The danger of “I’m sorry”

passport-933051_1920As Canadians, we often joke about how many times a day we say we’re sorry, like apologising when someone else bumps into you. I know, I’ve walked into chairs and said “I’m sorry” to the inanimate object I just bumped into. For me, saying “Sorry” became as natural to me as saying, “Hello” or “Goodbye.”

I eventually got fed up and started taking notice every time the words “I’m sorry” formed in my brain and forced myself to keep quiet unless the situation was really deserving of an apology. Since then, I have been more mindful about over-apologising, but it still slipped out occasionally.

Unfortunately, as someone who’s recently been struggling with chronic pain and fatigue, I found myself apologising more and more, especially to the man I love. This was obviously driven by guilt. I see that he also has his own health issues to struggle with. I see the work he has to pick up because the pain is just too much for me or I’m so exhausted I can’t move from the couch. I feel bad, because in my mind, we are a team and I’m not doing my part, so I apologise. He has reassured me many times that no apologies are necessary. It isn’t my fault I’m suffering from this illness. I still feel guilty, but I am trying to apologise for less as to not be too annoying.

phone-1889392_1920Apologising for everything can become dangerous. When you say “I’m sorry”, you accept the blame for whatever transgression was perceived. Slowly, the constant “I’m sorry” begins to play on the back of your mind. You start feeling like you constantly did something wrong and start feeling inadequate, which is bound to make any person depressed in the long run.

It’s not normal to say sorry an obscene number of times per day. If you are constantly apologising over and over again for anything and everything, take heart. You don’t have to apologise for having a bad hair day, for spilling on your shirt, or for needing three attempts to parallel park. Yes, I’m talking as much to myself as I am to you.

Do you have any tips on how to curb this bad habit?

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