What hurts is that people treat it like I am doing this obsessive, unnecessary thing when in reality the amount I say sorry is perfectly tailored to the amount that I am randomly (random only from my perspective of course) pissing people off all the time around me with my actions. Which in practice means I say sorry all the fucking time.

Those same people that tell me not to say sorry I have pushed to the edge of their tolerance of me many times, and the ONLY thing I can do in those situations is say sorry in a genuine way. People really dont fucking understand having an intimate familiarity with those moments where someone is seriously pissed off at you and not only wants a practical explanation for why you fucked up but more importantly they need an emotional explanation that squares your apparent desire to be a good person/worker with the fact that you just massively fucked up something in a way that sure makes you look like a lazy, uncaring person. I have no agency in those moments, I am basically an 18 wheeler smashing through someone else’s life but I have no brakes and LITERALLY the only thing I can do in that moment to make the situation better is apologize simply but genuinely in a way that conveys how hurt I am by own actions too.

Of course, the ones that love me always return to their more patient selves and apologize for getting frustrated with me, but apologies mean nothing to the memory in my body of feeling like I am always sliding towards seriously aggravating someone and hurting my relationship with them. Further it is only a learned, constant input of willpower and constant attentiveness that keeps me from constantly blowing past people’s threshold of patience for me in moment to moment interaction and also in broader life contexts. An absolutely necessary survival strategy for me has been learning to constantly “manually breath” with my experience of reality so that I don’t slip back into autonomic behaviors that immediately cause friction with the environment and people around me.

Saying sorry a lot is my way of double checking my social awareness and making sure I am not missing the fact that now I am just yelling at everybody for no reason because I am excited about the conversation or something. When people react with “hey, stop saying sorry!” the consequences are they are mildly annoyed at being asked the question, but when it opens up a conversation about something I have been doing that is genuinely annoying people around me it can often be the ONLY thing that saves me and others from a lot of unnecessary suffering. It also, and I can’t stress the importance of this enough, is often the only thing that can halt someone from developing a narrative about who I am that is wildly inaccurate (I don’t care, I am lazy, I don’t like working).

The world is going to have to become a hell of a lot more accommodating and accepting of ADHD before I stop saying “sorry!” all the time and it is frustrating that people get upset at me for using a perfectly rational coping strategy in a society extremely hostile to my disability. Its like, people don’t want to see the amount of effort I have to put into not being a burden on others because it stresses them out and feels like a broken record… and sometimes I just get so angry and sad feeling like… yes that is exactly what it is like to be in my head 24/7, I am sorry you had to briefly experience that?

  • @[email protected]
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    363 months ago

    I had some really helpful advice with this, especially in a professional setting: instead of apologizing, thank the other person instead.

    • Sorry this was late -> Thank you for your patience
    • Sorry I fucked up -> Thank you for correcting me
    • Sorry I can’t stop saying sorry -> Thank you for the feedback, I will try to do that differently in the future

    People like getting thanked a lot more than they like hearing “sorry” every 5 minutes.

    • @dumpsterlidOP
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      53 months ago

      This is definitely good tactical advice, but alas it is a tactic not a strategy.

      • @[email protected]
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        103 months ago

        Not sure what the distinction is, but, do consider trying this out next time you feel someone is getting frustrated! See if you get a better result. As someone who struggled with this, it can be very empowering to find the “right words” for a situation where you feel like you’re doing poorly.

      • aubertlone
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        33 months ago

        This kind of thinking is self-defeatist.

        Try to take the very good advice somebody else gave you. Or don’t.

        Waffling between whether it’s tactical advice or a strategy is fucking bullshit

        • @dumpsterlidOP
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          13 months ago

          I think I regret making a post in this community

  • @MrJameGumb
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    163 months ago

    Not trying to lay blame here or anything, just giving some context to why they may get upset. When you constantly say “sorry” multiple times in one conversation the person you’re talking to may feel like this means they are being unreasonable or overly demanding when that was not their intention. It kind of implies that you believe they are upset or frustrated or mad at you right from the start, which ironically can lead to them feeling frustrated. Like I said I’m not trying to say one person’s right or wrong, just giving my little bit of insight.

