Saying Sorry

If I find myself queuing up in some line, only to be told by someone that “the line starts over here”, my first response is usually to say “I’m Sorry.”

I’m not going to say that anymore.

Instead I’m going to say–with a similar polite and apologetic tone, mind you–“My Mistake.”

The reason is that, in these situations, while I mean no social disruption, I’m not actually sorry (since I didn’t know better).

Humans make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn to be better people (in the same way that errors in software can point us to better optimizations). Why are we apologizing for a distinctly human trait? One we couldn’t become our best selfs without?

I encourage everyone to use “my mistake” over “I’m sorry.” Mistakes are good and we all make them.

Yes, it feels like semantics mostly, but “I’m sorry” just carries too much shame for most of us, who are already doing our best.