Which do you say more, “Thank you” or “sorry”?
Take a moment to think about that. If you say ‘thank you’ more, then this blog post is not for you. But I like you so you can keep reading anyway if you want to…
If you say ‘sorry’ more then ask yourself “why?” A lot of people say ‘sorry’ far more than is necessary. When an (unnecessary) apology becomes your default response to a situation, that suggests that you are (internally) putting yourself down. You are repeatedly confirming to yourself that you have a reason to be sorry. In many cases it implies you are putting the needs of others over your own.
Try swapping ‘Sorry’ with ‘Thank you’. It Sounds odd but gets easier with practice, here are some examples:
“Sorry about the long queue”
This tells the person waiting that the wait wasn’t acceptable (as it’s something to be sorry about) and tells you that you are in the wrong. (is it your fault they had to queue?)
“Thank you for waiting”
This tells the customer that they have done something good by waiting nicely (leaves them feeling the wait was a good thing, something to be thanked for). You are no longer blaming yourself for the queue but are showing your support for those waiting.
“Sorry, I didn’t explain that well to begin with” – “Thank you for allowing me to clarify what I meant”
(In a crowded space) “Sorry” as you need to squeeze past someone is o.k. “Thank you” as you pass is better.
Sorry tells them you’re being a pain and pushing past – Thank you tells them that they are doing something nice by moving out the way (and, as a result, encourages them to give you more space).
Go out and experiment. Try replacing “Sorry” with “Thank you” and see how people’s reactions change.This is especially useful in retail and hospitality to give the customer a better impression without any extra cost or time.