On average, I probably say that I am sorry about 30 times a day. "Sorry to bother you", "sorry to email so late" "sorry sorry sorry, traffic was a nightmare", "oh my god I'm so sorry to hear that", "I'm so hopeless I'm sorry", "sorry for calling but..." are just a few of the expressions that I hear falling out of my mouth every day.
I read all these articles all the time that women should stop apologising so much, that it's a sign of weakness and I'm told about 5 times a day, normally by Alex, that I need to stop apologising so much. But I can't, and I won't. I don't care that it makes me 'weak', I don't care that it's annoying, saying sorry is as much a part of me as breathing is.
But the problem I have is this: because I am so apologetic ALL of the time, and because I spend my entire life worrying that the people around me aren't happy enough, I find myself getting, perhaps unjustly, upset when I am not treated with the same respect that I give to everyone, from my boyfriend to the postman.
I quite often find myself sitting alone waiting for someone who I was supposed to meet for a drink, only to find that they've had a better offer, I often too make plans that get passed off and ignored and I'll very often make huge efforts with people who have either misunderstood how much it meant to me, or just don't give a shit.
No big deal, welcome to being a human being. But, the thing that really annoys me about these scenarios, is that 9 times out of 10 I won't get an apology, or not a proper one anyway.
My dad has always said that being late for anyone is the rudest thing that you can do, because, in doing so, you are implying that your time is more valuable than theirs and therefore disrespecting them. As a result, he has never been late to anything in his life, something that I really appreciate.
Although my time keeping skills have always been sub-par, I have, since childhood, had these words ringing in my ears and as a result, will apologise profusely if I think I'm going to be late, send a million 'I'm so sorry' messages on the way and do my best to make it up to whomever I am meeting when I arrive. And that's something that I would consider not just good manners, but just being 'good'.
So when I find myself being ignored or disrespected, my instinct is to say "I'm so sorry, it must be my fault, miscommunication" or the even more annoying "oh my god babe don't worry it's fine, I was running late anyway", because something that I hate even more than bad manners, is confrontation.
But sometimes, I want to scream. How hard is it to say that you are sorry? To make the effort to make it up to someone that you have let down?
My mum always said to me that 'by saying sorry, you are saying that you will never do it again', which I love. That's really important for the big stuff, forgetting an anniversary, reversing into someone's car or spilling coffee on someone's lap.
Sometimes, I can't stick to this rule, when I miss shots in tennis, when I'm five minutes late for lunch because Boo has done a big stinky poo and I've had to use a child's crisp packet as a poo bag because I forgot to bring any with me, or when I knock into someone on the street. I can't promise to the people that I am apologising to that I will never do it again, because these are the products of accidents. But when I say that I am sorry, I am acknowledging my fuck up, and making a silent promise of sorts that I will do better next time.
And what's so wrong with that? What's so wrong with saying sorry? With making the effort with someone? With being a good, decent human being? Nothing. So why is that we can't just swallow our pride and say that five letter word?
I know so many people who literally cannot say it, and if they do, will give it as little conviction as they possibly can, and I don't understand.
However annoying it is to be partnered in a game of tennis with a girl who apologises even when she gets her shots in, is nothing in comparison with being the girl who has just been brushed off without the hint of a apology from the person she's been waiting for for half an hour in a restaurant.
That word does not make us weak, it is not 'damaging' for feminism, it should be up there in the 10 most used words of good people. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are wrong, there is nothing wrong with swallowing your pride, there is nothing wrong with being NICE.
Oh and one more thing, to the idiot that said: "being in love means never having to say you're sorry", you are so wrong. Being in love means that you should say you're sorry, all the fucking time. Because we humans, are, whether we'll admit it or not, selfish creatures. And unless we've morphed into flipping Mother Theresa, the day that we stop saying sorry, is the day that we've stopped seeing when we're doing wrong... and that's a scary thought.