Stop saying sorry. Or start saying it.

Depends on who you are. I know both types: the ones who say ‘sorry’ all the time, like a reflex to anything that might have made someone even mildly inconvenienced for half a second and the cold-hearted ones who have never let the word leave their lips.

I used to be like the former. It’s a position of weakness. It shows insecurity. And saying it literally makes your body and mind recoil. It’s a retreat. It’s a negative feeling. So stop saying sorry so much.

“Sorry to bother you…” NO. Say “Excuse me,”

Say ‘excuse me’ instead of sorry most of the time, actually.

And sweet Jesus, don’t apologize for other people’s feelings (more on that below). That’s for them to reconcile, not you. #notyourproblem

Maybe you never say it (you inconsiderate ape). Then you should start. But only when you mean it.

Say it to someone you hurt recently. You probably know a few. They probably told you how you hurt them and you didn’t say anything to show remorse. Which is why they left you.

Saying sorry should have some gravity to it. It needs to mean something. It needs to matter that you said it.

Someone confronts you because you hurt them? Hear them out. If you realize you did wrong them: apologize. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you a thoughtful person. Being self-aware is a huge plus. Acknowledging your mistakes that negatively affect others and apologizing for it is a giant step in the right direction.

There is one acceptable time to say ‘sorry’ when you didn’t take action that negatively affected someone: when someone you know loses a loved one. Offering condolences with, “I’m sorry for your loss. I’m here if you’d like to talk,” is about as genuine and thoughtful as you’re going to get.

Don’t kowtow to pressure to apologize for saying something because someone claims they’re offended by what you said. I have immense respect for Chelsea Handler because of how she handles people demanding her apology for jokes she makes.

And honestly: if we get to the point where comedians must apologize for jokes that offend people (and we’re frighteningly close), we have truly lost the last bastion of free speech and we’re all fucked.

I’m not sorry I said that.