Do you find yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that aren’t your fault? Or when you’re asking for something perfectly reasonable? You might be a chronic over-apologizer — and you’re not alone. So many of us have this very common affliction, especially women. We apologize for everything from the weather to our feelings and decisions. Sometimes we do it to be polite or make someone else more comfortable. Sometimes we do it to avoid looking pushy or bossy. Other times we might just be doing it out of habit. Either way, it’s time to kick this unhealthy habit — here are four reasons why.
1. You Likely Didn’t Do Anything Wrong
Whether you’re at a restaurant or in a store, asking for help from the person who works there isn’t something to apologize for. You’re a customer and that’s their job. Try using “excuse me” the next time you need to get a waiter’s attention instead and see how different you feel.
2. It Makes You Seem Guilty, Weak, or Both
You might be aiming for polite but it can come off as suspect or timid, putting you in a submissive, approval-seeking spot. And you can end up feeling guilty for nothing! So stop reducing your power and speak like the strong badass babe you are.
3. It Becomes Meaningless
The more you say sorry, the less value it has and the less authentic your words sound. Save it for when you actually are truly sorry for something.
4. It Can be Annoying
Apologizing over and over again unnecessarily can get old — quickly. Often when we’re saying sorry we are just trying to fill the space or we can’t think of anything better to say. So the next time you feel yourself automatically apologizing, stop yourself and ask “Is this what I really mean?” and then see if “please,” “thank you,” or “excuse me” wouldn’t be a better choice (for example, instead of apologizing when a meeting runs long, tell everyone you appreciate their patience). Your confidence will boost as a result. Sorry, not sorry.
Are you breaking the over-apologizing habit? Tell us how in the comments!