SORRY NOT SORRYI received an email late last night from a SEO company that wanted to work with me/the blog. They work for a relevant brand, did some adequate schmoozing by saying how much they liked my blog (I’m easily wooed) and finished the email by saying that they could send me something for review. When I looked at their website this morning, I noticed their clothes were really expensive and I would imagine that some people may be swayed by the high price tag, thinking that they’re getting quite a good deal.


When it came to replying, I ran through in my head what I was going to say. I wrote that if they want me to review their clothes, I would have to charge a fee, as I don’t accept clothes as payment anymore.  But the funny thing is, when it came to writing the email, I suddenly became very aware of the language I was using. I read the email back and it was full of, “I’m afraid I can’t” and, “I’m sorry that.” I found myself apologising for … well, I’m not really sure what. For charging a fee for my time? For being unable to pay my bills with a dress or a sparkly top? For just asking for what I deem to be fair?


I think I have probably spent a lot of my life apologising and it’s definitely rubbed off on the kids. This was recently highlighted when Dexter and I went to see Wicked last week. We were sat at the end of the aisle and every time someone wanted to get past us, we’d have to stand up and let them go. Which is fine, but both Dexter and I did that wonderfully British thing of apologising every time it happened – as did the other people. So every five minutes, we’d all stand up, shuffle past, and say sorry to each other! When we sat down for the final time, I smiled and said to Dexter, “What were you apologising for love?” He smiled back and said, “I’m not really sure Mum!”


I told him that it’s lovely he has such wonderful manners (most of the time,) but that he shouldn’t apologise unnecessarily and I think that’s why I re-wrote this particular email. I’m always polite, but I need to stop apologising all the bloody time!


So I stripped out the apologies and politely explained the way I work and that I looked forward to her response. So we shall see!


Do you find yourself apologising way too much?


kate sutton

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. Oh gosh yes, my husband goes crazy at me. If someone bashes in to me when out I find myself apologising he goes mad, which of course then makes me apologise to him. I also apologise when i’m ill or when I cannot do something for another. I’m trying to work on it but hey ho im not that great at it.

  2. This is my life. Part of me loves being appalling British. But it does rather prevent me from reaching the dizzying heights that others do. I have often envied your approach to life and business so it’s surprising to me that you feel this way. Also, how good is WICKED?!

    1. I am pretty forthright with life in general, but there are occasions when I catch myself and realise I’ve apologise for something I haven’t done wrong – think it stems from a couple of bad relationships if I’m honest. A good lesson to learn x

  3. Yes! And I think it’s mainly a manners thing – habit more than anything. Most of the time it’s not at all appropriate! But I also think we need more confidence when turning things down or deciding not to do something which isn’t for us. We don’t need to explain ourselves but feel as though we do. I’m going to take note going forward of how much I say sorry! x

    1. We’ve been raised with good manners (as have our kids), but you’re right, there’s a difference between being polite and being assertive. Glad this post has made you think about it all 🙂 x

  4. This resonated. My fault was apologising to a particular friend when I didn’t want to do something she avidly wanted. I would say sorry, make excuses…and she would shoot down every one. For instance, if I said I couldn’t do something because I didn’t have a babysitter that evening, blow me down she would work away in the background, find me a babysitter and, therefore, I’m now able to do that thing with her I really didn’t want to do.

    I wised up later in life and stopped apologising for my choices, and if I didn’t want to do something wouldn’t apologise for it. I started to say, “Thank you, but actually I don’t fancy doing that.”

    That is one phrase I’ve come to realise no-one can then go ahead and ‘fix’ for me. And I’m not in the least sorry about it!

    Good luck with the pitch. Mx

    1. I think once you are conscious of doing it, it’s much easier to stop doing it. I find it a lot easier to stop saying it in business than in my personal life though … but I have got a lot firmer all round I think. Maybe an age thing?

  5. I constantly apologise for things, it makes everything so negative. Even if someone brushes past me on the tube I say sorry – what am I sorry for? Existing?! It’s something I’ve tried to stop for a while now but I’m pretty such I’m still really bad at it. Great post Kate!

    Viki x

  6. Oh yes, I apologise all the time for nothing! Even for other people’s behaviour. If someone has bumped into me, I apologise. I know I shouldn’t but am terrified of being thought of as rude!

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