“it’s fine” vs. “thank you”
One thing I have been making more of an effort to do is to stop saying “it’s ok” or “it’s fine” when someone apologizes to me. I am not saying that those are always bad responses, because they aren’t. Sometimes we as humans overreact to things and revisit them later with a different perspective. Or sometimes you accidentally knock someones pen off their desk and it can be a quick “oh I’m sorry” “you’re fine” because that is appropriate and knocking a pen off a desk shouldn’t be big enough to upset you. But if someone does/says something to me that isn’t ok, I’m not going to tell them it is. “its fine/its ok” is essentially telling them that it didn’t bother me when I know damn well I stayed up too late working through the scenario in my head too many times. I know they are simple, small words, but over time if you hand out too many free passes to people who hurt you often, it takes a toll on your self worth.
Instead, if someone tells me they are sorry for something, I have started simply saying “thank you”. This simply lets them know, hey – I accept your apology, without excusing their words or actions. The few times I have used “thank you” versus “it’s fine”, I could tell the person noticed. It was a little uncomfortable to be honest. Like they were expecting “I’m sorry” “its fine” “thanks”. But if I already thanked them, what were they supposed to say after that? I could tell how uncomfortable it was. But I stuck with it, I felt good and I made note of that.
People often think that I am rude because I don’t say things like “we should hang out soon” or “I miss you” if I don’t actually mean it. But honestly, is it really polite to lie? No. It’s not. So if something is not fine but you are telling them that it is just to be polite, how does that make you feel any better? It doesn’t. There is so much pressure to be “polite” that empty promises fly out of our mouths incredibly too easily and we don’t even realize it. I just realized it, so chances are you are just now realizing it as you read this post. Next time you are in a situation where you need to be “polite”, try “thank you” and “see you around” rather than “its fine” and “lets hang out soon”. It may be awkward at first, but I promise you will feel much better about that interaction.