I bet you have said this phrase recently.

How many times have you said, “I’m sorry” recently?

Sorry for running a few minutes late.
Sorry for brushing past somebody.
Sorry for talking about you and your life.

My husband read an article recently and shared that his New Year’s Resolution is to stop over-using the word ‘sorry’ and start saying ‘thank you’ in its place. I was curious what he meant by that.

Instead of being sorry you’re running late, you might say, “thanks for waiting for me.” Or, how about a simple “excuse me” when you brush past a stranger on the street? And my favorite, instead of apologizing to a friend for talking about your life while catching up, what if we said, “Thanks for listening to me. Now, I really want to hear about you. Tell me what’s been going on over on your end.”

After thinking about, it just makes sense to adopt this outlook on “I’m sorry” versus “thank you.” We are constantly apologizing… and for what? For being human? For having a body that takes up space? For wanting to connect with our friends?

I’m choosing to create extra awareness around this simple language. The moment I started practicing this shift in my dialogue, I noticed just how frequently I apologize. It is going to take a while before it becomes habit, but so far, it has been a fun challenge. It feels like a subtle loving reminder to myself, that hey, you didn’t do anything bad here, take it easy on yourself.

Let’s stop apologizing where an apology really is not due. Instead, let’s choose to be kinder to ourselves by creating positive dialogue in our daily adventures. The best part is, saying “thank you” really does promote a more uplifting space. People on the receiving end will feel it too. By saying “I’m sorry” you set the scene that YOU are at fault somehow. Whereas, “thank you” implies that those on the receiving end have demonstrated some kind of courtesy and gesture of kindness, which they likely have by being a great listener, or waiting patiently for you to arrive. Saying “thank you” serves as a way to appreciate others, and ultimately rips the Blame Band-Aid off you.

We have enough on our plates daily. Let’s choose to be more intentional about how we are communicating about ourselves and show people we appreciate their kindness towards us with a simple, “thank you.”