As Canadians, our politeness is almost inherent. We are quick to say sorry almost through
reflex-even when we aren’t in the wrong. While sincere in its intent, the word sorry often
appears to exonerate a wide array of sins.
Over-apologizing is a common symptom amongst individuals with low self-esteem, fear of
conflict and of judgement. It is synonymous with people pleasing and poor boundaries,
perhaps accepting blame for things we didn't do or couldn't control.
In 12 step programs, the 10th step reads: ‘Continued to take personal inventory and when
we were wrong, promptly admitted it’. For years I interpreted this as when I screw up, be
quick to say I’m sorry. But that’s not what is written. It encourages us to admit when we are
What’s the difference? Well I could say I was sorry all day long when I made a mistake, but
to admit that I was wrong? Me?? Never! No way my ego would allow that!
There is no accountability in a sorry. There is no lesson to be learned, there is no ego
deflation or humility to discover. This only happens when admittance occurs and ownership
Some tips to consider when making a mistake:
Be honest with myself and others
Keep things in perspective
Recognize that I am one step closer to getting it right
Breathe, regroup and try again
Brainstorm ways to do it better next time
Learn from it
Take responsibility for what I did
Make amends if I hurt someone else
Remind myself that I am human and as humans we make mistakes
Remember that I am not a mistake
Next time you screw up- own it and admit it. Discover the power in humility!
Tips source: WholeHearted School Counselling
Call or Text: 778.932.1978
About the Author: Steve currently resides in the sunny Okanagan in British Columbia Canada where he spends his free time camping at remote lakes chasing monster rainbow trout with a flyrod.