    • @agent_flounder
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      43 months ago

      Yeah this is extremely apropos—and helpful.

    • @Uncle_Sheo217
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      23 months ago

      Yeah this sounds about right. I’m 95% sure I have it and I can relate a lot to OP

    • @dumpsterlidOP
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      Yeah definitely I have heard of RSD, it seems like at least on the Reddit ADHD community it isn’t really taken as a serious part of ADHD?

      I definitely have RSD, but also I think people are missing the fact that I made my post in a moment of feeling grief that I think is perfectly genuine outside of the context of RSD (though it definitely amplifies it). A lot of responses were focused on explaining what I should do, or why I was wrong and I was just looking for some connection with other ADHD people who also feel like saying sorry after ADHD fuckups is actually a necessary survival skill and much more logical than people on the outside realize.

      • @[email protected]
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        22 months ago

        Apparently RSD isn’t officially a recognized part of ADHD, but afaik there’s some agreement that it appears to be a connected.

        As for the context of my response, I apologize if my response wasn’t what you were looking for. I know for me personally, the day I learned about RSD it cleared up a lot of things for me surrounding “random” emotional outbursts and over-apologizing and such. Figured it might help.

        • @dumpsterlidOP
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          22 months ago

          Nah I appreciate it, your response was helpful!

  • @agent_flounder
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    93 months ago

    Yeah it sucks having ADHD. Or more to the point, it sucks fucking up all the time. Totally get it.

    There are times (rarer lately) that I have goofed multiple times on top of feeling down on myself and feel like I can’t do anything right. That is the worst. You likely know exactly what that’s like right? Ugh. Hate it.

    I probably say sorry more than average. You know the other thing I realize? I don’t really trust myself. If someone calls out something, my first assumption is always “I fucked up” even if I didn’t. I mean yeah, I do goof up all the time. But it is hard to be confident and assured. Likely that comes across at work especially. I guess it makes me more likely to be open to being wrong, and therefore more used to updating my beliefs based on evidence. That’s a plus. But being timid, uncertain of myself, always doubting has definitely bitten me in the butt. You run into that?

    I also struggle to know what I must be like to people. When I’m down I am pretty sure I’m incredibly annoying and sound like a total moron and obviously odd and repulsive (like, uncanny valley type shit). I assume that is why I have almost no friends. (In reality I have friends but am so anxious about pissing em off or annoying them or not being in touch that I don’t do well staying in touch…ah, the irony).

    And of course I am also pretty detached and guarded because of the whole rejection sensitivity thing.

    And never really feel it is acceptable or ok to really be fully myself. Say nothing, box up feelings, tamp down my affect flat as can be, kill enthusiasm because any excitement is too much. Normal to me is too freak-o for everyone truly normal. I don’t get to be me because nobody could fucking stand it. Probably not even me. Anyway I am sure we can all relate to some degree.

    It’s an absolute fucking curse, this goddamned disorder.

  • @Buddahriffic
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    93 months ago

    Of course, the ones that love me always return to their more patient selves and apologize for getting frustrated with me, but apologies mean nothing to the memory in my body of feeling like I am always sliding towards seriously aggravating someone and hurting my relationship with them.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying here, but this seems like you actually understand why people get tired of constant apologies and are a bit tired of them yourself.

    The unfortunate truth is that without meaningful change, apologies are just like excuses in that you’re trying to tell someone else that they shouldn’t feel a certain way about things you do or don’t. Which then just becomes another thing that can bug them.

    Ranting about it won’t change it. If you see a pattern common with any new person you meet, that means you’re rubbing up against something ingrained in the culture, if not humanity itself. You can spend time and emotional energy wishing it was different, or you can accept that it is the way it is and work on trying to stop apologizing as a reflex because the fact you made this post means you already see that it eventually does more harm than good. That doesn’t mean you should never apologize, but try to do it as a conscious action rather than blurting out a “sorry!” any time you don’t feel perfect.

