You know those situations when you’re opening the door to (usually) a public bathroom and someone else is trying to come out of the door at very same time? Do you hear yourself saying, “I’m sorry” and not “Excuse me”?
I started noticing that I was saying “I’m sorry” ALL THE TIME The other day this happened, but I was on the opposite side from the one I’m usually on. A young teenage girl said “I’m sorry” to me as we were both trying to go through the same door. It surprised me that she said it when she did, and since I had already been thinking about how automatically I say those very words I almost told her “No, there’s nothing to be sorry about”, but the moment was quick so I didn’t say it and have regretted it since. It kinda broke my heart a little- there was nothing she needed to be apologizing for.
When we say “I’m sorry” when we should really be saying “Excuse me” it feels like we’re apologizing for taking up space, which is completely whack.
Constantly apologizing, and constantly taking responsibility for something you don’t need to be sorry for will slowly undermine your self-esteem and self-worth. I don’t know about you, but when I feel shitty about myself that’s when I’m most vulnerable to ads and to wanting what everyone else has. I realized that when I want what everyone else has I am trying to find a way to feel better about myself so I can try to measure up by obtaining what I think is causing everyone else to be so great.
It takes a lot of maturity, character, and strength to admit when you’re wrong so I’m not saying never say “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong”, but let’s not apologize for simply existing or for being in the same awkward space together.
We don’t have to continue to use a phrase just because we’ve always used it, and deciding to use a different set of words is a quick and easy change that we can make daily. The pay-off for switching out these few words will result in you feeling better about yourself. Seriously.
This is a big thing that seems like such a small thing but from now on, I’m on a mission to say “Excuse me” instead of “I’m sorry”. Who’s with me?
What are your thoughts on this topic? And is it just women that say “I’m sorry” too much?
image by mitya kuznetsov