Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30óóó͘¥½®Öæƒþ®Ä›͘ěã&›ÙçƒÙùϮϬϭϳ ϭϭ So I—and several other writers around the interweb—urge you to stop saying ‘I’m sorry’ (all the time)! Not only does overusing ‘I’m sorry’ surrender your power by needless- ly shouldering wrong-doing, but it can render the word powerless and vague. I know, I know. Quitting bad habits is no small feat. But how about creating a new habit? Consider this angle. Words are only as powerful as their abili- ty to accurately communicate our thoughts and feelings. When we speak, we should make every ef- fort to ensure our words are heard the right way. If we use ‘I’m sorry’ in the case of interrupting someone in the middle of a complicated thought or passionate conversa- tion, then yes perhaps that’s rude, you weren’t really listening, and you should apologize (ironically, the people who do this on the regular and should feel sorry, usually aren’t saying ‘I’m sorry’). However, many people actu- ally use ‘I’m sorry’ to mean ‘I’m sorry to interrupt you’ when they are le- gitimately trying to get someone’s attention. For example, trying to Ⱦ DJVRPHRQHGRZQIRUVHUYLFHLQ a busy restaurant or to bring an important matter to their otherwise occupied boss. Do you really feel a frank expression of regret for your actions in these cases? If you do, should you? Even more importantly, should you really be communicat- ing that you did something wrong? Because when we say, “I’m sorry,” we are signaling we did something wrong. We admit we re- gret our actions. Whether or not your actions were regretful, the other party may interpret your lan- guage that you DID do something wrong or something WAS your fault. And that is not true! It is everyone’s right to be heard. Do NOT feel bad for asserting yourself at an appropriate time in an appropri- ate manner. Make this your mantra and simply request what you need. Communicate precisely. If you contest that people im- mediately interpret “I’m sorry” as an apology, think about this scenario: You are chatting with a friend, lis- tening to a story about their ter- rible day and you empathetically UHVSRQGȁ,ǾPVRUU\ȂWRZKLFKWKH\Ƚ UH back, “It’s not your fault.” I hear this A /27,Ƚ QGWKLVHVSHFLDOO\IXQQ\JLYHQ the etymology of the word—‘sorry’ developed from the Old English ‘sarig’ meaning ‘distressed, grieved, full of sorrow,’ which happens to be the very essence I am trying to convey. People don’t think of WKDWPHDQLQJȽ UVWDQ\PRUHWKRXJK People are now programmed to in- terpret ‘I’m sorry’ as ‘I did something wrong.’ This kind of sucks because the word means much more than that, but let’s accept this, recognize the problem, and resolve it by being PRUHVSHFLȽ F:KDW,VKRXOGKDYH said is, “I’m sorry to hear that,” or, “I’m sorry you went through that,” or, “I’m sorry for your loss,” or better yet, produce even richer words that connect on a deeper level and Rȼ HUJUHDWHUFRPIRUW Save ‘I’m sorry’ for when you are truly regretful or have truly hurt someone. And even in those cases, it’s important to communicate fur- ther, whether with words or ac- tions. For most people, a simple ‘I’m sorry’ wouldn’t be enough anyway. Especially since it has become SO overused. Now, there are probably gray areas where you might feel regretful for something you have done, and again, maybe that’s something to