    • @dumpsterlidOP
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      The unfortunate truth is that without meaningful change, apologies are just like excuses in that you’re trying to tell someone else that they shouldn’t feel a certain way about things you do or don’t. Which then just becomes another thing that can bug them.

      I mean, I don’t see apologies this way. I see apologies as an attempt to display some amount of caring that is not immediately apparent in your past actions. People aren’t robots, they don’t just care about whether you technically fulfill your tasks like a machine or not and no further. People are emotional beings, with mental models of other emotional beings around them that they use to inform their judgements and actions. I know it is easy to be reductive or cynical, but people really just don’t care only about whether you get the job done or not. I would likely not be alive if this were the case, as countless times in my life people with power over me have decided to extend empathy to me because they decided that even though my actions were not acceptable, my intentions and genuine desire to be a good person was evident.

      That doesn’t mean you should never apologize, but try to do it as a conscious action rather than blurting out a “sorry!” any time you don’t feel perfect.

      Of course, but I think it is fair for me to point out how when I do blurt out “sorry” that there is a very rational reason for it. It is my way of impulsively testing for a mine ahead, and once you step on enough mines the words “oh you’re fine this field doesn’t have mines in it!” just start to lose all meaning.

      Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying here, but this seems like you actually understand why people get tired of constant apologies and are a bit tired of them yourself.

      What I am saying is that the tiredness people feel that manifests as annoyance at me apologizing all the time is actually the same tiredness I feel at constantly causing situations where I need to apologize and it really hurts when people simultaneously demand I make them stop feeling an emotion while simultaneously demanding I stop feeling an emotion (and taking rational steps to reduce the likelihood of events happening that create that emotion in me). In other words, when I annoy someone from saying sorry too much, no matter what they believe from their perspective, I know without a shadow of a doubt that this mild annoyance is a small cost to pay for occasionally heading off major conflicts and proactively defusing rising tensions I wouldn’t have perceived until they were much bigger problems. This doesn’t just go for my mental well being, I KNOW it applies to the mental well being of others around me because I have seen the consequences of not saying sorry proactively and while they are less common they can be catastrophic in a way that makes all those small annoyance costs trivial.

      Ranting about it won’t change it.

      The point of my post was I wanted to express this in a space where people might actually understand, not to rant about it as if that would change it, and honestly I am a bit frustrated that you would project that on to my posts. I think I have put a lot of care and time into purposefully not doing that.

  • @[email protected]
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    3 months ago

    As a counterpoint to maybe help you see how it looks “from the outside” is that every time someone says sorry to me I have to stop my current thought process to evaluate what you are asking forgiveness for, how much it did impact me and if I am willing to forgive.

    I would become a bit frustrated if this would occur multiple times over one interaction mainly because it would take so much energy to go through the whole process in my head.

    This does not help you in your current situation but might give you some insight into other peoples reaction and why they seem to get annoyed at “sorry”

    • @dumpsterlidOP
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      3 months ago

      I think people just find the tempo I have to consciously get input from the environment around me about my actions and manually adjust my behavior because of how unaware I am of time, things not directly in front of my eyes, how loud my voice is etc… repulsive and exhausting at a kneejerk level.

      Many of the people that love me are mature enough humans to experience kneejerk reactions and not act on them, which I am thankful for but it takes emotional labor from them certainly.

      I get what you are saying, that thought process does sound exhausting… almost exhausting as having to run conscious mental checks on your behavior literally almost every waking moment of your life.

      • @die444die
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        33 months ago

        So I’ve been reading your comments and I hear what you are saying but I kinda feel like this goes beyond adhd and into something else.

        What, I’m not sure. I can only speak from my experience, but I never feel like I have to adjust my behavior for anyone else. I am unaware of time, things not directly in front of my eyes, how loud I get, yes, but no one else notices or cares about these things, or in the case that they do, they tell me.

        It seems like you’re saying you are constantly questioning everything you do (correct me if I’m wrong)- and if so, that’s not sustainable, and not something you should have to be doing. That puts an incredible amount of pressure and stress on you. This would be horrible for a neurotypical person but for someone with adhd even more so! We have too many things going on in our minds already to be able to worry about stuff like that all the time on top of it!

