I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

2 Feb 2014

Have You Ever Felt Sorry? Really…

Our world is full of communication blunders. They seem insignificant, but even at a quick glance, we know there are some problems in our world, most of which stem from communication. Look at the divorce rate all over the world: many couples don’t seem to have that ability to communicate effectively anymore and can’t get to the root of their problems. So, I’d say that there’s some benefit to learning about some of the seemingly insignificant communication blunders that we make today.

Earlier, I wrote about the 55-38-7 (Communication Mystery Explained: The 55-38-7 Rule) rule and in it I said that “feeling sorry” is another misquote we use in our society. Ask yourself, can you really feel sorry? The word ‘feeling’ is used a little too liberally today. A feeling is something that you can feel in your body. So again, I ask, can you feel sorry? The answer is no.

Think about what you can feel in your body: heat (hot and cold), pain or hurt, tired, tingling or ticklish, weak, poise, hunger and a few others. I counted a while ago and there are only about fifteen or twenty feelings that I can feel. Please feel free (lol) to list any feelings you feel in the comments below. Everything else that we experience is a belief, thought, want or emotion. Even emotions though, are unmanaged thoughts.

Think about this: a woman steps on two men’s feet. One man gets angry and another stays calm. The same thing happened to both men, but only one man got angry. He had some unresolved thoughts in his mind that caused his anger. And this is why distinguishing between actual feelings and the ones that we make up is important: if feeling sad is something that you create in your mind, then you have control over it, if you are willing to learn a little about your mind and take a dive in. We have less control over actual feelings. Sometimes your body tingles or gets ticklish uncontrollably, or you feel hungry.

So, what is the correct way to say that you feel sorry for someone: I am sorry for you. What is the correct way to say that you are feeling sad: I am experiencing sadness or I am sad.

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I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
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  1. Saying exactly what you mean is hard. Phrases get passed on from generation to generation. I try to distinguish feeling sorry with being apologetic and in that case I always ask for forgiveness. It is much more meaningful than saying "Im sorry" and requires an answer. And in the case of offering condolences, I might say I am sorry for your loss, but what I mean is "I know how hard it is to go through dealing with the loss of a loved one and I feel badly that you are going through it." So I say something like that instead.

  2. That's such an important point Melissa (asking for forgiveness rather than just saying sorry).
    Hmmm... Something for me to think about.
    Thanks :)