I say sorry a lot. So does my husband. Sorry about that. We realised just how much we say it when one of our children started saying it all the time. "You've got nothing to say sorry for, darling" we said, but still she apologised.
So what? Sorry is a hugely valuable word. When we say it we lay ourselves at the feet of the recipient; acknowledging our error, misdemeanour or failing. It can soothe troubles between people and set ourselves jointly towards more positive paths. And for that it has an essential role.
But as someone who leans towards self deprecation and low self esteem, apologising (and over apologising) can push me further down. It reinforces feelings of inadequacy and failing, and in our household often manifests in a competition for who feels worse about things that didn't go to plan.
"Sorry I haven't put the dishwasher on yet"
Subtext: "I should have done"
Reality: "I've been flat out busy with other things"
"Sorry I finished the milk"
Subtext: "I should have put your needs before mine and saved some milk for you"
Reality: "I really needed that cuppa"
So now we're trying something new. Where we can (and we remember!) we're swapping "Sorry" for "Thank you".
"Thank you for doing the ironing when I didn't have time".
"Thank you for looking after the kids when I had to work late".
"Thank you for stepping to one side so I could walk past".
It's early days, but I think we all feel more positive and lighter.
So thank you for reading this blog, and maybe a similar swap may help some of you too.
A Moodscope member.