        I almost wonder if your fear about how you might be affecting others is outsized because of a traumatic experience or chain of experiences in childhood or earlier in your life?

  • @krashmo
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    53 months ago

    It seems like you’re aiming for an unobtainable goal, namely being perfectly in harmony with everyone at all times. While that is understandable and even commendable in a lot of ways it isn’t how human relationships work. Every personality trait is annoying to someone else. Obviously some more so than others but the point is that you shouldn’t worry too much about how people perceive your interactions with them because chances are they notice whatever behavior you are concerned about a lot less than you think they do.

    That is not to say that you shouldn’t think about it at all. In fact, many people would benefit from thinking about this kind of thing more. However, from what you’ve written here you don’t seem like one of those people. After a certain point introspection stops becoming helpful and starts becoming paralyzing. You can end up spending hours obsessing over how one interaction was perceived by someone else when in reality they didn’t think twice about it.

    I would encourage you to think about how often you get upset with others and why, noting how ADHD can influence your perception of both, and then try to calibrate your self criticism to account for how often you could be simply over analyzing the situation. I think people are telling you that you apologize too much not because you are reaching the limit of their forgiveness but rather because they did not believe you needed to offer an apology. In other words, the problem was bigger in your mind than in reality. Listen to what they are telling you and try to be more forgiving of yourself instead of projecting your feelings on to others who probably don’t feel the same as you.

    • @dumpsterlidOP
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      13 months ago

      It seems like you’re aiming for an unobtainable goal, namely being perfectly in harmony with everyone at all times.

      No you have misread me, I am aiming to survive and to do that I have to manage the social relationships around me. When my boss gets extremely upset at me for fucking up something silly and stupid up for no reason I have to manage that relationship to keep my job.

      I do absolutellyyyy overthink things but it is way off the mark to suggest this is all just an obsession with ruminating over things I can’t control, the point is how I say sorry is sometimes the only thing I truly do have control over.

      I want to keep my job and the only proactive thing I can do is say sorry. In order to do that I have to think about these things.

      • @monkeyman512
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        53 months ago

        Try to slow down and think about it from your bosses view. Assuming they are a reasonable person, they don’t WANT you to be sorry. What they WANT is you to not make those mistakes. So instead of saying sorry, consider doing a “retrospective”. Consider what went well and what could have gone better. What lead to mistakes? Can we take steps to avoid or mitigate those mistakes in the future? I don’t know what kind of job you have and it may be impossible to do that on work time. But if you come to them with and understanding of what lead to mistakes and a plan to improve, they will be more interested in that than you says sorry 50 times.

        Please note, I understand this is a challenging ask. But making significant improvements in life usually are. Also results are not instant or permanent. It’s a process you keep working at, but get better at over time.

        • @dumpsterlidOP
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          3 months ago

          I appreciate the desire to help but I promise I already understand what you are saying and have thought a lot about it.

          Try to slow down and think about it from your bosses view. Assuming they are a reasonable person, they don’t WANT you to be sorry. What they WANT is you to not make those mistakes.

          Precisely the reason I am talking about how vital the skill of saying sorry for me is that in these situations I fundamentally cannot ensure I won’t make those mistakes again. Of course there are organizational strategies, time management techniques, proactive structuring of my work environment etc… that help and have helped me be a better person but ultimately there is a truth in that moment that all I can really do is say sorry.

          This mismatch between the other person just getting “sorry” when what they really want is the thing to have not happened or happen again is precisely the reason I have to be so skilled at saying sorry.

          • Match!!
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            63 months ago

            If you can’t avoid making the mistake again in the future, your boss wants to know that, and saying sorry doesn’t help with that. If it’s a mistake that needs to be avoided, some combination of you and your boss need to take actions to prevent it happening, like creating automation to handle it or making it someone else’s responsibility.

            • @dumpsterlidOP
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              3 months ago

              If you can’t avoid making the mistake again in the future, your boss wants to know that, and saying sorry doesn’t help with that.

