I really think we say sorry too much. If I clash with someone coming out of the gents as I am going in 9 times out of 10 I hear “oh sorry…”

Why do you need to be sorry?  Isn’t excuse me a more appropriate word?

I couldn’t help but think we say sorry too much.  For men in particular over use of the word makes us sound feeble and weak.  Last year I came to the logic that if I changed my outlook and stopped being apologetic for everything thing I would become a more assertive and confident man.

So I set myself the “Two Sorry challenge”

Basically each person I would get two sorrys in my life time.

  • Did it have a purpose? – Not really?
  • Was it possible?   –  As I said sorry to my girlfriend for catching her hair in bed, probably not.   With one sorry left I realised I had to save that for something really bad.
  • Did any good come of it?   Erm… yes and no.

The Bad

In my old job I acted as a bit of a joker because the job was that depressing that taking a light hearted look on life was the only way to cope.

So I never said anything serious. I had a good friendship with someone who I thought had a pretty good sense of humour, until I misjudged a situation one day and made a comment she took personally.

I thought it was a stupid thing to take personally and so did everyone else in the office. So I used that as justification that I was right.   I was not going to ruin my challenge.

Weeks passed and the atmosphere got worse and worse. All I had to do was say sorry.  But I refused to.

The next day I said sorry.   Things stopped being awkward but the friendship was never the same.  If I had said sorry at the beginning the damage would not have happened.

The Good

After that incident I realised stubbornly refusing to say sorry was not a good idea. I understood  not being a meek pushover was important, but it relied more on saying a word.

Although I say sorry, I do use it on a sensible basis.

When I do make mistakes I admit to them, but avoid using the word sorry.  I have found that people prefer this, perhaps because the word sorry is used so liberally that it carries little weight.


I only say sorry when it is appropriate – I don’t say sorry when I need to ask someone a question at work and I definitely don’t say sorry when I clash with someone at the door.

Finally I have said sorry to my girlfriend more than twice, though I don’t say it when I accidentally catch her hair in bed.

Anyway if you didn’t like this post, then I suppose…. that is not good.

  • James

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