Thursday, April 23, 2009


I read somewhere quite a while ago that women say "sorry" about five times more in a day than a man. Truthfully, that kinda ticks me off because I think it's been put into our brains from the time we were little that we should say "sorry" even when it's not our fault or maybe it's no one's fault. Sometimes I think we're saying "sorry" just because we exist. See what I mean?

We have a friend, a woman, who says "sorry" so much and for entirely inappropriate reasons. At first it's endearing but then it wears on you and you have to wonder what kind of self esteem this person has and where it went. After learning more about her, it turns out she had an awful stepfather who berated her constantly in favor of his own daughter and her brother so she became so self effacing as to just curl up and become invisible.

I'm the first person around to say "sorry" when I believe whatever has happened is my fault. But I also try to look at the situation objectively and work to not say "sorry" when it is absolutely nothing I have caused or did. Such as passing someone on a narrow sidewalk, inadvertently stepping in someone's way at the grocery store or in a smallish hallway. Almost instinctively, I'll start to say "sorry." Not really appropriate. I didn't make the sidewalk narrow or get there at the same moment by design. So I try to remember to say "excuse me" or something similar instead. It doesn't always work but I'm doing my best.

I think that constantly saying "sorry," especially when it's unwarranted or just tumbles from my mouth without thought shows a lack of backbone and self esteem, at least for me. I've fought back from years of low self esteem so anything that takes it away from me without my knowledge bugs me. It also diminishes me, ever so little, in my own eyes and perhaps in the other person's eyes.

During our bathroom remodeling project, I feel like I'm always saying "sorry" to Johnnie: for not being able to help as much as I'd like, due to writing project deadlines, because my hands aren't strong enough (that dratted arthritis thing) or I just feel guilty because I'm not helping as much as I should (regardless of whether I'm capable or not). We are continually tripping over each other and all the tools, boxes, bags and construction paraphernalia so we both tend to mindlessly say "sorry" rather frequently these days. That's not from weakness but more from courtesy and love.

I guess "sorry" is more of an it depends kind of thing. But it really does bother me that so many women say it so frequently, especially when it's not the right thing to say. Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Sorry you feel that way!! No really...I am sorry for having to write that. But now you've made me acutely aware of how many times I use the word. Even sarcastically.