Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sorry, Not Sorry

There are often times I take a mental step back and l reflect on my life. And in these moments I often think 18-year-old Catie wouldn't believe 26-year-old Catie is where she is and the decisions she has made. I made.

I was raised in the bright red state of Nebraska. I lived in a small town that gives directions by the house on the corner and the single stoplight. Everyone waves as they pass and friendliness is an understatement.

Some of the characteristics of small town life followed me out into the world on my own. And that big one is friendliness. Living in LA brought out traits about myself I hadn't known and, more importantly, gave me experience. I've learned that I can tear up at a well done commercial. I enjoy having a stiff drink with friends. I have no problem being alone. And I've learned I say sorry too much.

I'm not saying sorry because I've wronged others or made mistakes. I've been saying sorry for everything. And, after some observance of the general public, I'm not the only one.

A person bumps into me at the coffee shop, "I'm sorry."

Pushing the door open to the bathroom, while someone simultaneously pulls, "I'm sorry."

An office mate drops a pen that rolls to my feet, "I'm sorry."

Saying, "I'm sorry," wincing, and then apologizing for that.

I'm actually apologizing because I slipped an unprecedented apology. This may have been the straw to break the sorry camel's back. I promptly picked up my pen and jotted in my notebook, "stop saying sorry."

Saying sorry implies that you have regrets about something. It's admitting fault. The aforementioned instances are in no way applicable to this phrase. Why do I say it?

Is it being too polite, nay I mention pushover-y, to say it for everything? Has my nurtured Midwest friendliness masked my strength and confidence? I shouldn't be sorry if someone bumps into me. I shouldn't be sorry when I mean to say, "excuse me." I shouldn't be so damned sorry.

If I were to have been the person who threw the football that broke Marsha's nose, I would genuinely apologize. It would, most likely, contain more than those two words if an actual apology was called for.

Fun fact: statistically, women throw out unworthy apologies more often than men.

So, adding to my Independent Maturity list, I'm going to try really hard to use the proper terminology and stop saying sorry. And, if you're in my boat, here are a few tips to implement in your not-so-sorry life. I snagged some of these ideas from Psychology Today because saying sorry is all too common.

1. Say "thank you" instead. If your roommate or spouse does the dishes, thank them, rather than apologize for not getting around to it yourself. Appreciate when someone helps you out if you're in a time crunch or your mind slipped.

2. Don't be the Boy Who Cried Wolf with apologies. If you constantly use it, people won't find it genuine anymore.

3. Take a hint from Phoebe Buffet. In a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode, "The One with the Baby Shower," Monica and Phoebe forget to invite Rachel's mother. Monica spends the entirety of the shower feeling ashamed, having ass sweats, and doubling over with apologies to the mother. Finally, Phoebe tells her that she's [Monica] already apologized and if the mother can't accept it, there is nothing else that can be done.

4. Laugh at yourself. Don't apologize for spilling mustard on your t-shirt, wearing mismatched socks, or having a bad hair day. I apologize too often for being bad a parallel parking.

I'm taking a deep breath and sighing it out. No more uncontrollable, frequented apologies. Who's not-sorry asses are with me?!

Thanks for soundin' down..