Sorry vs. Thank You

So as a few of you may remember, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about saying excuse me instead of I’m sorry. Well this week I’m going to rant about it again, but in a different way, and with no feminist undertones this time. Because this post, unlike the last one, legitimately isn’t coming from a feminist place. It’s coming from a place of intrigue.

Several days ago I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed as I often do, when I post piqued my interest. I, like most of you, have some pretty random and slightly vague Facebook connections. However, I generally hold on to these connections (even to the point of keeping them on my newsfeed *gasp*) because they post interesting things. This time a friend of my oldest sister’s posted this picture:


Which made me say “Woah!” (and not just because the wizard-like outfit that one of them appears to be wearing. Is that you Ron Weasley?!).

Remember, in that post, I told you of a typical scenario between me and my mom in which we basically ended up apologizing for apologizing because we’re both so apologetic for the widest array of things at all points in time? Yeah, this seemed to touch on that directly!

So this week when contemplating my Wednesday post I decided to take my Sorry vs. Excuse Me post a step further and put out there the idea of saying thank you instead of saying I’m sorry.

If you click on the picture above it’ll take you to a link that has these illustrations for several types of scenarios. And all of them are probably on the top of my list for times I apologize. Notice how easy it is to turn these I’m sorries into thank yous! And not only that, notice how much it affects the whole feel of the exchange.

Of course, the illustrator has done an effective job in choosing bluer colors for the “I’m sorry” side and brighter colors for the “thank you” side. But isn’t that accurate, don’t we, in apologizing, come from a place of sadness and negativity. We are just assuming we are a burden, when really we’re behaving totally normally.

My favorite part, though, is the change in reactions of those being apologized to (I know, ending on a preposition, this is like writing 101 here).


This is the other illustration that includes the response. To me this is super accurate. I don’t think any of us say I’m sorry hoping for this response, but it kind of helps to have someone to commiserate with, right?! But do we really want to bring other people down. Would it be so much more productive if we say thank you and not bring the other person down with us?! Maybe the act of saying thank you actually makes us feel better too. Because we’re acknowledging a kind act instead of focusing on a down feeling?!

So, as one of my pursuits for 2016 (and there will be many, post to come) I will be focusing more on this whole I’m sorry situation. I will build an arsenal of excuse me’s and thank you’s and whatever else I need so I can stop using the phrase “I’m sorry” when I really mean something else. Hopefully some of you will join me! Maybe we can make the world a happier place with one less “I’m sorry” at a time!


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