition of “sorry.” Although I use the word in that way, I couldn’t have explained it half as well as that. “Excuse me” doesn’t refer to something I won’t do again – I’ll probably need to get past someone else in the grocery aisle next week and the week after (especially if I shop on the weekend!).
And I have to agree with you – being polite and respectful without apologizing really does feel good! I think that’s because we’re respecting both ourselves and others, and respecting one but not the other just doesn’t work.