7 Things You Should Absolutely Stop Apologizing For…

Unless you’re perfect (and we aren’t!) , apologies are a essential part of life. And these two little words”I’m sorry”–are quite strong. Saying them releases us from the guilt of having encounter someone; restores a feeling of trust between the two parties; also helps us save face, appear more enjoyable, and fortify our view in our ethical goodness and likeability.

like chocolate, too much is well, But bad. My apologies!”

Unfortunately, this is particularly true for women in male-dominated work environments. “Women who think that a lot might be well enjoyed but passed over for a promotion because they don’t appear strong enough for the task,” she states. “Then if they stop apologizing, they’re deemed too aggressive. It’s a double-bind.”

“Over-apologizing can stem from being overly hard on ourselves beating ourselves up for things, instead of recognizing everyone makes mistakes and nobody expects you to be perfect.” If folks harbor feelings of guilt and shame, they may apologize to elicit reassurance from other people, she adds–even when the person they’re saying sorry to hasn’t been hurt at least by their behavior. The consequence? We hazard strengthening an erroneous belief that we are inherently worthy of blame.

This is not to knock out the value of possessing our mistakes and making amends if we are clearly in the incorrect. But that’s not the case, yet we utter,”I’m sorry” If you can relate, listen up: There are absolutely better ways to dispel discomfort, remain likable to other people, and express compassion in lieu of both of these words. The next time you end up about to plead for these seven things, cease (and try one of the alternative phrases in the event that you can not completely bite your tongue).

1. Your Feelings

“Telling people what you think and feel is a responsibility in any connection. By allowing someone know how you feel, you’re helping that individual understand you. Own this,” says Donna Flagg, author of Surviving Dreaded Conversations.

This is not to condone gushing your heart out whenever the impulse strikes. (As in, Thursday’s strategy assembly is not the ideal spot to open up about all of your unresolved childhood wounds. A therapist’s office would be better) But the justified”I am upset with this” or”I feel uneasy with _” is perfectly untrue, Flagg says.

This applies to plead forgiveness for being”oversensitive,” Breines adds.

things should absolutely stop apologizing

2. Your Look

When we jump to mea culpas for, say, appearing tired, having a bad hair day, or wearing an outfit which causes stares, we’re really expressing a deficiency of self-compassion, Breines clarifies.

“You are who you are,” Flagg says. “Why would an apology be mandatory for what you look like?”

If you don’t roll into the office in sweatpants and a food-stained T-shirt or flagrantly flout the dress code required of a certain situation, trying to atone for who you are and how you chose to style your hair now is favorably uncalled for.

things should absolutely stop apologizing

3. Needing “Me Time”

People change in the amount of personal space they should get through daily. Anxious people, for instance, may need more than others, so it’s essential to our well-being that we ask the space necessary to emotionally breathe, even if that means turning down a friend for a work out or a date here and there.

If you feel guilty for requesting a few”me time,” you’re probably overthinking things, Flagg states. “Simply say,’I gotId just chill tonight”exactly what I need for me tonight is to just be quiet’ or’I want to be by myself,”’ she advises. (There is no harm in requesting a rain check if you truly do want to observe that the pal you are canceling on.)

And if the individual to whom you are talking gets pissed? As long as you’ve respectfully expressed a desire to be alone, that reaction’s definitely coming out of their issues, she says, none.

things should absolutely stop apologizing

4. Asking a Question

We invalidate ourselves when we apologize for posing a question. A number of us may do so to protect our egos, fearing a colleague or peer will roll their eyes or snicker at our lack of knowledge. “But you shouldn’t apologize if you’re asking clarification or help,” Flagg says.

“All you need to state is’Could you please help me know that?’ Or’Can you please explain that a bit farther?

things should absolutely stop apologizing

5. Other People’s Behavior

Unless you have introduced someone to a man who treats them rudely (believe: setting up a date between two friends you totally thought would get together, only to find out among them was a total jerk to another ), how others act is completely out of your hands and so no grounds for issuing an apology, Flagg states.

Same is true for saying sorry to someone who bumps into you at a shop or on the sidewalk. “Some people really have this need to smooth things over, so if another person does not apologize, they feel the need to apologize and may even assume they need to be to blame,” Breines says.

If you’re one of these types and you can not say something in these types of scenarios, change your response to,”Excuse me,” Flagg suggests.

things should absolutely stop apologizing

6. Not Responding Immediately to a Text, Phone, or Email

We can’t always get back to a friend, loved one, or even colleague instantly. Unless there’s a crisis (and generally you can tell), apologizing for taking over just a split second to answer can make an issue out of something which may not have been a lot to start with, Flagg states. Additionally, it may send the message that our personal agendas are less important than people we are reacting to. (Not true rather than cool.)

To prevent caving when a lot of people wish to listen from you that instant, Flagg urges a brief acknowledgment of this inquiry, coupled with a heads-up about what is on your plate. Something like”I haven’t forgotten about you, I’m only a bit slammed here in the office” or”I am working on getting you a response, so hang tight!” works great. Folks appreciate the confirmation that you’re alert to their needs, Flagg says. Just do not ever forget that you have needs also.

things should absolutely stop apologizing

7. Circumstances You Can Not Control

You know the situation: somebody complains to you about a nagging in-law, a difficult boss, or an unhappy relationship, and your knee-jerk reaction is”I am sorry” We do so because we feel terrible for another person, Tannen explains. But rather than confusing the problem by verbalizing a responsibility you don’t actually have, she proposes gently saying, “That’s too bad” or “This must be really hard for you.”

Absolutely can not help but say the s-word? Add a couple more words to communicate what you mean, Tannen says, such as”I’m sorry that happened.” That way it sounds less like you are carrying the blame for something that completely is not your fault.

The Takeaway
Apologizing when we have obviously hurt someone else, violated a principle, or done something we all know to be wrong is a essential step in fixing the social fabric that keeps us connected to other men and women. But saying sorry for stuff we are not responsible for can not only invalidate us and reinforce feelings of reduced self-worth, it may trivialize the action of apologizing and give others the impression we are less capable.

Much of becoming over the urge to beg forgiveness for things we are not responsible for involves cultivating a tolerance to the discomfort of awkward situations as well as greater self-compassion, Breines says. It’s not easy to suddenly shift your behaviour. However, studies do reveal that, sometimes, withholding apologies may be empowering. So the next time you find yourself inclined to say sorry, take a breath, pause, and inquire whether you are really to blame. If not, no sorry necessary.

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