It can be hard. Somebody suffers a tragedy or bad news and we want to support them, but we do not always know how.
Sorry seems to be our grabbing word.
Sorry. Such a small word but it carries a lot of meaning and perception.
“I’m sorry you have lost your job” – seems adept for the situation, but what are you apologising for? That they have lost their job, or that they may feel upset that they are now unemployed. The context may be different if they had made the choice to leave, or if they actually felt positive about the outcome.
“I am sorry you may feel sad/hurt/angry/heartbroken”
It is very cultural and the question can be asked “why are you sorry, it was not your fault”.
Yet we still grab for it in any given situation. We still feel it punctuates the silence and the discomfort.
Maybe the sorry actually is that we apologise for that discomfort, for not knowing how to respond, and for not being mind readers.
It is really ok. We do not expect this level of comprehension from anyone. I’m uncomfortable situations, in the arms of diversity, tragedy, negativity, we struggle to make sense ourselves, so we certainly do not expect clarity from others around us.
Sometimes sorry is not the right word. Sometimes silence or honesty is better.
If I’m not sorry, then you certainly do not need to be, so let’s just smile at each other and laugh away the silence.
Even better, ask those uncomfortable questions, and move that damn elephant out of the corner… 😊👍🏻