Etiquette Friday – Why is it so Hard to say the Word Sorry?By Angela Marshall, 4th Jan 2013
I continue my quest from 2012, when each Friday I requested you join me in my campaign to change “Casual Friday” to “Etiquette Friday” and to encourage people and companies to get involved. Hopefully my messages have reminded you to make some small changes, and that people will be more considerate to others and more aware of their manners. This in turn will create a more pleasant and positive society, as well as help people to communicate and feel better about themselves.
Recently I have had several situations where I haven’t received the service I should have. Yet people seem reluctant to use the word “sorry”. It is a powerful word and when used appropriately it can diffuse a situation as well as help you to accept the error.
Apologies don’t seem to come easily to most people, yet when used they will help to restore a broken relationship with clients, friends or family. If you have committed a mistake, misunderstanding, used bad language, offended someone or caused a problem, the simplest and most effective way to make things better is to simply say “I’m sorry this has caused you a problem.” It doesn’t necessarily mean you were at fault, it means you recognise the other person is upset.
It also shows good manners, treating someone as you would like to be treated. There’s an old saying in English: ‘Manners maketh man’. It means that having good manners, or being polite to other people, will obtain more respect and make you a more admirable person.
Meaning the Word
However, there is no point in saying sorry without meaning it. You need to say it such that your body language and your tone of voice also demonstrate that you mean it, whether it is over the phone or in person.