You may find yourself saying “sorry” often and in moments when you truly desire patience, not forgiveness. If so, this blog is for you.
Mistakes are inevitable – they will happen. Correspondingly, mistakes call for gratitude.
You and the other party in the situation will feel lighter, as you express gratitude instead of self-pity.
To stop apologizing, start thanking.
If someone has made their offense apparent, you absolutely should apologize. I also believe that doing something deliberately calls for an apology, although it may be voided by your intent and awareness.
But, for forgetting to CC someone on email, or missing a deadline,- I feel that these situations call for “thanks“. They’re genuine missteps, unintentional and call for patience. In work, this is a practice that protects my self-esteem while also expressing appreciation for my team when I am at fault. People don’t want to feel guilt when they interact with you and I’m sure you want to feel good about yourself, while taking accountability and growing.
- Acknowledge that you need to improve. “I’m sorry I’m always late” can instead be “Thank you for waiting for me” with personal accountability for being inconsiderate of others and a plan to be more punctual. Why are you late? If the problem is corrected, there will be no need for an apology.
- Acknowledge those that appreciate you. More often than not, we apologize out of fear or embarrassment when the reality is that we have more love and patience around us than we realize. Instead of “I’m sorry for venting”, show thanks and say “Thank you for listening to me” or “Thank you for your advice“. Surely, a person would not allow you to take up their time or space with your concerns if they did not care for you. Express your appreciation for them, while also being kind to yourself.
- Acknowledge that your favorite party is the pity-party. “I’m sorry I always mess up” can instead be “Thank you for being patient when I make a mistake“. It is better to take accountability that you are still learning in an arena and making mistakes than to constantly apologize without seeking ways to improve your performance. You certainly don’t want to make others feel guilty, unless , you do. If that is the case, pity may give you some leniency, but not the the development you truly need. Self-pity or seeking pity from others, is not good for your self-esteem. You deserve patience, not pity!