Let’s talk about the etiquette of apologies and apologizing. Because you’re probably doing it wrong.


 Please stop saying I’m sorry.

You may think it’s good manners and proper etiquette to apologize. Yes, darling, I know that sometimes we behave egregiously and we must apologize. We’re going to talk about that. But first, let’s talk about the situations in which you should not say I’m sorry.


Why shouldn’t you say “I’m sorry?”


When you say sorry too frequently, people lose respect for you. It lessens the impact, and it can be f*cking annoying, especially when people know you don’t mean it.


When should you never say sorry?


-When you need help.

-When you have something to say.

-When someone owes you money.

-When you need more information before you make a decision or do something.

-When you need to take time off.

-When you don’t want to do some kind of volunteer thing.

-When someone else did something horrible.


Just because Muffy insulted you at an event that I happened to organize doesn’t mean that it’s my fault. Stop saying sorry as a preface to asking a question, unless the question was really stupid. Or if you weren’t listening in the first place. Stop apologizing for your feelings. Don’t say “I’m sorry but I’m feeling sad.” Stop apologizing for your appearance. “Sorry I look like a wreck today.” So what? 


Did you know that saying sorry before delivering horrible news doesn’t make people feel better?


And stop saying sorry if you’re just not sorry.


But what if you are sorry? What if you feel called to say “I’m sorry I was a raging bitch?”


Yes, that is a good start, but then you have to do more.


Sometimes an apology is indeed required. But saying you’re sorry is just the tip of the iceberg. The appropriate type of apology can make people feel better, it can repair relationships, etc. But it’s more than just words.


How to apologize properly?


-Acknowledge what you did.

-State how it made others feel, or what the effects were.

-Express how you feel bad about what you did. (Without making that the other person’s cross to bear, now.)

-Now, try to fix what you did, and change in the future.


Sorry, I know that’s harder than just saying the magic word, isn’t it, darling?

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