Monday, July 12, 2010

12 Times to Say I'm Sorry

I received this in my inbox today.

12 Times to Say "I'm Sorry"

Say "I'm Sorry" (and really mean it) whenever you...

• Are wrong.
• Are rude.
• Are defensive.
• Are impatient.
• Are negative.
• Are hurtful.
• Are insensitive.
• Are forgetful.
• Are confused or confusing.
• Have neglected, ignored, or overlooked something important to the one you love.
• Have damaged, misused, or impaired something that is not yours (even if it was an accident).
• Have not said "I'm Sorry" as sincerely and quickly as the situation warranted.

I immediately forwarded it to my husband, even though we share an email account because he wouldn't read it otherwise, with these words:

"I think I probably owe you an I'm Sorry for the rest of our lives based on this.  Wow!

I love you so much and appreciate how much you put up with me!"

Looking at that list completely overwhelms me as a wife, a mother, sister, daughter, friend, coworker, bystander at Walmart, human.  If I take apart the list and examine my daily life, then chances are I need to be saying sorry to someone throughout the day.  I'm not exactly sure I like what this is saying about me.  

  • ARE WRONG-who, me?  Really, there are times when we all make mistakes.  Some are big, some are small, and some really don't make a difference in the big scheme of things.  BUT, taking ownership and responsibility for your actions is the bigger key here to me than the actual mistake. 
  • ARE RUDE-oh yeah!  You better because your mama raised you better.  Is this rude as in you stay in your car with the door open blocking two parking spots when others would love to have your spot because you just need to sit in your car with the door open for a minute and think of your big Aldi purchases?  Or is this rude as in I'm sorry, are you in the room and I'm not even going to bother talking to you rude?   Or is this rude as in you ran over your mom's foot with the heavy shopping cart while she was wearing flip flops after you stomped her foot with your size four shoe?  Say you're sorry and move on.  I'm sure the victim already has...
  • ARE DEFENSIVE-or maybe they haven't.  So you kinda knew that your hubs was on edge about something yet you continued to push because you were on edge.  Well, eventually someone's got to fall off that edge.
  • ARE IMPATIENT-wait, there's more?  With life's circumstances, with day-to-day why does it take you so long to do THAT?, with that same rude person at Aldi?  Hmmm, I cannot imagine being impatient.  But I'd rather apologize for it than pray for it's opposite!
  • NEGATIVE-as in not positive?  I have to be sorry for that, too?!  Well, yes, think of all the positive things in your life, do they not outweigh those pesky little negative ones?  Especially when you're talking about PEOPLE and not things.  Positive thoughts, positive thoughts, positive thoughts...all facebook statuses must now be positive.  Let's see how long that lasts (Whoa, there, is that negativity or just sarcasm?)
  • HURTFUL-ouch, do I need a bandaid?  Again, so many meanings.  Intentional and unintentional.  I could spend every waking hour debating whether or not the things I've said or done throughout the day are hurtful to others or not. Then the responsibility character flaw I have would totally freak out wanting to not allow any words to come out for fear of being hurtful.  I don't think I'm ever intentionally hurtful, but you NEVER know how others will take what you say (or write)-we're humans after all.  I am always asking Jim, "Do you think that what I said, did, didn't say or do, upset him/her?"  It's a never ending battle of sarcasm and my attempts to be funny along with my just not being that smart sometimes.
  • INSENSITIVE-did you feel that?  Some people have this problem of saying things without realizing that others have a heart.  Some of us with that heart tend to have been born with a more fragile heart than others.  We're just a bit sensitive when you say, "Uh, are you going to wear that?"  Consider your wording and how you would feel if you weren't born with a shatterproof heart.
  • FORGETFUL-what did you say again?  I'm sorry.  I'll go ahead and tell you that now. Nathan will tell you that I am THE most forgetful person he knows.  I must tell people to remind me of things several times.  I write notes to myself to remember, I email myself, text myself, set alarms, cover my world in post-its; yet I forget things.  I've been borrowing Nathan's brain for the past few years.  "Nathan, remind me to run by the office.  Then we need to return the library books, then drop off the recycling."  He reminds me to turn left just as I'm about to zoom through the light instead of dropping off the recycling that is sitting right NEXT to me in the car!  What was that you said???
  • ARE CONFUSING or CONFUSED-huh?  Again, I'm sorry, I don't get this one.  Does this mean I've confused you about what I'm trying to explain (that's why I say, "Does that make sense to you?")  Or am I apologizing for being confused?  Then we're in a heap of trouble because we may both end up on a continuous cycle of apology.  That would be U-G-L-Y.  There was a not nice U-G-L-Y cheer when I was growing up, now that's something worthy of an apology.
  • HAVE NEGLECTED, IGNORED, OR OVERLOOKED SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO THE ONE YOU LOVE-about that...Well, I meant to, but I got confused and forgot.  I got the note from the dog that we're supposed to feed him, every day because he can't do it himself.  You mean you didn't notice I bought this wicked hot dress and heels-I've made an appointment at the optometrist for you.  Nope, I haven't spent the last three weeks working on that project, nope, nothing to pick up on there. 
  • HAVE DAMAGED, MISUSED, OR IMPAIRED SOMETHING THAT IS NOT YOURS (EVEN IF IT WAS AN ACCIDENT)-you have insurance, right?  Thanks for letting me borrow your _________, no, it's in mint condition just like when you loaned it to me.  What, the car is totaled? the table is scratched? the rack is broken??  Oh, that's right, I loaned them to you JUST LIKE THAT.  Seriously, I know your mama raised you better than that.  And just for the record, I'm sure I apologized and am still apologizing for totaling my sister's car sixteen years ago.
  • HAVE NOT SAID "I'M SORRY" AS SINCERELY AND QUICKLY AS THE SITUATION WARRANTED-yes, you have to apologize to him and mean it.  We're not toddlers and preschoolers anymore.  We have to stand behind our words and actions. I tell the boys to not even bother saying it if they don't mean it.  But don't wait until someone (me) has forgotten about it to say sorry.  Some people get off so easy on that technicality with me.  They know I'm forgetful!
While I don't think I'm an evil person I do see where I need to let go of some things in my life so that I don't have so many potential opportunities to say I'm sorry.  I think they could have included this one:
  • NOT SAYING THANK YOU SOON ENOUGH-because low and behold I'm terribly guilty of it.  And the person I'm thanking (with a note) has most likely forgotten their good deed. It's not that I don't write them, I enjoy writing them, I just never get them to the post office or get a stamp on them.  Shame, shame, shame on me.  And I'm sorry and thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment