Do You Over-Apologize?

Im sorryWe all have many habits that we do automatically – some that work for us and others that don’t serve us.   One of those habits that don’t support us is over-apologizing.

Meaning of over-apologizing – saying “I’m sorry” when you don’t need to.

Do you listen to yourself and hear how often you apologize throughout your day?   Most women automatically say, “I’m sorry,” even when we are not at fault.

Examples of unnecessary “I’m sorry.”

Why do we readily say “I’m sorry” for all sorts of situations:   For example,

  • You sneeze and say, “I’m sorry.” Every person does sneeze, so you are not wrong about sneezing.
  • Something came up, and you had to change an appointment. You say, “I’m sorry, I must change the appointment. Why not say, “I need to change the appointment.”
  • You are out eating, and the waiter brings you the wrong food; you say, “I’m sorry, but this isn’t what I ordered.” You can say, “this isn’t what I ordered.” Keeping it simple doesn’t place the blame on you.
  • How often have you said, “I’m sorry to bother you when you want to ask a question or need someone’s attention?” Why do you need to apologize for asking a question?
  • You are with someone who behaves in a not-so-nice way, and you apologize for their behavior. I realize you are probably embarrassed, yet you didn’t cause it; the other person is responsible for their behavior.
  • You didn’t hear what someone said, and you say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.” I do this one because I am hard of hearing. I will be more aware and say, “I appreciate it if you would repeat what you said.”
  • There are times we block someone in an aisle. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry,” you can smile and say, “you go first,” because that is what you need to do. You didn’t intentionally block the person, so you didn’t do anything wrong.

How does chronic apologizing impact you:

Do you think it’s no big deal to say “I’m sorry” as often as you do? It’s not a horrible habit. Yet it still impacts your well-being.

  • You don’t realize it, but you are lowering your confidence levels because you regularly remind yourself, “I did something wrong.” WORDS ARE POWERFUL.
  • You have to be friendly and apologize if you perceive you may have done something wrong to another person. We live with many people, and people get in the way of others; you are not wrong; you can change your behavior.
  • How others see you — Saying “I’m sorry” frequently, especially in situations that don’t warrant it, makes others think of your less, and this isn’t who you are in your life.
  • It decreases the impact of the necessary apologies because you habitually say, “I’m sorry,” so you can feel overwhelmed by behaviors that warrant an apology.
  • If you constantly say, “I’m sorry,” people around you get annoyed.

Is Apologizing Important?

There is no doubt that there are situations where saying “I’m sorry” and meaning it is vital to your relationships. You need to decide where you will apologize and where you will stop automatically saying, “I’m sorry.”  We all have values, and apologizing to yourself or others is essential when we don’t follow those values.

Your Thoughts

Compare how often you say, “I’m sorry” to how often you say, “thank you.”

I like reframing my negative thoughts with positive thinking. “Thank you” are two powerful words; we feel we are getting something, and someone is there for us.

“I’m sorry” are also powerful words, and when they are used to acknowledge to the other person your words or actions hurt them, it supports your well-being.

Unconsciously saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t support your well-being. Rather it enhances your belief you are not good enough.

Where do you stand with “I’m sorry?”

Women’s Group Topic

Women habitually say, “I’m sorry,” which makes us feel small. Yes, there are times when apologizing is appropriate, as maybe we hurt someone’s feelings and need to let them know we are “sorry” for our behavior.

Discuss ways you say “I’m sorry” when it is essential. When do you say “I’m sorry” out of habit?   Words are important, and becoming aware of them helps support your well-being.

Be well,

“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(Pat Brill)


Other Topics You May Be Interested In
Are You Feeling Tired?
Creating Boundaries
The Power of Forgiveness



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