I can’t remember who spoke about this, but I’ve been trying this new thing where I don’t say “Sorry” unless it’s something I’m genuinely sorry about. There are other ways of expressing sorry without using the S-word, and I know it’s an almost pedantic thing, but I’m finding that it is having an amazing impact on my life.
For instance, if someone were to invite me to do something and I wasn’t available, I would previously say, “Sorry, I can’t make it, I have ______”. Which sounds innocent enough, except I would then feel compelled to make it up to them, as though my unavailability had inconvenienced them, and I needed to do something in return. But the truth is, I probably didn’t inconvenience them. They probably just went and asked someone else, and thought nothing of me after my refusal.
It’s amazing how liberating it is. I don’t feel bad about turning things down, I don’t feel anxious when trying to explain that I don’t want to do something. I might not even have plans that day, I just don’t feel like doing whatever it is I’ve been invited to, or I’ll be tired from doing something else that weekend, or just want to chill at home and play games. As long as I’m not neglecting my friendships, I think that’s OK.
And I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my back.