The hardest word.

Today I am going to hopefully put into writing a post that has been going around and around in my head for the last few weeks. You know that good old Elton John song, which contains the lyrics “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”? I don’t know the song title, and in fact you should be significantly impressed that I know it is Elton John who song this song as it is very rare that I can tell you the artist or song title – I am worse than useless in pub quizzes! Anyway I digress (what a surprise!)

The song seems to indicate that sorry is the hardest word to say. My assumption is that it is the hardest word to say and mean, but who knows what Mr John was thinking when he wrote that song. In fact to go off on another tangent, it really annoyed me in A level music when we had to identify the reason behind every single note placement in a piece of music. I am sorry, but I do not believe that Mozart sat and figured out every single note of every single piece. I do not imagine him sat there saying “If I put this note here, the audience will think I am going to the minor chord but I can tease them an instead move onto the diminished 7th!” I imagine he was more likely thinking, “hum, I have to write an entire coronation anthem and my deadline is next week. This sounds good, let’s crack on.”

I was reading an article online the other day (I have no idea where so I can’t provide a link). to summaries it was saying that men are more successful in the work place because they are more sure of themselves. Whereas woman will say sorry for situations that aren’t even their fault, men tend to shrug the situation off and move on. I am aware that this is a huge generalisation, but when sat at work I have to admit that I see a lot of truth in what this article was saying.

You see I say sorry far too easily! Someone walks into me, I apologise. Someone kicks a box I have put on the floor, I apologise. Someone doesn’t hold the door for me, yep I apologise. (real life examples!) It has started to feel that I am apologising for living!! The problem is I’m massively shy, and when there is an awkward silence or I don’t know what to say I say “Sorry.” I have developed this habit and I hate it. I want to break this habit now but I don’t know how.

Currently I am saying sorry and then letting out this little groan of annoyance (not even slightly weird!) but I think I need a better more permanent solution. So any tips? Any advice as to what I can stay instead?

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6 thoughts on “The hardest word.

  1. Hi Laura. I am leaving today for three weeks in So America. Two weeks cruising from Santiago to Buenos Aires. I also am excessively shy, and found I the early 90’s I was saying the ugly “sorry” all the time to my male exec clients. I read a book which changed my behavior for ever. Of course I can’t remember the book! Ok Google found it for me. Author is Deborah Tannen. Two books…You Just don’t Understand and Gnats not what I meant. She is great. You just don’t understand is the book where I learned that women say it and mean never use it. I stopped saying “sorry”. I learned to say excuse me if appropriate, but when they disagreed with me or intimated something I said was wrong, I learned to say ” tell me why you say that” or other things. And I only say ” I apologize”. If need be. If you want we can talk on phone when I return Feb 5. Hugs Linda

  2. What people do at the work-place is not a good example of how people should behave. I have a lot more respect for someone who takes responsibility for their actions by apologizing than I do for someone who shrugs it off and moves on. If you really did something wrong or something that someone might have perceived as wrong, it doesn’t hurt to say I’m sorry. But don’t apologize for every little thing. If you do something you don’t think is wrong but someone else feels you are, you can say, “I’m sorry you feel that way”. This means you are respectful of their feelings without taking responsibility for them. Nothing wrong with that. I wish more people were considerate of others and weren’t afraid to say I’m sorry.

  3. This time of year sorry fits perfectly, it got out of hand and fast, with so many obstructions haters and mediators who meant no good my intention was to make peace, I can’t help but think I was on the verge of getting somewhere before she was persuaded by others how to misread a situation, “i suppose I understand if you make your bed you sleep in it” and because I know deep down somewhere that the actions to follow were not all her fault..apology accepted x

    • I think when said properly and meant sorry can be a very strong word, but anyone saying it has to mean it. It shouldn’t just be used to ‘get out of jail free’ or when you don’t know what else to say!

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