I am probably the last person on this earth that is qualified to have you actually count how many times you say “I’m sorry” in one day. In the past, I’ve been known for this habit. I’ve been scolded many a time by multiple people in my life for apologizing too frequently. I think perhaps the phrase was a go-to in situations in which I just didn’t know what to say. That might be a reason why so many of us DO tend to apologize when it’s really unneeded.
The reality is, a true apology takes two parts – an acknowledgement that something is wrong and that you take responsibility for it. When you really think about it, we are rarely offering a true apology when we say “I’m sorry.” Often, we are apologizing for things that aren’t our fault at all: an allergy to a food, a perfectly acceptable request, or even interrupting someone at work to ask a question. When you really think of the situation in which you are apologizing, you’ll more often than not find that it’s just not an appropriate addition to whatever it is that you are saying.
As women, we are expected to be polite and courteous every moment of every day, and we are so afraid of offending anyone that we put ourselves down by apologizing when it’s not really our fault at all. It’s a travesty, really, that we use a word that can have such immense meaning at times when it’s not warranted.
Refinery 29 recently published an article on this same topic, which goes into great detail WHY apologizing so often isn’t good for you. It really hit home for someone like me, who apologizes far too often and without much thought behind it. While I don’t work in an office, I find myself apologizing for anything and everything. So today, I’d like to challenge you to count how many times you say “I’m sorry” without really thinking about why it is that you are doing so. If you can, write down the circumstances and really evaluate why you said it, and if it was necessary. Hopefully, by opening our own eyes to the ways in which we degrade ourselves, we’ll do better than to let anyone else take advantage of us too.