Challenge #26, January 26, 2011: “I’m sorry” is grossly overused in our society–today, only say it if you actually did something wrong.
This is a word I try never to use in the form of an apology anyway. I blogged about it in a blog entitled “sorry means FU”
The only time I ever try to use this word is to express sympathy, as in “sorry for your loss” or as I used it in my previous challenge response when i said I was sorry I couldn’t tell you the name of the book I was talking about
But not in form of an apology, instead I’ll say things like, “It was unfortunate, I didn’t know” or “I wasn’t thinking.”
And I absolutely never use it if I knowingly did something wrong, because if I did do something to you, you have every right to be as mad as you want and “sorry” doesn’t change anything.
I will check out that blog. I think that being sorry for a loss or an inability to do something is perfectly fine, as you said. I agree that when the words are used as an apology, it can become kind of a cop-out–a way to not have to actually address the problem. I work at a restaurant, and we all bump into each other all the time. It is like a constant chorus of apologies that mean absolutely nothing. No one does it on purpose, there is nothing to be sorry about.
Another “pet peeve” phrase of mine (in addition to “I’m sorry”) is “good job”. To me, it’s trite, and empty. If I did a good job, I want specifics as to why. And if I’m sorry, I will offer details as to what I did that I feel the need to make amends for. So, I say “I’m sorry” in the context of “I’m sorry that I ….. [fill in details]” – so that I’m not just saying a flip “oh-gee-sorry-I-actually-don’t-care-about-you-at-all”, but instead am offering a meaningful apology.
I agree with you one hundred per cent Stef. Good job on explaining yourself in that post
I completely agree. A heartfelt apology can be so meaningful, and when we just toss out an ‘oh, sorry about that,’ I think so much of that meaning is lost.
Okay, still another pet peeve: When people ask me how I’m doing, but don’t really care about my response. If you don’t care, don’t ask. (This happens a lot in my workplace; people will ask, “Hey, how are you?” as they walk past me, not even looking at me. Grr.
Okay, I’m done. 🙂
I completely agree Stef! ‘How are you?’ has become a hollow greeting; it is no longer a meaningful question the majority of the time. It is one of my pet peeves as well.
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