If there’s anything that I’m truly terrible at, it would be over-apologizing – something we all do. I know, I know; you’re sorry that you didn’t see your friend’s email, that you didn’t work harder even though you haven’t slept in a week, that you didn’t read your boss’ mind, that you bumped into that lamppost. We’re sorry for everything. Stop it.
I’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, of articles talking about the dangers of over-apologizing and how it is a terrible habit. We all know this, and yet, we continue to say we’re sorry. Are you really sorry that you didn’t complete an assignment that your boss didn’t tell you about? Are you saying sorry when you really don’t mean it?
So, why do we do it? Why are we, as women, always apologizing? I realized, for me, saying “I’m sorry,” was a placeholder for expressions I wasn’t as comfortable using. If I were in a meeting, before I would even share my ideas, I would say sorry. I would apologize for having something to say – even when I was asked to prepare something! I didn’t want anyone to realize that I wasn’t confident; so I apologized. Here’s why you need to stop doing that:
No one will respect you.
You won’t be seen as the badass that you are if you’re constantly belittling your very presence by hiding behind an apology. Every time you say “I’m sorry,” you shrink in the eyes of your peers until you’re a small, scared creature hiding behind the apology. That’s not who you are. You are strong. You are brilliant. You have ideas, good ideas, and you need to own them.
Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the only person getting in your way is you. Don’t stop yourself from greatness. Explain to your friend that you will read their email right now, that you will meet realistic deadlines that allow you to maintain your health, that you hadn’t been made aware of the project your boss wants you to work on but that you will make it a priority, and say nothing to that lamppost. It should’ve gotten out of your way.
As Brenda Della Casa would say, when you apologize to someone, you’re basically telling them that you’re their bitch. Are you their bitch? No. Of course not! You’re your own independent badass with nothing to be sorry for.