Saturday, November 28, 2009

The games people play

Last week I had an odd thing happen to me. A perfect stranger boldly offered me advice. A man whose company i was in for maybe a half an hour said to me. Can I give you some advice? I said 'Sure"
He said... "you really have to stop saying 'I'm sorry" so often. You've apologized at least 3 times. It makes it look like you have no self worth". I was so taken back. I guess a woman with MORE self worth would have replied.. 'well considering we just met I think it's very forward/presumptuous/nervy/impolite/ of you to offer such advice. Actually I don't really know what a 'normal' woman would respond. What would YOU have said?? Please tell me, because even though I KNOW I am VERY worthy and I totally respect myself I don't think I responded in a self worthy way!! And I often show an insecure side. Would you like to know what I said? I said.... "you know what? My husband has been telling me for many years to stop apologizing" (although my husband NEVER said I don't appear to have self worth) So Mr. Bold said to me.. "well he must love you very much." To which I confidently responded... "he adores me!"
After this encounter, I vividly remembered the first Time Mr. Petals did voice this.
I was pregnant for our first son and i thought labor had begun. The dr. said to come straight to the hospital to get checked because that's where he already was. It was a sunday and it ended up a false alarm. I apparently apologized more than a couple of times for bothering him unnecessarily. When he left the room, my husband yelled, 'WHY are you apologizing? He is your Doctor! This is what we've paid him for! Stop saying Im sorry!!!"
A few days ago, a dear friend pointed out to me that it's not so much that I'm insecure as I am very compassionate and kind and use "I'm sorry" to be tender. I also sometimes use it instead of an 'excuse me' as I did one of the times in front of Mr. bold, when I thought I got in some ones way.

I don't know why I am having a difficult time getting this out of my head. Did mr. bold mean to play mind games with me? Or Did he ever think twice about his insolent remark? Did he truly think he was in a position to be helpful? I really don't know. Maybe it wasn't a game at all and there is a reason for this as I think there is a reason for everything that happens. It HAS made me notice that I apologized to all of you in my last post, and today at work it made me stop myself a few times from saying 'Im sorry" to a few clients. Like, While brushing some ones face with the cape I was putting on them, I instead chose... 'OOOPS!". but is ooops better?? I think
sorry makes more sense. Maybe I think too much about too much?! Who knows! Maybe you know? I won't apologize for ThIS post as I did the last but can I say Thanks? Does that sound insecure too? Thanks for listening! Hope u leave your opinion, because unlike mr. bold.. this time I am asking for advice! :))

visit sunday scribblings for more games


2cats said...

I would have replied to the very rude stranger, "Yes you can give me some advice but don't be surprised if I don't follow it."
I think that is just what you should do. Don't follow his advice.
If you like who you are, and are not a door mat, then why would you change yourself to make a self serving stranger right in his appraisal of you.
You know yourself.
From what I know of you you are a warm and caring person.

George S Batty said...

Old Grizz would have simply said
"I'm sorry" and walked away.

Lilibeth said...

Yes, it was rather rude of him to give you the free psychoanalysis. I'm sorry he did that, and I'm sorry it made you feel that way.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

Everyone has a phrase they use frequently. I'm sorry doesn't have anything to do with your self esteem and more to do with your effort to be polite. I would of saiod to him Oh unless you are a co-host with doctor Phil your advice will be taken with a grain of salt. IDIOT....

b+ (Retire In Style Blog) said...

I agree with "old grizz". When we begin to question every word that comes out of our mouth we do begin loss confidence. You are wonderful just the way you are.


Rinkly Rimes said...

I never thought of mind-games! Good idea.Certainly nothing to be sorry about!

Marja said...

Nothing wrong with I am sorry. More people should use it more often

Deirdre said...

I often say "sorry?" when I haven't heard what someone said. It never feels like apologizing, just politeness. I also apolpgize a lot - I also say please and thank you.

There's not a thing wrong with apologizing as long as it isn't for something you haven't done.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I read somewhere that women do apologize for more things -- especially in sports. Is it nature? Nurture? Society? I don't know. I'm not a sociologist.

Don't let this stranger bug you. There have been times in my life when people have told me that I was wrong. I was wrong to not find out the gender of both my kids beforehand. I was wrong to nurse. I was wrong to use a bottle. I was wrong to not use time outs. I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong.

I rarely agreed.

What it comes down to is that people have opinions. We all want people to do things the way WE do them; it lets us operate within our comfort zone.

Hang in there. Live your life the way that makes YOU happy.

And take THAT advice with a grain of salt, of course -- because I think you should do it MY way. *grin*

JP/deb said...

Hey Luc!

Boldness (and perhaps rudeness) aside ... I too think everything happens for a reason. Clearly this struck a chord with you. Every experience has a lesson in it, the trick is to find it ... and, I think you did.


Forgetfulone said...

People who know you know it's just a habit, perhaps an eccentricity, something you just say a lot. They know you're not really apologizing for something you've done or think you've done. They know it's just one of the many ways you try to be polite and accomodating to others. Mr. Bold, or rather, Mr. Stranger, didn't know this about you and I feel he was actually sincere and looking out for what might be in your best interest. Maybe he was too forward, but he did ask your permission to give the advice. I hope he wasn't rude about it. But, yes, it was an odd circumstance. You handled it with class, as usual.

Tumblewords: said...

Strangers. They are certainly helpful! :) My patience isn't as short as it used to be - it's actually shorter! You're good.

Old Egg said...

Relax, your characteristic apologies are what make you, YOU! It might niggle others but I am sure some are charmed by it.

If you change the habit will that make you a better person? No I don't think so.

Great thought provoking post.

awareness said...

There is a stereotypical belief that all Canadians are too nice because they apologize too often. Maybe you have a bit of Canuck in you?? :)

We know how to flip the bird too. hahaha!

Its a strange thing when someone you don't know is so blunt about such a thing. It always makes us feel overly self conscious.

linda may said...

Lucy, you were being polite....he wasn't , therefore there was nothing to be sorry about.He took you by surprise and if you had more time to think you would have thought to handle him differently.Don't bother yourself with people like him.

Bone said...

I don't think you need to change a thing, Lucy. I say "I'm sorry" a lot, too. Most of the time it's something I say to show empathy when someone else is complaining about their day or their situation.

Maybe you should have said, "You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister." :)

Dee Martin said...

ten second analysis is worth exactly what you paid for it. Sounds like he had issues and just handed them off to you. If it doesn't bother YOU to say your sorry then I would say HE has the problem :)

Beth Camp said...

Interesting post and interesting comments! This reminded me of a time in a meeting when a female manager began her presentation with an apology. My boss leaned over to me and whispered, "She just shot herself in the foot." I instantly knew he meant me to really listen, for I too apologized at nearly every turn (and still have trouble not apologizing). So, I'm with you in knowing to the bone how hard it is to change my wording. But at work, I changed. I began by focusing on the task instead of on me. This seemed to help, and I definitely noticed a difference in how my co-workers treated me. But, at home with family and friends, I still apologize.

threesidesofcrazy said...

Lucy you just have a compassionate side that wants it all to be good for everyone and if you can't fix it or answer it positively saying I'm sorry is just a nice way of easing a situation.

Lucy said...

can't begin to tell you all how much all your comments meant to me..everyone truly wanted to help and give great advice.. but need to update... that man was doing me a favor and not being rude as I thought he was..
I've since gotten to know him better and you know what? he is a real nice guy!
So glad I shared this with all of you and so glad I am a forgiving gal.
(bone..ur comment is still making me smile!)