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Is It Too Easy To Say Sorry?

Last updated August 21, 2014

Sorry isn’t the hardest word anymore….

Do you decide that you are going to say sorry even before you have done anything?

How many times do you say sorry every day? It seems to me that sorry is a word being used more and more but with less meaning every time.

Let me explain:

I was sitting in my parked car munching on a sandwich, when I heard a bang. The guy in the car next to me had opened his door to get into his car and had banged his door against the side of my car. I got out and he was already saying sorry. I asked him what he thought he was doing and he said “I’ve already said sorry”.

My retort was sorry for doing the damage or sorry for being so careless or sorry for being caught! His response was to say “well I’m clumsy but I always say sorry”. And how many times has he said sorry as an excuse for not taking care – not thinking – not caring or being careful?

When I was a magistrate we had a regular question we asked ourselves when a defendant said they were sorry; were they sorry they did the crime or sorry they got caught.

There is a school of thought in some business circles which says that if you are unsure about doing something just go ahead and if it doesn’t work you can say sorry! That’s fine provided you have thought about the impact of it all going wrong and the extent of the consequences you’ll have to deal with afterwards!

Sorry is such a short and easy word to say. Many of us will complain that it is not used enough. But my complaint is that it is used too often as an excuse for not thinking.

How many times have you said sorry today?

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Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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