Sorry Not Sorry.
So there I am, at a Vikings game, and I have to pee.
I hightail it to the restroom and, as luck would have it, I scored the last available stall. Yes! But the lock on the door was broken. No! I yank down my jeans with one hand, and hold the unlocked door with the other. I hover above the public toilet seat, like you do, head aimed at the door, and because it was trickier to get the jeans back up with one hand than it was getting them down, I take my hand away from the door for like two seconds, when, BAM! Some dumb b*tch shoves it open. On my head. Hard.
And what do you suppose I said? I’ll tell you what.
It’s what I asked myself right then and there. You’re sorry? YOU are sorry? She just smashed a door into your head because she couldn’t be bothered to do the universal check-under-the-door-for-shoes, or knock, or mother f-ing ask if anyone was behind the door whose head she was about to bash in. TF?
Well, I had a lightbulb moment in that stall. I realized I had been doing a lot of apologizing around that time, almost by rote. And, as my friend Lisa noted, that door knocked some sense into me. See, I was separated from my husband at the time, and not at all happy about it. I decided (subconsciously) that if I took the blame for everything, I could fix everything, then all would go back to normal and I would be deliriously happy forever.
Except it doesn’t work that way.
First of all, relationships require at least two parties, and at least half the fixing is up to one of those parties. Therefore, taking the blame for everything is a fool’s errand. And, oh what a fool I had become. (TWISTS MUSTACHE) So much so that I was apologizing to the bathroom-head-basher when it was actually not my head that was in her way, but her drunky rudeness that was in mine.
Well, let me tell you, that was the last time I apologized for something that was not my fault. Not only because I was not to blame, but also because it wasn’t even the correct use of “sorry”.
“Sorry” is a gift for the other person. And handing the head-basher a beautifully wrapped scented candle was a million kinds of wrong. First of all, I actually wasn’t sorry, so I was lying. Second of all, I shouldn’t have been sorry, because I would have been disrespecting myself. Third of all, taking the blame for everything is super manipulative and reeks of ego. Who am I to believe I can fix everything? Zeus? The Great and Powerful Oz? God? No. But I got religion damn quick. After I flushed, washed my hands, and re-applied my lip gloss.
I have learned a lot about saying you’re sorry since that day. And I’ve put together a handy list. Yay! (Each item in live-link form, in case you want to get your learn on.)
1.) We’re taught to say, “Sorry.” as kids but should use it differently as adults
2.) Women apologize more because of a lower “offense threshold”
3.) Saying, “Sorry.” can be a habit related to anxiety
4.) Apologies can actually INCREASE hurt feelings
5.) “Sorry” can be a sorry translation for expletives, a$$hole
6.) Apologies can undermine your message, but this plug-in can help
Jeez, Lynda, you might be thinking, is it EVER appropriate to say you’re sorry? Of course! But it’s different for everyone, and since I don’t go around fixing stuff anymore, you’ll have to figure that out for yourself.
Sorry, not sorry.
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