Stop Saying Sorry, Say This Instead!

By Sarah M 8 months ago

Thank You For Your Patience

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Are you always in a rush to apologise for taking a little longer than your workmates to complete your daily tasks? Have you ever considered that this might just be because you are putting in that extra effort and detail? Don't say sorry - thank them for their patience!

I Appreciate Your Understanding

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If you *might* be in the wrong but don't have the time for an argument today, try the classic 'Thank you for your understanding". This savvy phrase puts the responsibility on them to understand and accept instead of getting fired up and retaliating! *Chef's Kiss*

I Understand Where You Are Coming From

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Have you ever had a customer walk into your workplace seemingly looking for an argument? Their complaint is small but they really want you to fight back and get this party started. Double bluff them by calmly telling them that you actually understand where they are coming from.

This Was Not Intentional

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There's nothing more annoying than someone expecting a full-blown apology for something that was clearly a complete accident... often one that didn't even affect them! Get them out of their emotional headspace and make them see logic - this obviously wasn't intentional!

How Can I Make This Up to You?

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When we are genuinely in the wrong and can see that our actions have hurt someone we love, it is a truly horrible feeling. In these situations, saying 'sorry' just doesn't feel enough - use your actions as well as your words to fix the mess you have made.

I Take Full Responsibility

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Sometimes people need to know that you understand the implications of what you have said or done. A simple "I'm sorry", especially in a more formal work setting, may feel fluffy and insincere. Fully take the blame and accept your full responsibility.

Let's Find A Solution Together

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When we are dealing with someone who will happily point fingers but won't do anything to actually fix the problem, it can feel frustrating. Instead of giving in, apologizing and sorting it on your own, invite them into the process. Let's fix this TOGETHER!

I'll Make Sure This Won't Happen Again

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Who doesn't dread being reprimanded by their boss? It can feel like we are back at school being told off by our teacher and, if you are anything like me, can make you want to burst into tears! Stay professional and calmly inform them that it won't happen again.

I Appreciate Your Feedback

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Unwarranted feedback is the WORST! How many times has a client told you how to do your own job? And how many times have you had to bite your tongue to stop yourself yelling at them? Stay professional and subtly sarcastic with the classic 'I appreciate your feedback'.

I'll Do Better Next Time

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Why are you apologizing to your personal trainer for struggling to keep up? You employ them remember! They don't want you to say sorry and never come back, they want a willingness to improve without giving in to your emotions. A confident promise to do better will suffice.

And What Can I Do To Help?

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This is an absolute favorite of mine for when a person obviously just wants to yell at someone without really knowing the outcome they want. Simply ask them what they desire from you, it will ultimately make them flustered and hopefully, send them off in a sulk!

Are You Looking For An Apology?

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Many of us who have worked customer service jobs know the feeling of being complained to all day long about things that are completely out of our control. When someone is speaking to you rudely about something above your paygrade, try out this little beauty.

I Regret My Actions

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It's incredibly upsetting when we realize someone who hurt us doesn't have any regret over what they have done. When we have genuinely done something bad, do all you can to prove yourself remorseful and let them know that you genuinely regret what happened.

Let's Work Through This

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This is a great one for when you are both in the wrong. Say you and your partner had an argument and both of you gave as good as you got; saying sorry would put all of the blame on you, so try this instead. Be the bigger person and suggest working through it together.

That's An Interesting Perspective...

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You know the feeling; you are listening to someone shift the blame on to you when you KNOW you are in the right... it can make your blood boil! Sometimes you just have to fight back and hold your own. Hear them out and then very politely tell them what REALLY went down.

How Can I Support You?

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Sometimes people just need to get it off their chest and although their upset seems aimed at you, it is really something bigger. If you can see that someone is reacting out of sadness or anxiety, flip the conversation to be about them and offer to help.

I'm Here To Listen

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Sometimes all we really need is someone to listen. Maybe the person at your desk listing off a million tiny complaints is this upset because no one else would take them seriously. Listen to and acknowledge each issue - it might just take the pressure off!

What Has Made You Feel This Way?

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When we feel hurt by someone, it can be hard to put into words why that is. If your friend or partner is letting you know how they feel (i.e. you have upset them/ been annoying recently), don't immediately retaliate. Ask them to articulate what specifically you are doing to cause this.

I Regret How This Has Made You Feel

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Sometimes we have to do the right thing, even if it means upsetting people. If you know you can't apologize for what you did, because you fundamentally still stand by your actions, take a different stance. Let them know that what you DO regret is how you have made them feel.

Let's Move Forwards

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Do you have someone in your life who always brings up the same argument that happened years ago? You might have said sorry a million times, but they will always try and get another apology out of you. Stop the cycle by confronting them on this and asking to move beyond it.

Let Me Make Amends

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Are you in a situation where you have said sorry over and over and it's just never enough? It can feel like this argument will never resolve. Tell the other person that they need to let you make amends to save the relationship; then do all you can to make things right.

Cheesecake?

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Look, I'm not saying a trip to The Cheesecake Factory is always the answer... but it certainly won't hurt! If you know you are in the wrong but don't want to make a big deal of it, take my advice: Actions speak louder than words but NOTHING speaks louder than cheesecake.

I'll Learn From this

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If your disagreement is between yourself and a colleague that you will have to spend a lot more time with, it's best not to make things awkward. Let them know that they can relax, this will never happen again because you are going to learn from your mistake.

What You Are Feeling Is Valid

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It can be intimidating to tell someone that they have upset you or that you want them to apologize. If your friend has been vulnerable with you in this way, whether you are in the wrong or not, recognize the guts it took to confront you and let them know that their feelings are valid.

Let's Unpack this

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Has someone ever asked you for an apology and you honestly cannot understand why? Maybe they are telling you that you have offended them but you can't see how what you said was rude? Before you give in and say sorry, ask them to break it down for you.

I'll Be More Mindful Next Time

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Sometimes we need to be taught what we can and can't say to certain people. Just because you can share dark humour with your friends, doesn't mean that everyone will react the same way; especially if they have some unresolved trauma. Let them know you will be mindful of their boundaries.

How Can I Best Make It Up To You?

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If you feel like you have done everything you can to apologize but your friend is still holding out for something more, ask them specifically what they want from you. What is obvious to them, might not be so clear for you so there is no harm in asking.

I'm Open To Resolving This

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This is a great way to show willing without actually admitting you are at fault. If both of you are looking for an apology from each other, you can end up going round in circles - be the bigger person and show an openness to resolve the situation together.

Your Support Means A Lot

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Now, this one is a little sassy so use with care! If someone is having a little too much fun telling you all of your faults or explaining how they would do your job better... pretend to misunderstand their intentions and earnestly thank them for their support!!

Mistakes Happen!

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Sometimes people need to be reminded that not everything is malicious or even intentional! If your only fault was a tiny mistake that has been blown way out of proportion, why waste your time on a big apology? Simply remind them that hey, mistakes do happen!