These sweet, thoughtful cartoons show what you should be saying instead of sorry

British people apologise a lot.

indy100 even wrote about it earlier this week: it turns out there are 15 British apologies for every 10 American ones - just for being five minutes late to a meeting.

But Chinese artist Yao Xiao, based in New York, has created cartoons which point out that we might be saying sorry when we might mean something else completely.

Yao told indy100 she realised through her own everyday interactions that 'sorry' was used a stand-in word when we mean all manner of different things.

And we shouldn't feel the need to apologise just for existing, or needing something, because those things aren't wrong.

In fact, she realised, saying thank you has a far more positive effect both for the person you're speaking to and your own well-being.

Yao said via email:

Apologising for being present/being vulnerable and open was something I used to do... acknowledging that you appreciate someone who cared for you [by saying thank you] is a very nice thing to do and makes both parties feel great.

She made the comic as part of the ongoing series Baopu, about a queer Chinese woman who immigrates to the US.

Baopu began as a way of teasing out identities and labels and grew into something very personal, Yao said - but people everywhere relate to the situations and experiences she goes through.

It really has been a wonderful experience for me to see this transformation of the series.

The reaction to the Thank You/Sorry comic in particular has been "huge", she said. "It was definitely beyond what I have ever imagined."

Check out more of Yao's work here and follow her on Twitter here.

All images: Yao Xiao

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