Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So Sorry

Someone once asked me why I say "I'm sorry" so often. At first, I just thought he was being silly - I don't say it that much. But after thinking about it, I realized that, yeah, I do say it - a lot.

I bet a counselor would have a field day with the question... Am I feeling guilty about something? Am I blaming myself for something? Do I think I'm responsible for taking care of everyone else? 

I suppose it could be any of those things. But, I have a different take.

Sorry means many different things. It can be an apology, sure - but it can also express sympathy, empathy or frustration. It can even be sarcastic.  

If someone tells me they had a bad day, I usually respond with, "I'm sorry." I'm not apologizing to him for having a bad day - unless, of course, I contributed to it somehow [hey, it happens]. Usually, I'm being empathetic, with a touch of sympathy rolled in - I have a lot of bad days, or at least bad parts to my days. I can certainly relate, and I wouldn't wish my days on anyone, believe me.

Sometimes, I just want a person to know that I 'get' it. That I understand. I suppose there are a lot of ways to say that - but "I'm sorry" is short, sweet and to the point (just like me!).

Make no mistake, I do plenty wrong that warrants an apology. I will apologize for the smallest thing, too, because that's how I was raised. I was taught to own up to my mistakes and take responsibility for my actions. So, if I say or do something that is rude or inappropriate or mean, I apologize [unless of course the recipient deserved it]. 

So don't misunderstand me....I'm not looking to take blame (or credit) for anything. I'm not signing up to make you happy as my full time job. I just think that the world would be a nicer place if more people actually listened, and at least tried to understand what the other person has to say.

I'm sorry if you don't agree with me.

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