Once you start engaging with a decent number of people online, you start seeing the cracks and fissures that airbrushed Facebook profile pictures won’t show you. You start seeing the human side. And, if you’re like me, you start hearing the I’m Sorrys.
I’ve been an apologizer for most of my life. It’s what I say when I am, in fact, sorry. but more often, it’s a placeholder for something that either wasn’t in my control or wasn’t my fault to begin with.
After a quick email search, I pinned down those apologies. Here are 8 reasons you shouldn’t apologize. Or, in the words of Carrie Underwood, 8 reasons to unapologize.
- You’re only a little early. Whether it’s arriving to the dentist or submitting a guest post for consideration, when there is some defined deadline and you exceed it, you haven’t done anything wrong.
- Somebody else had a bad day. I few weeks ago, my friend asked how my day was going. I told her the truth. And, immediately, she eked out an “I’m sorry.” “Don’t be,” I told her. “It’s not your fault.” And it wasn’t.
- You couldn’t make their life easier. Everyone wants to be the solution, but we can’t solve every problem. You may know how to print double-sided but that is not at all correlated to the fact that you couldn’t fix the copier when it broke.
- You’d rather cut ties. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If someone is upsetting you, even if it hasn’t (yet) affected your physical health, you need to change something.
- You forgot something that will take only milliseconds to explain. Login passwords are forgotten, um, thousands of times a second? Yet we feel guilty the minute we have to ask another human being how to sign into an account when we’ve been told before.
- You gave too much information. This applies primarily to those in publishing. If you sent me too many writing samples, I’m not going to get angry. I’m just going to decide to read them all or some of them. And the world spins madly on.
- You didn’t express interest in joining that team/club/sport sooner. I want people to write for HUGstronger. I really do. But I don’t want to have to pull their hair to get them to do so. I don’t want lukewarm commitment. So if you don’t have the passion, don’t feel bad. Just find what gets you excited to reply back with a “yes, sign me up!”
- You’ve been out of town. This happened to me the other day. I left a voicemail on someone’s work phone, asking if they might know the answer to a problem that, gasp, wasn’t their problem. I thought he might point me in the right direction. When he called back, a few hours later and profusely apologizing for being on vacation, I told him he didn’t need to.
All of us have, at some point or another, apologized for something when we didn’t need to. I’m all for empathy and personal consideration, but sorry has a place, and sometimes we slide it into the conversation too easily until people start expecting us to apologize for all those little things.
We’re human. We screw up. Who hasn’t?
What have you apologized for lately, even when you shouldn’t have?
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