Why I’m Trying Not to Say ‘I’m Sorry’ Anymore

Sittin’ here this evening doing some work to prep for the week ahead (also PSA my mom is coming to Chicago on Friday eee!), and I wanted to share something I’ve been actively trying to do in the last week. It stemmed from a conversation with my manager at work – shout out to Julia! She said, “I’m trying not to say ‘I’m sorry'” anymore. 

Now, I’ve heard before that saying ‘I’m sorry’ is a rather meek phrase, but that never bothered me much, so I’ve always kept saying it. But her rationale was different, and so real.

After our chat, I now don’t think it’s even just saying “I’m sorry” that we should avoid – I think we should avoid thinking it too. The thing about saying or thinking “I’m sorry” – in essence, feeling bad about something – is that unless it’s a truly warranted apology (in which case, do say “I’m sorry,” of course) it really only sends out negativity and self-shame into the world, even if just in small and even seemingly trivial ways.

The key is to flip the script to be about gratitude. This will instead send positivity and thank you’s and self-love and empathy into the world. All about that life. 


Instead of saying “Ugh, I’m sorry I’m late,” say “Thank you so much for waiting for me.” 

Instead of saying, “I know XYZ is annoying/hard/frustrating…I’m sorry it has to be this way,” say “Thank you for bearing with this process and giving feedback on it so we can make it better.” 

Instead of  thinking, “I feel bad about myself/sad/frustrated – read: sorry – that I didn’t get to working out today,” for example, think, “I didn’t work out, but I’m glad that I was productive at work and caught up with my sister on the phone today. I’ll work out tomorrow.” 

Instead of feeling sorry and bad about yourself because you woke up late and rolled into work a hot mess, have empathy with yourself and don’t dwell on it. It’s over…forget about it and feel grateful you’ve got the rest of the day ahead of you and tomorrow morning to get it right. 

Instead of saying, “There was a change of plans. We won’t be doing XYZ activity anymore, I’m really sorry,” say “Thank you for being so understanding that plans changed and having patience while we figure out what to do next.” 

Get it?

I mean, think about it even with small children, right? Which has more impact and feels better for both parties when peeling a child away from their TV show or taking the box of cookies away – saying “I know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” or “Thank you for being a big kid and setting such a good example” (even if they’re throwing a tantrum as you say it…). I’m not sure how I think of these ridiculous examples, probably the 1st birthday party I was at yesterday, but make sense? Because the same is true for adults – we feel better when we flip the script from sorry-ness to goodness of some sort.

So, throw thank you’s, gratitude, empathy and self-love into the world instead of “sorry’s.”

Don’t be sorry. Find the reason to be grateful and voice that instead, whether out loud to others or silently & clearly to yourself inside your own head. 

Time for me to head to bed now. Sorry that there are probably typos in this post and that parts of it probably don’t even make sense…and sorry I can’t write more, but I need to get back to my work and then promptly swan dive into my bed. Thank you all for reading this post and finding a semblance of value in the thoughts that skitter through my brain; you are truly awesome. 


See what I did there? 


PS – These photos are from last night’s walk. And I quote, post-walk…”I really like going on walks” – Andrew Musbach. ANDREW. MUSBACH! As is the theme of this blog post, stay positive you all, because you never know when you will be thrown a golden sentence you never thought you’d hear in your life.”I really like going on walks.”

PSS – Another side comment, and for real this time. Related to this “I’m sorry” stuff, my manager Julia and I also discussed how men rarely say “I’m sorry.” And I think that’s really true. If you have a boss who’s a man and he has to put something on your plate last minute or he asks you to do something just because it’s protocol even though it’s pointless or he changes a project without consulting you, etc etc etc…he probably doesn’t apologize for those things when he’s telling you about them. Think about it. Most of the men I work with and hang out with and generally spend time with don’t say “I’m sorry” very much. So I think that’s important for us women to realize, too. Cuz we don’t need to be apologizing neitha! 

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  • Kelsey | with a little grace
    October 31, 2017 at 3:23 am

    My supervisor (who is a wise, wise soul) told me this earlier this year and I’ve been trying to put it into practice ever since! (I’m not doing the best but at least I’m aware and trying!) thanks for this sweet post ❤️ Love all your musings. xo