What to say instead of “sorry”

There are times when “I’m sorry” is the best thing to say, like when you are actually sorry for something you did. When you make a mistake that impacts someone else, say, “I’m sorry.”

But “Sorry” has crept into our everyday speech in a way that absolutely diminishes your power. Here are a few examples from my life, said by me or someone I’m working with:

  • “I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your email.”
  • “I’m sorry” (when you bumped into me in the hall)
  • “I’m sorry to ask again, but could you get me that (report, project, etc)?”
  • “I’m sorry, I haven’t heard back from you.”
  • “I’m sorry that this keeps coming up, but we really need to figure out what to do next.”
  • “I’m sorry” (when you start to talk at the same time as someone else)
  • “I’m sorry, can I ask a question?”

I could go on and on and on, but i’m willing to bet that you see yourself in one of these examples. (I sure do!)

Who cares? 

Why even bother changing this habit? What’s the harm in too many “I’m sorry”s?

Start listening to those around you and check in about how other people’s “I’m sorry” makes you feel. It makes me feel like you’re weak. 

And unclear.

One incredibly powerful way to get more of what you want in your life is to get clear about what you want and then ask for it. Clearly, simply, without too much fuss or too many words.

What you can say instead of “I’m sorry”

  • “I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your email” becomes “Thank you for your patience.”
  • “I’m sorry” (when you bumped into me in the hall) becomes “Excuse me.”
  • “I’m sorry to ask again, but could you get me that (report, project, etc)?” becomes “When can I expect that (report, project, etc)?”
  • “I’m sorry, I haven’t heard back from you” becomes “When should I look for your answer?” or “When can I expect your response?”
  • “I’m sorry that this keeps coming up, but we really need to figure out what to do next” becomes “Let’s figure out what to do next so this won’t keep coming up.”
  • “I’m sorry” (when you start to talk at the same time as someone else) doesn’t really need anything other than, “You go ahead” or “Who should start?”
  • “I’m sorry, can I ask a question?” becomes “I have a question.”

Take the time to notice how often you say “I’m sorry” today. Comment below and tell me what you say “sorry” for! I was surprised at myself, too.

Warmly,

Melissa

Sometimes you say “sorry” too often because you don’t believe you deserve more. You can overcome that belief in my class Fearless Mindset: Increase your confidence so you can take the next step.

 

 

 

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