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Motivate Yourself 125: Stop Saying "Sorry"

If someone bumps into you do YOU say sorry or do they say sorry?

Common sense says being bumped into is nothing to apologise for, but if your self-esteem is low then your default thinking might be, “If I didn’t exist they wouldn’t have bumped into me, so it’s my fault.”
It sounds like an exaggeration, but I know for a fact that some of you do go through that process.

As a therapist, my job is to sit and listen as much as anything else, to give someone a space for them to be themselves, to say what they like about whatever or whomever they like without any fear of judgement or criticism.
So why, after talking about how she felt about something did a recent client say to me “Sorry for rambling like this.”?
After all, that ‘rambling’ is the major part of counselling, that is the actual point of it!

Shopping the other week, I came out of a Shopping Centre and there was a woman 4 or 5 steps behind me and so I held the door open for her, and she sped up. As she got closer she said “Sorry, Thank you” not just Thank you, but “Sorry, Thank you”. But it was my choice to hold the door open for her, it was outside of her control, so why say sorry?

It seems, for some people, “Sorry” is something that slips into sentences out of habit.

At work someone would make a phone call and start the conversation with “Sorry to bother you”

Maybe the majority of people who habitually say sorry, don’t feel any negative effects from it, but you can bet that the ones that are affected by it feel worse and worse about themselves every week that goes by.
So, if you feel a little anxiety in your life or your self esteem is pretty low just check if you find yourself apologising way too often.

If someone bumps into you, there’s a fair chance it was accidental, just acknowledge them and smile.
If you need to interrupt someone from their work, say “Excuse me, can I have a minute?”

There’s a difference between acknowledging being involved in someone being inconvenienced and actually taking the blame for someone being inconvenienced.
Unless you have major influence over the situation and are genuinely responsible for letting someone down then you have nothing to apologise for.
We all need to recognise that.

See if you can eliminate apologising from your vocabulary for a while, unless you genuinely have something to apologise for.
But knocking someone’s drink over or being sick on their cat aside, see how many times you have to stop yourself from saying sorry and let me know how you get on.

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