Avoid abundant, unnecessary apologies

By The Editorial Board

A common habit is feeling like there is a need to apologize for the smallest things when they don’t really require forgiveness. Instead of apologizing for things out of your control, try replacing “I’m sorry” with “thank you.” Swap apologies for gratitude in the cases that call for it.

Learn to get through your day without apologizing after every little inconvenient thing you might do to someone else. Getting rid of this habit can not only relieve you of guilt but also potentially help you build stronger relationships with others. A relationship can thrive when apologies and forgiveness-seeking phrases aren’t flowing constantly in conversation; this can open the door for gratitude, honesty and uninterrupted discussion.

Think about your sentence before you say it. Does it really need to begin with an apology, or could it flow without a negative connotation? If the situation you are about to use the phrase in is one that is out of your control, chances are you don’t need to say you’re sorry. Instead, try replacing it with an “excuse me” or a “thank you” or simply not saying anything.

Saying you’re sorry for every little thing gets old, and it ruins the power of the phrase in general. If you save your apologies for when you actually mean them, they will have stronger effects on the situations you use them in.

It is also important to keep in mind that if someone doesn’t apologize for a minor inconvenience, it is probably because they are aware it’s not needed. We can often be used to hearing the expression in unnecessary situations. When someone doesn’t use it, it can be interpreted as rude or annoying. This should not be the case on the receiving side of a situation.

People have different apologizing languages, and it doesn’t always have to fall inside the “I’m sorry” box. There can be as many as five different ways to apologize. These include expressing regret, expressing responsibility, making restitution, genuinely repenting and requesting forgiveness.

Although expressing regret and requesting forgiveness may sound similar, they can be distinguished. There’s a difference between throwing an “I’m sorry” out there and asking someone to actually forgive you — and both can be acceptable.

Expressing responsibility means acknowledging you are at fault for the harm done, and it’s one thing many people struggle with. To acknowledge you are flawed and make mistakes can be difficult, but it is a position everyone faces at some point.

By making restitution, you are not only showing the other person you are sorry without saying it but also finding solutions to a problem you may have caused.

Lastly, genuinely repenting means changing your behavior overall. You learn from your mistake — however big or small — and you correct yourself so as not to repeat it.

Also, saying sorry all the time isn’t a substitute for confrontation. Many people may think apologizing is easier than starting a fight. Don’t be afraid to confront someone when it’s necessary; it can save you from future disagreements.

Apologizing doesn’t necessarily make someone weak, but it can become something people begin to expect from you. Learn to take hold of the situations you are a part of without saying you’re sorry for every little thing. In the future, it will bring you back the power you may have lost through the use of the phrase.