This week I’m looking at the advice that writer Louise Penny puts in the mouth of her character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Gamache tells his protégés that there are “four sentences that we must learn to say, and to mean.”
Gamache has to specifically advise young police officers about these four sentences because they are hard to say—if they were easy, there would be no reason to emphasize them. But what makes them difficult?
I’ve written already this week about the first two sentences: “I don’t know” and “I need help.”
The third is “I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry.” And to be clear, this is the “I’m sorry” that says “I did something to be sorry for, and I’m offering an apology.”
Of the three we have looked at this week, what stands out to you as being the hardest to say? The easiest? All three tend to come up in various circumstances in our lives, and those circumstances have a lot to do with how we feel about saying them. It might be easier to say “I don’t know” to your best friend than to your boss, or “I’m sorry” to your mother than to your spouse.
What do you notice about I don’t know, I need help, and I’m sorry?