Words have power. That whole “sticks and stones…” thing is a bunch of BS. It’s not just the words other people say that can hurt us. The words we use can too.
In the second stage of my Living PlayFULLY – Becoming a Bodacious Old Broad program we focus on embracing all that we are, and getting rid of some of the self-defeating behaviors that have crept in over the years.
Here I want to focus on getting rid of just one word. One you probably use many times every day. I’m willing to bet you have no idea how many times. Most of the time you don’t even really mean it.
What does sorry really mean?
According to my buddy Webster of dictionary fame it means:
- feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence
- mournful, sad, wretched
- inspiring sorrow, pity, scorn, or ridicule
Think about it. When someone bumps you in the hallway and you say “Sorry”, are you feeling sorrow or regret? Probably not. More likely you’re hoping to prompt an apology from the klutz that wasn’t watching where she was going.
As women, we’re inclined to use sorry as a preemptive peace offering when we’re about to do or say something that might be perceived as pushy or aggressive, particularly in a work setting. What really sucks about that is those same behaviors would be considered normal in a body adorned with different genitalia.
But I digress, my point is most of us overuse the word sorry and we need to knock it off. Save it for when a genuine apology is required, or we are truly expressing sorrow.
The best way to start? Start counting how often you say sorry during the course of the day. Keep a tally. With awareness the numbers should start coming down.
What will be awkward at first is figuring out what to say instead. So let yourself pause – a little silence won’t kill you – and consider what you’re really wanting in the moment. Start with that. I’m still working on this too, so I understand how hard it can be.
When you screw up in a minor, human, everyday way try a simple statement of fact like, “I forgot to stop at the store on my way home” without the sorry. For other ideas check out this cartoon by Yao Xiao.
Bodacious bad-ass Old Broads know that life is too short and too glorious to waste a moment of it being sorry when it isn’t necessary.
If you want to know more about the journey to becoming a Bodacious Bad-ass Old Broad contact me to find out what programs or events are coming up.
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