“Oops. I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry but, I have a question.” “I’m sorry, I don’t think I can come out tonight.”
Many of us tend to pepper our days with these two little words in hopes of keeping the peace in our own little microcosm. Some might call us people-pleasers. But, this tendency to apologize to and over-apologize for others can become habitual. We apologize for ourselves, for things beyond our control, for friends, for family and even for rude strangers. But apologizing all the time is actually hurting you more than it is helping anyone else.
When you apologize profusely, you are essentially claiming that everything is your fault—even if you don’t feel so on a conscious level. You can begin to be viewed as submissive—as a pushover, more or less. This can have some unfortunate side effects on your psyche, including reduced confidence. Your own self-worth can begin to sink over time.
Instead, before apologizing, ask yourself if you actually did something wrong. If you did, then apologize by all means. But, if you are in the clear, don’t apologize just to tidy up the situation and make it less awkward. That’s not doing justice to your self-worth.
Still a little foggy on when it’s okay to say sorry? Here are 4 times you should definitely rethink apologizing:
You’re asking a question.
Stop apologizing for asking questions. There are no stupid questions. By prefacing with an apology, you are putting down your own intelligence before you even give yourself a chance. This not only reduces your self-confidence, but also the confidence your colleagues reserve for you.
You need to put yourself first.
If you need to spend a night in, don’t apologize for giving yourself what you need. Sometimes, we all need nights to ourselves, whether you go for a solo evening paddle on the lake or snuggle into your couch with a good book. If your friends invite you out on Friday and you don’t feel up to it, just politely say ‘no thanks’. No need to apologize. You’ve done nothing wrong.
Someone bumped into you.
A lot of us automatically say “oh, I’m sorry” when someone bumps into us. While you don’t have to mutely stare them down until they cower at your feet, you could opt for a healthier phrase such as ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon’. This simple swap still resolves the situation politely, but keeps you from taking the blame on yourself.
You took a reasonable amount of time to respond.
If someone needs you instantly, they can try to call. People who get upset when you don’t reply to their texts or emails need to find something else to fill their time. If you don’t see a text until 6 hours after it was sent, don’t apologize. There is no need for an explanation (in most circumstances). Just reply and move on. It’s your life and your time. Don’t apologize for how you choose to spend it.
You look tired/sad/unkempt/et cetera.
If you are in the habit of apologizing for your appearance, stop it! Own yourself. You are you. You are beautiful. We all have good days and tougher ones. No need to apologize for simply being an imperfect human.
Obviously, if you’ve screwed up and wronged someone, an apology is certainly in order. But if you are a “sorry” addict, try tagging the phrase with “that happened,” so you now say ”I’m sorry that happened.” That way, you are removing any unwarranted blame and responsibility from yourself. Apologies are meaningless to the receiver if they are not heartfelt, meaning chronic apologies are only damaging your self-confidence and self-assuredness. Go on an apology diet, and see how you feel.
Do you find yourself in the habit constantly apologizing? Do you find it difficult to stop? Share your story below.
src : care2.com