This morning I was pulled over by a friendly policeman who breath tested me, after he asked me if I had had any alcohol this morning or a big night last night, I replied with “Sorry, I don’t drink”, why was I sorry, I’m not sorry, I don’t drink and that is that – I should not need to make apologies for this.
I was recently reading an article and it stated that we are in a plague of over-apologising. As a teacher we ingrain children to apologise for their inappropriate behaviour, it is seen as part of our social development. Does our need to apologise for things stem from our younger years when we are ‘forced’ to apologise when perhaps we don’t understand what we are apologising for. We used to tell the recipient of the apology to respond with “That’s okay”, thank goodness we have moved on from that and now teach children to say “Thank you for your apology….”.
When we are apologising for things we don’t need to, are we simply apologising for our mere existence, are we allowing ourselves to be a lesser person than the one we are apologising to? If this is the case, what is this constant ‘sorriness’ doing to our self-esteem? Research has shown that women apologise a lot more than men. Next time you go to say “sorry” just think about what you are apologising for – are you apologising for your existence, are you showing empathy or are you just trying to keep the peace?
There are many reasons why we use this word, but let’s not use it if we don’t need to.