Sorry, Not Sorry - The Legacy of You - Michael Ian Cedar

I’ve been hyper-sensitive to the words “I’m sorry” being used in the wrong context lately…

“Sorry, I have a question.”
“Sorry, I can’t hear you.”
“Sorry, I had to go the bathroom.”
“Sorry, I had to eat lunch.”
“Sorry, I’ve been saying sorry so much.”

I’m thinking to myself, “What the hell are you sorry for?”

You’re sorry for seeking more information?
You’re sorry that you had to eat food?

I’m so confused. What the hell is everyone so sorry for?!

If you are going to say sorry, then for the love of god earn your right to say “sorry”…

My newer staff members think I don’t like the word “sorry”… Which is totally wrong. I just want you to say sorry at the right time. Earn the right to say “sorry.”
Saying “sorry” without earning the right to say it weakens your vibrancy. You may come off as subordinate. I don’t know about you, but I want to work with people who are on the same level as me.

If you are saying it to me, then you are saying it to my clients and my staff all the time. It tells me you are less likely to take any sort of risk — if you are always apologizing to me because if you think you’ve done something offensive by asking a question, then there is no way you are going to take the initiative to do something bigger that has the chance to fail.

Earn the right. If you really are sorry, prove it to me. Show me you get it.

“I’m sorry, I broke your leg.”
“I killed your cat… I’m sorry.”
“Sorry, I was hungry and ate your soup in the fridge.”
You’ve earned the right here to say the S word because you just did something to me that is reprehensible.

Try this on for size: according to a recent study, women are way more likely to say “Sorry”. ” According to a 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science, “women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior, so are more likely to see a need for an apology in everyday situations.”

I recently heard about a new thing you can force yourself to do once you recognize how much you say “I’m sorry.” Instead of sorry, say “Thank you.”

“I didn’t hear you, can you say that again, thank you.”
“Thank you, but, I’m going to grab some lunch.”

So… Thank you for letting me grab your attention for a bit here…

I want you to do incredible meaningful work, And the more people you interact with, chances are the more you will also connect with. Then you can make #Kickass things happen.

Sorry, Not Sorry for The Legacy of You,

Ps. Want me to come into your team and help everyone communicate stronger internally and externally? I love helping with this type of stuff! Shoot me an email.


  1. When was the last time someone said to you “Don’t be sorry” or “Why are you sorry”?
  2. If you can answer this, start saying thank you more.



2 thoughts on “Sorry, You’re Not Sorry”

  1. This is brilliant! I always say to performers during rehearsals to not say sorry. Everyone knows they feel bad for not knowing a line or blocking, that’s great. Just move forward. The idea that we all need to dwell on feeling bad for inconveniencing someone is ridiculous. Love the Thank You suggestion and I will start using it for sure!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *