Jesus Follower | Word Stringer | Avocado Eater

Category Archives: Pride

Trading Sorry for Thank You

  • “Sorry I’m late.”
  • “Sorry I didn’t call.”
  • “Sorry about the mess.”
  • “Oh, sorry!”
  • “Oops–sorry.”

Enough already. Of course, sometimes a genuine sorry is exactly what’s needed. But I’m referring to all the times when sorry becomes excessive… unwarranted… over the top. 

Photo by Rye Jessen on Unsplash

What in the world would a public bus be sorry for? That it’s winter? That’s you have to step out onto slush?

Have you ever wished someone would stop saying sorry so much? Maybe (like I did) you realize you’re the one constantly saying it.

Whether it’s intentional or not, if we’re consistently spewing the word, it tends to lose its effectiveness.

It can also make us look guilty, even if we’re not. 

Since getting a new job, I realize I’ve been apologizing for things I don’t know and things I don’t need to be sorry for.

  • “I’m sorry, but I don’t know how many houses we build at a time.”
  • “Sorry—I don’t know who the board members are yet.”
  • “Wait, sorry, but what does the IV after Habitat for Humanity mean?”
  • “Oh, sorry. Am I in charge of that?”
  • “Sorry, but I have another question.”
  • “I’m sorry, but I don’t know what to tell the lady whose mobile home is splitting down the middle.”

I’m five weeks new. How would I be expected to already know those things?

Last week I walked into my boss’s office and said, “Sorry to interrupt, but I have those files you wanted.” 

Why did I feel the need to apologize for interrupting her (for three seconds) when I held something she wanted?


Losing Weight

A new ah-ha moment hit me when one of my friends said, “My husband’s sorrys came so frequently that the word lost its weight. I finally told him I didn’t believe him anymore.”

In an effort to not be accused of the same thing, I’m working on trading sorry for thank you. 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


For Example…

  • Instead of, “Sorry I’m late.”
  • Switch to, “Thanks for your patience.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry about the mess.”
  • Switch to, “Welcome to the organized chaos!”
  • Instead of, “I’m sorry, but this isn’t hot” to a waiter,
  • Switch to, “Could you please bringing me a hot one?”
  • Next time you bump into someone, try “Excuse me” instead of “Sorry.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry I missed that.”
  • Switch to, “Oops—thanks for catching that.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry my car’s such a disaster.”
  • Switch to, “Just toss that in the back.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry I haven’t called.”
  • Switch to, “I’ve been thinking about you!”
  • Instead of, “Sorry you had to drive me home.”
  • Switch to, “Thanks for the ride!”
  • Instead of, “Sorry I haven’t showered. For three days.”
  • Switch to, “I’m saving water,” or, “I found the best dry shampoo!”

Putting it Into Practice

Last weekend I ended up in urgent care after I tipped a wooden bar stool over and landed it on the tops of both bare feet. 

And no, I wasn’t drinking.

Dramatic reenactment

To confirm I didn’t break a metatarsal or phalange (those are fun to say), I got sent to a nurse, an X-ray technician and a doctor. I immediately felt sorry for them that they all had to work on Sunday. 

But instead of rubbing it in and saying sorry, I decided to work up the courage to implement my new plan. After six quick X-rays, I looked at the technician and said, “Thanks for working on a Sunday.”

I realize she might not have had a choice, but my comment took her back a bit… in a good way.

I thought I’d continue with the doctor, so before I hobbled out on my heels I said the same thing. She smiled, said, “Oh, you’re welcome,” and actually looked happy to be there. 

And again a few days ago: I took 16 days to email a friend back and desperately wanted to start off with a big fat “Sorry!”

Instead, I lead with this: “Thanks for your patience with my slow reply.”

And then of course I felt the need to explain what took me so long, but that’s a different story.


Help a Sistah Out

Are you a teeth friend? When someone gets spinach, chia seeds or espresso beans caught in their incisors, do you tell them? What about lipstick or gloss on their teeth?

If you’re friends, the answer is yes!

Now if someone points out the same thing on your teeth, are you prone to say sorry or thank you? There’s nothing to apologize for, but plenty to be thankful for. 


Guilty vs. Grateful

Unnecessary guilt. I’m thinking we could all use a little less of it.

Acting guilty about something you’re not guilty of can cause exhaustion. Don’t you think, as a society, we’re all tired enough? 

Try responding with only “thank you” when someone tells you there’s lettuce/kale/chard in your teeth and see how it feels. Showing gratitude for something takes the focus off the negative and lets it rest squarely on the positive.

I’m still a messy work in progress. Ready to join me? Try trading sorry for thank you and then tell me what happened in the comments.

  • How did you feel?
  • Did it seem awkward or natural?
  • Did you feel more positive? Confident? Grateful?


“I love where I come from. The people there are good people. When they say, ‘Thank you,’ they mean it.”  -Luke Perry



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Praying for Closed Doors

“I don’t know which college to pick. I got into these two schools and I like them equally, but I’m afraid to pick the wrong one.” When we ran a GAP-year program in Baja, MX, each class of students lived with us from August to June. They were all recent high school graduates and no… Continue Reading

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Back to Work, Back to Reality

  His calm voice sounded kind, but his words surprised me.  “We’re spending too much and not bringing in enough. I think we need you to start working.” My husband was right, mostly, but the hardest part of his comment was that I already feel like I work. I wish my writing provided a full-time, regular income,… Continue Reading

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Lord of the Flaws

  Though some exasperated parents might joke about dropping their sassy Tweens on an island, I’m fairly certain no parent would want the experience to resemble William Golding’s version.  My son brought home his 7th grade required reading list last month. I scanned it, unfazed until I reached the one title that zipped me right… Continue Reading

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Your Hoopie’s Showing

  My grandma. So sweet and helpful. If you ever wore a necklace in her presence and the clasp slid around toward the front, she was your girl. “Oh here, honey, let me help you. Your hoopie’s showing.” I naturally learned from an early age how hoopies should be on the back of my neck… Continue Reading

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I Like it When You Say That. Now Please Stop.

  I’m weak, okay? There–I said it. I’d like to think I can handle whatever gets thrown my way, but no. So in an effort to change and grow, I’ve made a list. These random observations have been bothering me lately so I thought I’d bother you with them. In no particular order, I offer… Continue Reading

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Adjusting the Scales of Honesty

  “Hey, boys—throw this blanket on top of the sacks. And make sure you get the corners.” I cringed in opposition. Did he just involve our children in a hidden importation? I turned my head to the west and spaced out while he drove. Lest you feel the urge to judge, think about this: if… Continue Reading

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Dave’s Daughter, Corky’s Chica, Micah’s Mom

  He leaned sideways against our crummy lockers, tilted his head and flashed his crooked, pearly whites. “So when are you gonna sleep with me, girl?” His casual offer made me blush, but inside I hid my shock. And then a speck of pride crossed my heart. He wanted me. He wanted me? The tall… Continue Reading

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