Courtney Eilhardt

I'm Sorry --> Thank You

I don’t know about you guys, but I for one am all about small improvements. Sometimes a huge goal like “be an all around better person this year” is just too large of an undertaking. If you’ve read The Happiness Advantage, you know that we’re a fan of making small shifts in our mindset to improve the bigger picture. A favorite and a little adapted concept that I practice from that book is telling myself 3 reasons why today will be a great day, before I even get out of bed. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference on setting my attitude to enthusiasm (especially on chilly Monday mornings).


I recently stumbled across another small mind shift that really resonated with me that I thought I’d share with you today: It’s switching your “I’m sorry” to “Thank you.” This tactic is for you if your first instinct after a small slip up is to agonize over the issue and apologize profusely, creating a semi-awk situation (I’ve been a pro at this for years).


Instead of bringing out the negative aspect of, for example, being 10 minutes late to a coffee date by apologizing and giving a numbered list of reasons why you’re not on time, try switching your attitude to that of gratitude by saying “Thank you so much for waiting for me.”


This will bring out the positive and gracious side of the situation, allowing you to move on, instead of unproductively brooding over your missteps. Before you start begging pardons for the spelling error that your boss caught, try saying “Thank you for the note on that error.”

It requires some practice, but taking the opportunity to appreciate the people around you instead of beating yourself up over something small will leave both parties better off in the end.


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