You are Not a Sorry

Who AM I A Sorry

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” [New International Version (©2011)] And so it is that when we say,” I AM sorry,” we become a sorry.  What is a “Sorry”?  The dictionary says: “worthless or inferior; paltry.”

What Are You Really Saying

How many times a day do you say, ” I am sorry.”?  We are so well trained from childhood, to apologize for who are, for what we need, who we are being that without even thinking, we blurt out at the slightest provocation, “I am sorry.”   I am sorry I am… late, early, want more, want less, didn’t think to get you what you wanted before you even asked, had the audacity to ask for I actually wanted when I wanted it. How sad it is that we have been trained to be ashamed of who we are and what we want.

When people come to my home office and I offer, “Would you like a cup of tea or a glass of water?” their response tells me volumes about how they see themselves in the world. “Oh, no that is OK. I don’t want to put you out.”  That is so called polite speak for, “Yes, I would love some tea but don’t think I have the right to ask even though you offered it.” Or when I ask, “What kind of tea would you like?” The response usually is, “What ever kind you are having.” What happened to what kind they like?  This kind of passive behavior of not honoring your needs can become so routine that you even deny yourself what you really want to eat. I spent a coaching session once, helping someone figure out what they would order at the restaurant.  Her boyfriend was thrilled. It was the first time she had something different than he ordered. On the other hand, one time when I offered Early Grey tea to an Irishwoman who was not interested in British tea, she said, “Oh,no. I don’t like Earl Grey.” That told me she really knew her own mind and could speak up for what she wanted when it really mattered to her.

Business Success – Express Your Authentic Needs

Interesting when you stop and think about that phrase “I am sorry,” isn’t it?  It is a double edged sword. On the one hand,  If we are a Sorry (worthless, inferior) , then we have no right to be who we are and ask to have our needs legitimately met.  Inside we know that. On the other hand, since we want what we want when we want it,  we are not really regretting what we want, said or did. We are just covering up for wanting or doing what we want.

Yesterday, I had a notary come to my house. I was refinancing my mortgage. She arrived 15 minutes early. The first words out of her mouth were, “I am sorry I am early.” First off, she was not really regretting she was early. If she was really concerned about it, she would have sat in the car until the appointed time. She could have come to the door and been honest. For business success, people want to trust us. To build trust, we need to be authentic. ” I realize I am early. Since I am here, I would like to take care of the paperwork now. Does that work for you?” That way she would have been stating her needs clearly and being truly mindful of my needs. Then there is no covering up what she wanted with false humility, “I am sorry.”  After 40 minutes of paperwork, her last words were, “I am sorry I was early.”  WHAT? It is just so engrained, she just had to say it again.

It Makes Us Burden 

The definition of Sorry can also mean, “causing sorrow, grief or misfortune.” The causing of sorrow, grief or misfortune is what we do when we impose our “I AM Sorry” on others.  See the picture above. It is heavy to carry around another’s grief and sorrow of their disregard for themselves. When we put our feeling of inferiority and unworthiness all over others people and are not honest about our needs, opinions, wants, we are a burden to others.

“I Apologize”

Instead, when there is a real situation where you want to make amends, come from a place of strength and authenticity. Say, “I apologize that I inconvenienced you by changing our appointment at the last minute.”  “I apologize that I asked for your opinion but when you gave it that I didn’t listen to you.”  Can you feel how that is coming from a place of strength and not drowning anyone with our issues around our worth?  “I apologize”  helps own what in fact is ours to own and allows us to make amends. We can feel empowered. A win/win for everyone.

Just for today, listen for when others, and when you, slip into “I’m sorry.” Tell yourself the truth about what is going on for you.  Did you cross a line or were you covering up for what you really wanted to say or do? Use “I apologize” and see how you feel and watch how others respond to you.

Make a comment below or on Facebook or . Let me know what you experienced as you paid attention to when you said, “I’m sorry.”  How many times did you say it in a day? What might you differently tomorrow?



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