We need to start saying thank you instead of sorry, and I’m challenging you to a Not-Sorry September!
We’re all taught from a young age to say sorry when we make mistakes. And to say thank you when someone does something nice or gives you something. Right?
But somewhere along the line the ‘I’m sorry’s’ seem to have multiplied with the ‘thank you’s’ almost diminished.
As we go about our days, we are constantly apologising for the most ridiculous things. We say sorry when someone bumps into us, or when we miss someone’s phone call.
We have become a culture of people who apologise for everything.
I’m sorry I’m late, I’m sorry for taking so much of your time, I’m sorry it took me so long.
This constant apologising has gotten out of control and needs to stop! It’s time we start saying thank you instead of sorry.
Now, before we delve into this further, don’t get me wrong. We must obviously still apologise when we’ve made a mistake or done something to hurt someone. This isn’t about eliminating all apologies, it’s about learning when to say sorry and when it’s not necessary.
Why we say sorry when it’s not necessary?
Most people apologise reflexively if someone bumps into them or if someone gets in their way while walking, for example. We deep-down know it isn’t necessary, but we feel the need to say sorry anyway.
We apologise to avoid conflict and after a while it’s become just a standard part of our communication.
This is due, in large part, to the emphasis we put on being polite. Saying sorry is seen as an important way to be nice and make people feel good. And if it makes someone feel better about whatever has happened, then saying sorry is worth it, right?
Except that it doesn’t always make someone feel good. When someone apologises to me and it’s not necessary, I feel awkward and feel bad for making them feel bad!
Sorry is not worth it. This problem of over-apologising can detract from what’s really important – the issue at hand and our relationships with other people. When we constantly say sorry for no reason, will it be sincere when we truly are sorry?
Saying sorry often helps to diffuse uncomfortable situations, but it isn’t always necessary or appropriate. If you find yourself constantly apologising in certain situations, it’s time to stop!
7 swaps to say thank you instead of sorry
Have you ever replied to a message saying ‘Sorry I didn’t reply earlier’ or get invited out but you say ‘Sorry, I can’t’? I know I have. I probably say sorry 10 times a day when I really have no reason to be sorry.
Here are 7 swaps you can make to say thank you instead of sorry:
1. Instead of ‘Sorry I didn’t reply to your message earlier’, say ‘Thank you for your message, I had hoped to respond sooner’.
2. Instead of ‘Sorry I don’t have that ready for you today’, say ‘Thank you for your patience with this’.
3. Instead of ‘Sorry I can’t make it tonight’, say ‘Thank you for your invite, but maybe next time’.
4. Instead of ‘Sorry for being so emotional’ say ‘Thank you for being there for me’
5. Instead of ‘Sorry I’m late’, say ‘Thank you for waiting for me’.
6. Instead of ‘Sorry I’m talking so much’, say ‘Thank you for listening to me’.
7. Instead of ‘Sorry for bothering you with my questions’, say ‘Thank you for your assistance’.
What happens when we start saying thank you instead of sorry?
When we start saying thank you instead of sorry, a number of things can happen.
Firstly, we become more confident, because we’re not trying to appease people. It’s a subtle thing, but you’ll notice the difference in how you interact with other people.
It also changes our internal perspective on life and improves our self-worth. We start to value what we have and stop taking things for granted so much.
It helps us to stop judging ourselves and others so harshly. Our harshest critic is often ourselves and this type of self-talk needs to stop!
Saying thank you instead of sorry will help you see the good in the world around you and within yourself too. Soon enough, everyone around you will notice the change in your attitude!
Saying thank you instead of sorry will change your life and improve your perspective. It is a small thing that goes a long way to making this world a better place.
A simple change of words can make all the difference in how people react to us and how we feel about ourselves. If everyone took the time each day to sincerely express gratitude towards someone they know, we would soon see a shift in the way we see the world.
Have you noticed that people are nicer when we say thank you instead of sorry? How do you deal with being overly apologetic? Let me know in the comments below!
I’m challenging you to a Not Sorry September! For the whole month of September, I want you to be more mindful when it comes to apologizing and why you’re saying sorry. Is it necessary? Have I done something wrong? Can I twist this into a positive thank you instead?
I would love for you to let me know what you think and how you get on with the Challenge! If you’re finding it difficult and need some help, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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