This may sound odd but let me explain.
Let me take you back to August 2015 when I went to Copenhagen for the first time.
I traveled with another British friend and we met up with a Danish friend when we got there.
The 3 of us had a lovely time hanging out it the city, went to a street party, visited Tivoli and Ny Haven and generally soaked up the hygge atmosphere together.
Then this is where this trip fits with this blog post. My British friend apologised when someone bumped into her, I later said "Sorry" to a waitress as she dropped my menu as she handed it to me.
Our Danish friend told us to "Stop saying sorry when it’s not your fault" Which at first sounded quite an odd request but he had a point. I didn't really mean it in the same way I did if a friend shared some of their bad news with me or if I let someone down. It was purely habit.
I then noticed that very few Danes seemed to say "Sorry" when it wasn't their fault. Or at least not as often as we do in the UK. I'd always thought of Danish people as being very polite and my perception has not changed since noticing this.
I'd like you to notice how many times you say "Sorry" in a day. Try and notice the difference between the quick fire "sorry" when it's not really required and the more heartfelt "I'm sorry" (here's a clue, there will be less of these.)
Isn't a heartfelt sorry all the more meaningful when we stop saying "Sorry" for the minor bumps in life?
Let’s be more Danish and stop apologising for these sort of things:
Bumping into someone - Being British I say "Sorry" when any of these situations happen:
1. I walk into someone
2. I nearly walk into someone
3. Someone walks into me
4. Someone nearly walks into me
5. I brush past someone while boarding public transport
6. I walk into a door/table (or other inanimate object)
You can be polite without verbally saying "Sorry" in all of these situations, just ask a Dane!
For not replying within the hour - A good proportion of the emails I send and receive start "Sorry for the slow reply..." but more often than not the reply is still in a perfectly reasonable time frame. I'm going to stop doing that right away!
Turning down an invite - You can say "No thank you but have a great time" without being sorry, rude or making up excuses.
For saying "No" - You know what's best for you and your family. You can say "No" to a night out so you can get more sleep, save some money or spend more time with your family. That's nothing to be sorry about. You may even set a refreshing example for your overstretched and overworked friends and colleagues who feel guilty saying "No".
What you're wearing - Don't apologise for being under/overdressed. Unless you're Beyonce or wearing a binsack, no one cares what you're wearing as much as you think they do.
Most importantly, don't apologise for being you - Don't feel you have to "fit in" all the time. Don't apologise for voicing a different opinion. It's just as valid.
I bid you good luck in the war against superfluous sorries!