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Over Apologizing ? How To Stop Saying Sorry So Much
Are you the kind of person who says “sorry” in situations that don’t require an apology? Not just once or twice, but ALL the time? Yes? Well let me share with you the main things you need to stop apologizing for, so you can break this bad habit quickly.
You know those situations when you’re opening the door to a building and someone else is trying to come out of the door at the same time? I used to always say, “Oh! Sorry.” then let them go through first.
Why? No idea. It was just a part of me. Sorry, sorry, sorry! Said it 100 times a day!
Apologizing, or taking responsibility for something you need not be sorry for will undermine your self-esteem and self-worth. When presented with an opportunity to learn, use it. Never apologize for it.
Do you know anyone who apologizes for the mistakes others make? Another no-no.
Over-apologizing, or saying I’m sorry when it’s unnecessary can diminish the way you feel about yourself. No need to apologize for the things you should embrace.
I used to apologize for so many things. Saying sorry for not knowing an answer, sorry for arriving at a brunch “late”, when in fact, I wasn’t late at all. I was 5 minutes early, but the others had arrived first.
The list goes on and on. Sigh. I even offered apologies to people who bumped into me.
Stop Apologizing For Everything You Do – It Undermines The Real You
Common Traits Of People Who Say Sorry Too Much
- Compassion – People who care a lot (or too much) about the feelings and preferences of others often find themselves over apologizing even when they’ve done nothing wrong.
- Agreeability – Those who want to prevent discussion and conflict are likely to say sorry more than is necessary.
- Submissiveness – Those that won’t stop apologizing for everything that happens in their relationship.
- Lack of Self-Trust – This is when you are never sure what you say or do is right. you’re never confident that what you’re doing or saying is right. Many people like this do not trust themselves and are quick to apologize when they feel there is a possibility they are wrong.
- Anxiety – As a sufferer of anxiety this is the hardest one of them all. Sorry used to be a nervous go-to word for me. Living with anxiety can lead you to be sensitive to situations or relationships going wrong. Fear of drama, confrontation, or rejections are common triggers for saying sorry too much.
- Upbringing – Your childhood and past is another reason that can make you trigger-happy with apologies. Strict authoritative parents, negative school environment, and living in fear as a child can lead you to believe everything negative is your fault.
Have you’ve fallen into this trap? Say you’re sorry for things that don’t merit an apology?
If apologetic language finds its way into your everyday speech, this post will teach you how to make minor transformations.
Not saying I don’t believe in the power of a sincere apology, just don’t take it over the top.
Here Are 7 Things You No Longer Need To Apologize For
1. Never Apologize For Your Past, We All Have One
Well this one is tricky. We have all done things as kids, teenagers, college students and responsible adults we are not proud of.
Have you noticed how you can hold on to past mistakes long after they occurred?
Some of us hold on to past mistakes and guilt for decades!
Beating yourself up over something you did 20 years ago will get you nowhere.
Actions from your past are likely not in line with the way you live your life today.
Working on patterns of behaviour is more helpful than working on each regret. If you can or feel the need to, apologize to anyone you have hurt, then forgive yourself, and move on.
At some point, you have to accept that the past has happened and you’ve done everything in your power to amend past mistakes. It’s now time to turn the page and accept those events as part of your story. It has contributed to making you who you are.
Accept your past for what it is, and stop apologizing for it.
Be grateful for experiences that teach and help you grow, so you can move on and truly forgive yourself.
Be clear on your morals and values as they are now.
Commit to living your life differently from back then, and leave the past where it belongs.
2. Stop Apologizing For Who You Are And How You Look
If you are comfortable in your own skin, then you are on the right path. Happy and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Embrace the body that keeps you alive.
When you apologize to people for being yourself, you are essentially saying, “I am sorry for having needs, thoughts, requests, desires, and opinions. I am sorry for being me.”
You project and show the world your negative self-image and lack of esteem or confidence. Society teaches women from a young age that how they look is somehow more important than who they are.
Stop apologizing for being your unique and special self.
3. You Need To Stop Apologizing For Exploring Your Sexuality
Women do not need to apologize for embracing their sexuality. We are expected to be likable, not flirtatious, confident but not aggressive. We are talked about for not wearing enough makeup or too much of it.
Let’s not get started with the slut shaming! The more a woman embraces her sexuality, the farther she is defined from being a woman. The name calling and shaming is the worst.
I say throw all those negative messages out the window.
Sexual and spiritual freedom is natural and acceptable.
All women have the right to explore their sexuality. Don’t let the media and people define the standards of what is and isn’t feminine.'Stay strong. Stand up. Have a voice.'Click To Tweet
4. Asking For What You Want
From your career to friendships and relationships, you should always to ask for what you want.
Assert your boundaries and stop apologizing for your decisions that enforce your own emotional safety.
Showing up, putting in the work, and asking for more a promotion are all good things to do. Speak openly to your employer, friends, partner. Asking for what you want shows that you are aware of your needs.
Just don’t begin your request with an “ I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t but….” statement.
5. Don’t Feel Bad Or Guilty About Saying No
Have you ever thought about why people see the word “no” as a bad thing?
Too many people do not like using the word no. They say yes to things they do not want to do and either do it anyway or come back later to politely say “no.”
