Have you ever heard the term, “sorry syndrome” or perhaps you might know someone who is always saying sorry. I know that I was a prisoner of using the word “sorry”. I lived in such a way that I was apologetic for everything. I would say sorry for feeling like my house wasn’t tidy enough,when guests came over. I was saying sorry when I was standing in someone’s presence, when all I needed to do was move out-of-the-way. I was saying sorry to friends who were recipients of gifts from me, for not spending enough money on them. I was saying sorry to friends whom I didn’t do anything wrong, if I noticed that they may be upset. Needless to say, “sorry” became my “excuse me” and my “pardon me”. It basically replaced any manners in my vocabulary and was used more than once on a daily basis.
One day my daughter and I were out on a walk. She was two and a half at the time. She walked into a street lamp on the side-walk, and the first words that came out of her mouth were,”sorry” At the time, I thought that it was cute and I felt like I was shaping a very polite daughter. In hindsight, I don’t think she necessarily needed to apologize to an object. Although the act itself came from a genuine place, the words “sorry” didn’t need to be used in that particular situation and it doesn’t need to be over used in many of our everyday situations.
The word “sorry” should be used to express a sincere apology when our behaviour has hurt another person. The actions that are presented by the person apologizing, once the apology has been received, shows the recipient whether or not the apology is sincere. Saying sorry however, when you don’t need to say sorry, is like basically saying, “sorry for being me” and this stems from a lack of self-esteem. Although it is also derived from caring for other people’s feelings and feeling bad it is also a way for a person to avoid confrontation, to be liked and to please everyone. I know this because I was that person.
I have raised polite daughters who use their manners on a regular basis. They apologize to one another when they hurt each other’s feelings and in my two-year olds situation,they even apologize to objects! I don’t however, want to raise daughters, who are saying, “sorry” for being themselves. I want my daughters to be non-apologetic when refusing a request to do something for someone else. Although, kindness and compassion are valued in our household, valuing oneself is also a top priority and none of us should feel apologetic and guilty for that.
We all know that over doing anything can result in an abundant loss of value. I now strive to put value back into my “sorry” and cultivating this will enable my daughters to value this word too. Sorry will no longer be a part of my daily vocabulary, unless it sincerely needs too.