              I understand this is a common way to talk about professional relationships, and in a limited way is a useful lens to view the professional world through, but it just isn’t even remotely true. Saying sorry doesn’t help anywhere as much as Just Not Being A Fuckup, but it is often the only thing I have agency over in a situation and knowing the right way to say sorry in a situation has played a critical role in success and survival in my life. I am sure it has played a critical role in everybody else’s lives too.

  • @monkeyman512
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    53 months ago

    Reading that makes me feel like you are supper wound up. I know a challenge I am working on is being so focused on what I am doing, that I don’t pay attention to what I am doing. I am working on forcing myself to stop and be mindful. Also running helps. Hard to get supper wound up if your exhausted.

  • @Pronell
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    33 months ago

    Maybe try to switch it up?

    Excuse me! Oops, clumsy me. Oof, my bad. Let me fix that quick. Crud. You all right?

    All of these can be in tones other than self-pitying. You can be laughing it off. Expressing concern. Being proactive, even helpful, or just acknowledging the error without putting too much on it.

    And you still internally acknowledge the error, satisfying your need to do so.

    • @dumpsterlidOP
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      23 months ago

      I appreciate the advice and desire to help but I have been fighting these battles all my life, I have already invested my XP into all those skill trees to the point that I can lol

      Like many ADHDers, a major reason I have a goofy personality in person is basically a coping strategy designed to do exactly that.

      • @Pronell
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        33 months ago

        Fair enough. I’ve been fighting my whole life to get my viewpoint to shift from how shitty of a person I am to actually seeing the world around me instead. From there I’m slowly accepting I’ve never been a shitty person.

        It’s really fucking hard, I totally know what you’re dealing with.

  • @systemglitch
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    22 months ago

    Stop saying sorry, everyone hates hearing it often.

    • @dumpsterlidOP
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      I promise you, I equally hate having to say sorry all the time.

      It doesn’t matter though, because I will fuck up in an unacceptable way with someone I love or who has power over me, and I will have to manage that moment some how.

      In that moment if I cannot guarantee I will not repeat a similar kind of action that created the problem again, I am left with no agency except to attempt to express the fact that it emotionally impacted me that I hurt that person with my fuck up.

      I really don’t think people are understanding my point here. It is so easy to say “Nobody wants to hear apologies” because it is so self evidently true, but that is precisely what makes apologies one of the most practical forms of poetry. You have to impact someone with your words when the last thing they want in the world are words.

      People can handwave away everything I am saying as overthinking it or trying to manipulate people but frankly when you consider people’s actual lived experiences it is absurd to claim this isn’t a problem we all have to solve almost every day of our lives even if the stakes aren’t usually existential. If we were biologists studying any other animal we would quickly conclude that making genuinely impactful apologies that stay don’t overstay their welcome is one of the most important skills of social interaction in our species.

      It just feels good to say the words “Nobody wants to hear an apology” because yes, every single one of us can immediately conjure the feeling of aggressively wanting action not words. That is why most of the time apologies don’t work, that doesn’t mean they aren’t frequently our only option (that we take with a rational understanding of it being a low probability of success strategy). The cultural blindspot people have about this when discussing human interactions in the abstract is exhausting.

      • @systemglitch
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        12 months ago

        Yeah, you need to just stop saying sorry. All your words mean nothing, because you are failing to grasp just how self defeating it is to apologize so often.

        You are feeling sorry for yourself. No one else is.

        It’s honestly so stupidly simple, but here you are adding layers of complexity to something that is begging the opposite.

        I know I’m wasting my time writing this, because a lot of who you are at your core is evident, and you are afraid to actually face yourself.

        Stop saying sorry and allow yourself to focus on something which might lead to a better life, because this self absorbed victim mentality will lead to actual mental illness.

        • @dumpsterlidOP
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          12 months ago

          because this self absorbed victim mentality will lead to actual mental illness.

          thanks for the heads up!

  • Admiral Patrick
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    3 months ago

    Them: You apologize too much.

    Me (instinctively): Sorry I’m such a broken person…oh.