5 Reasons to Stop Apologizing
“Girl, stop apologizing.”
I have seen a lot of Instagram posts about this and there has even been a whole book written on the subject, so I know it's a struggle for many. Understandably, women and other marginalized groups that have been socialized to the importance of keeping peace and avoiding the impression you are taking up too make space can really struggle with this. It’s also a tremendous struggle for many that suffer from depression and anxiety.
This is something I have really been working on this year and here are 5 reasons to stop apologizing that may also help you.
1) Sorry, not sorry.
Constant apologies for things that don’t require it can result in your sincere apologies becoming completely meaningless. There is a time and a place for a sincere apology and if “I’m sorry” comes out of your mouth for anything and everything, it is hard for others to know when it’s for real.
2) It Devalues You
If you have ever said any of the following, I am talking to you.
· “I’m sorry, may I ask a question?”
· “I’m sorry, I don’t know if this is relevant, but…..”
· “I’m sorry if this is off base and I am totally wrong about this, but…..”
Real Talk Alert:
If you don’t think what you have to say or contribute is valuable, there is no way others will listen and value your ideas. Speak up with confidence and people will see what you bring to the table.
Next time, try something like this:
“I have an idea that I would love to share.” or “I have been thinking about this a lot and I have an idea. [Insert fabulous idea.] What do you think?”
There is nothing wrong with asking for feedback, but don’t give anyone a reason to question your idea before you even share it with them.
3) You are avoiding the real issue.
Many times, we apologize to avoid the conflict that arises when we call out others on their behavior. The problem with this is this approach is that you are avoiding the hard work of setting boundaries of how you expect to be treated and you are teaching others that you will not only tolerate their behavior, but you think you deserve it.
4) It Makes You Feel Terrible
Constant apologies for simply being a human being lead to a situation where you find yourself feeling a tremendous amount of guilt for everything you do.
Do you regularly apologize for any of these reasons?
· Not feeling well
· Having previous plans
· Feeling an emotion
· Asking for a raise or schedule changes that you need and deserve
Seriously, just stop it. There are ways to show appreciation for others making the space for you to express your needs and take care of yourself without apologizing.
5) There are Better Ways to Communicate
There are ways to communicate that will give others confidence in you and also feel very mutual.
Instead of saying “I’m sorry I can’t stay late tonight because I have a previous commitment.”,
“Thank you for understanding that I have a previous commitment. I’m so glad you asked me and please don’t hesitate to ask me again. I would love to help out when I can.”
At work instead of saying “I’m so sorry, but I really think we need to run some diagnostics to understand what is going on with your pet.”,
“I can see how concerned you are about your pet. These diagnostics are going to be the best way to understand the cause of these symptoms.”
Often, we are trying to convey empathy and understanding, but inadvertently send the message that we are not confident in our recommendations.
Life can be challenging enough, try not to make it any harder by being an overachiever in the apologizing department!!
There is a time and a place to sincerely apologize when you have made a mistake or hurt someone, but apologizing should not become a way of life. It is so important to show up each day in ways that convey confidence, build authentic connections with others, and don’t damage your feelings about yourself.
Keep it real, y’all.