A few months ago, I noticed how many times a friend criticised what I said or did. She said sorry so many times but repeated harsh put-down comments that her sorries became meaningless to me.
I used to tell myself she was stressed. I kept forgiving her. Isn't that what friends do?
Medical experts at the Mayo Clinic claim "forgiveness is essential for mental health" It reduces anxiety and depression. So forgiveness is nonnegotiable. But I had to change.
I was taught from a young in church that if you said sorry, it means you have to make amends. It required a change in thinking to repair the relationship. It is called metanoia (aka repentance). It requires heart-centered thinking, and it's more than saying sorry. But I realised most of my life, I have over apologised. I never knew then but I know now. Being first to say sorry was for approval, acceptance, to be nice, and to avoid conflict. I minimised myself because of not knowing my worth.
My friend contacted me for a catch-up. I said No with No apology. . When she asked why I told her. Yes, she expressed more sorries. I still haven't met with her except for a few phone calls, from her. We laughed a lot over the phone and were both respectful to each other but that's about all between us l for now.
We were taught to be polite and say sorry automatically, but then sorry doesn't mean anything unless we know the impact of our actions or words on others and make amends. In fact over apologising gives the appearance of no confidence or not being competent.
Since then I dropped unnecessary and stupid apologies "sorry my house is a mess"? (I have done this most of my life). No more "Sorry to disturb you before talking to a manager: and saying sorry before giving my opinion."
This New Year is a perfect time to give up the Over-Apologising, not let our worth diminish and only say sorry for when we mean it, and take action to repair the damage caused or make amends.
Check out this TED talk video by Marja Jovanovic with silly apologies. You will have a good laugh, but will never be the same again.
Happy New Year