I hate saying “I’m sorry”. I simply don’t think has a point. Now, I don’t mean it in the sense that something was my fault, or the dismissive “I’m sorry that you feel that way”, but rather that slightly pitying way that we all know oh so well. I cannot stand saying it, and having it said to me. Now, that’s not to say I never do (because I do…) but rather that I dislike it being considered the go-to phrase to express concern for another. “Sorry” implies fault, thus subconsciously bringing the subject back to you. Oftentimes the one in misfortune apologies, consoles, or thanks the apologizer. Not always, but often. It’s like you’re saying that you had something to do with their misfortune – at least this is how I usually see it.
Unfortunately, it’s a social construct that we all fall into at times. In order to avoid long explanations, or hurt someone by not saying the required “I’m sorry”…even if we don’t really think we should. And even for those who pride themselves on being enlightened and beyond the influence of society, still fall into its trappings to avoid superfluous interactions or desire to put real effort in conversation. Much like giving false appreciation for a gift or complimenting someone’s child when you really believe otherwise, apologizing makes you feel better. They are all part of this great need to flatter others in order to make us appear like better people. It’s hard to find mush sincerity in interactions today; friendships are shallow and true passion is a diamond in the rough.
That aside, when I’m placed in a situation that would require an “I’m sorry” I try to find a way to offer support first, offer to ease their burden in some manner. I’d rather be needlessly useful than sympathetic -which I view as pity (-pathetic…pity. Get it?) , a weak form of empathy. Pity is the average reaction to someone else suffering and you aren’t/haven’t. Although, some people do need to be pitied or consoled…so just give them a hug or treat them to coffee and a talk, something…I don’t know. However, for times when you don’t know the person very well, or feel uncomfortable with the conversation, it would be standard procedure to hand out an “I’m sorry” – an understandable path of action.
But what’s so wrong with offering that offer to someone you don’t know? What’s so repulsive about meeting a new person or “wasting time” helping a stranger? For most people it doesn’t offer them enough of a benefit for them to warrant the exchange. And that’s fine. I just dislike acting like it makes you special.
Well, um, that was more of a rant than I was expecting it to be, but it’s 100% opinion, 100% my experiences. I could probably get into a debate about this for a long time. I’m not saying this is applicable everywhere- nothing is concrete and uncertainty is everywhere- but, I don’t see other people really questioning this concept, so I thought I’d go ahead and put something out there. It may be a bit cynical, but I do my best to keep an open mind and be keen on learning other ways of viewing things. I suggest you have at it!
“For one to repress their emotions, would be is as if they were denying the very essence of their being. And that, that is the very source of our unhappiness and pain.”