Have you ever thought about how often you say these two words in a single day?

If you’re Canadian, like me, you probably don’t realize just how often you end up apologizing – for the littlest of things.

This morning, my daughter needed some extra supplies for a cake she’s making for a customer (it’s going to be an amazing cake and I for sure will be posting photos – I like to brag on my kids!) and so, like the nice Mom I am, I headed to the store.

For a ten minute stop at the grocery store, I said or had said to me, “I’m sorry” five times.

  1. Someone bumped into me as they came out of the store.
  2. I held my hand basket at a weird angle and a man bumped into me and apologized twice.
  3. I stood in an aisle and someone needed to walk past, so I apologized for being in the way.
  4. I was grabbing eggs and someone stood right behind me…yep, I apologized as I moved.
  5. Someone bumped their cart into the back of my legs and we both apologized at the same time.

Saying “I’m sorry” is as much part of my makeup as needing coffee first thing in the morning but it’s something I’m becoming more aware of at the same time. My husband is the opposite – while he has no problem apologizing if he’s in the wrong, he refuses to say the obligatory apology that comes second nature for most Canadians.

Why do we do this? Is it a female thing? Are we naturally wired to appease? To find the common ground? To smooth things over even if we’ve done nothing wrong? Do we even think about it in the moment?

Saying I’m sorry should be powerful words but when we say it without thought, when we use it so carelessly, it holds no meaning anymore.

How often do you find yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things you’ve really don’t need to be apologizing for? Do you catch yourself? Do you find yourself trying to find another word to use?

In my reader group on Facebook, we talked about how often we lie, even if it’s just little ‘white’ lies. When we say things like – I’m fine, that’s okay, don’t worry…when in fact, we’re not fine, it wasn’t okay and I’m actually upset but not wanting to cause waves… we give so many little white lies that are almost equal to how often we apologize for things that really don’t deserve an apology.

Maybe I’m just rambling here, but I’ve been trying to watch the things I say and be accountable for it. That also means, ensuring the words I say have meaning. If I’m always apologizing without thought, then when I truly mean it, will my apology ring true or will they just be words I say?

Maybe…just maybe, I actually need more coffee today too 😉