We have been taught to associate no with negativity.
Rejection, fear of conflict, judgement, hurt, and even lack of loyalty. It is just easier to say YES!
Stop and breathe before saying “yes,” to give yourself a little time to consider the commitment you are about to make as well as assessing your own needs and priorities.
If you are unsure about what answer is, ask for more time before committing.
Saying no is one of the best things you can do for your own peace of mind.
You should never feel the need to constantly try to please people out of fear.
Put yourself first and start building or maintaining your self-worth.
You will find that you are not overwhelmed and overloaded with tasks and priorities of others simply because you said YES. Learn to say no gracefully.
'Be true to yourself, your convictions, and your priorities.'Click To Tweet
6. Stop Apologizing For Having An Opinion – We All Have One
We all have our thoughts and opinions and it is ok to voice these.
Before you state your opinions, do not start your sentences with “sorry but I just want to say….”, or “I want to say something, but it is probably wrong anyway…”
Does any of that sound familiar to you? You never have to preface anything you say with an apology or diminish the importance of what it is you want to share.
Try replacing “sorry” with different phrases that better communicate what you really mean. Instead of apologizing for needing help, try, “Can you please explain to me how it’s done?”
7. Stop Apologizing For Your Success
Lots of women are career-driven and are hungry for success. Some love their independence and their job, while others prefer to marry and become mothers. Enough women do it all.
Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose which comprises many things.
My definition of success will likely differ from yours, yet we can both be successful in our own way.
None of us is perfect and never will be.
The habits of successful women are not defined solely by their career or family. It can encompass a who variety of things.
'Never apologize for who you are.'Click To Tweet
How Can You To Put This All Into Practice?
I always say happiness is a choice. Not all days in our lives will be perfect, and you will have days when you apologize a lot, other days not so much.
When you find you are second-guessing yourself, transform your words into positive affirmations.
I have learned not to tip-toe around others too much. Assertiveness has given me control of many conversations. I am still a work in progress, so there are times I still have to do better in expressing myself when communicating with others.
As women, we have so much to contribute to the world. There is so much for us to celebrate about ourselves.
Let’s stop living our lives as perpetual apologists for being good listeners, being perceptive, and showing strength. This disservice will not move us forward. We should praise the women who have moved into positions of influence and leadership. They are not apologizing to anyone!
A Little Something To Try Out And Work On
From the moment you wake up, try to count how many times you apologize unnecessarily.
It will either be easy to do, or extreme difficult to keep up.
The following day, work on the way you engage in conversation. If you practice this every day you will soon see how you replace demeaning speech with positive words of strength and affirmations.
Your friends and colleagues may even notice the change before you do.
Own the individual and unique value you bring to the world.
Live a life of intention, mindfulness, and purpose. Embrace who you are, and always give yourself the same kind of thoughtful, and respectful treatment that you give to other people you care about.
Save the apologies for when you really need it……and mean it.
Do you have any other effective tips on how to stop apologizing and maintain effective communication?
Please share them with me in the comments section below!
Hi, so great your thinking is! I can’t agree with you more~
I have still struggle to say no. Love your post
I find I apologize way too much. It started when my chronic illness began to change my life. I feel guilt because it changed my husband’s life too and I apologize to him and it drives him crazy! He just reminds me that this is the “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” part. I am blessed with an amazing husband! I am working on the apologizing part.
I always say sorry at silly things and need to stop!! Loved reading this thank you x
#5. Don’t Feel Bad Or Guilty About Saying No: For a long period of time, I just could not say no to anyone for anything! I had to deal with so many heart breaks, financial loss, failed relationships, problems at job because of this. Finally, I mustered enough courage and gradually started asserting myself. I am still work at progress but the changes around me have been drastic! 🙂
thinking about it, I have realised that I do say sorry quite a lot, even when something isn’t even my fault.
What a fab read. Saying sorry is used way to often. Saying no is sometimes the right thing and I agree no need to apologise for doing so x
Since I live in the UK I’ve turned into an apologiser too, it seems a lot of people are a habitual apologiser though. Kind of as a conversation starter or stopper for that matter. Having said that, the items on your list are definitely should not be apologised for, especially anxiety and other conditions.
I love this so much. I am guilty of apologising for many of these things, I really needed to read this! Thank you!
This is something I really need to work on! I’m always saying sorry when I don’t need to!
I LOVE it when I come across an empowering post like this that really makes me reflect on my behaviour. As a Brit I think over-apologising is part of my DNA!
Loved your post. It really opened my eyes and made me more mindful of who I could be. I have some work to do. Thanks for the inspiration.
This is just what I needed today. It is hard not to try to be perfect for everyone all the time. Learning how to say no more too.
Your writing style is so amazing. I love coming over to your blog to read things that help me in life. Everyhing in this post is so true. I felt like you were describing me.
Loved reading your post Sheri, I found it totally empowering and truthful. I guess I am one of those who loves to apologize to others all the time it could be because of upbringing. I have learnt not to so much now that I am older. But reading your post, everything suddenly made more sense.
I think sorry is a very mis-used word. So often we could use a better word!
I love this post! I’m an excessive apologizer. And most of the time it’s for things out of my control.
This is such a good reminder for me!