I have to be honest, I never really thought about how often I say this word, until someone flat out asked me “What are you sorry for?” The truth was, I didn’t know why. It had become a habit over the years as I dealt with my Adjustment Disorder and became a “people pleaser“. I’m not talking about when you are truly sorry for something YOU did; I’m talking about when we apologize for things we had no control over. Be honest, I am not alone, right?
I started observing people around me and I noticed the word “sorry” is thrown around like wildfire, for the littlest things. But why do we do it?
As you can guess, women are more prone to over-apologizing than men. There are actually some valid reasons according to researchers. The main reason is women are more attuned to other people’s feelings which leads us to apologize for circumstances out of our control.
If you feel like you are saying sorry too much and don’t know why, here are some tips I am using to help me stop!
#1 – Are you avoiding conflict?
Do you find yourself apologizing for not liking someone else’s point of view? Are you worried the other person may be upset by your point of view so you instantly apologize? Everyone is absolutely entitled to their own opinion and there is NO need to apologize.
The proverbial people pleaser in me wants everyone to be happy. Is it going to happen? NO!!! I have been practicing embracing my point of view and attempting to have an invigorating discussion. Since dealing with the memory issues of MS, these kinds of discussions are a struggle but debating on topics which interest me seem to stir the cobwebs which is a good thing.
I am big on writing, as if you couldn’t tell, so I have started writing down the answers to these three questions about saying sorry so much: #1 What is making me say sorry?; #2 – Why?; and #3 – Where does it keep happening?. Then I can figure out how to fix it? This gives us a pattern so we can change our actions.
#2 Do you have self-image issues?
When I share my past and how I have struggled with a poor self-image for years people are shocked. Despite years of counseling and life changes, those inner gremlins hide for awhile but they are never really gone forever. Believe it or not, sometimes when we say sorry, it is a reflection on how we view ourself. OUCH!!
The more confidence we have in ourself, the more confidence we have in what comes out of our mouth. When I am feeling confident, sorry is seldom a word I say EXCEPT when it is actually something I did and need to apologize for. I have not found a magic wand to wave for instant confidence or believe me, I would be sharing it with everyone. Working on your confidence and self-image will naturally stop you from apologizing for everything. Take it from one who knows.
#3 Do words fly out faster than you think?
If you find yourself over-apologizing, try to figure out whether you actually did something (or said something) wrong. If you are like me, words fly out of your mouth faster than you think. The old saying “open mouth, insert foot” was written for me. I am trying to step back, slow down my thoughts and think before I say something. I know, it is easier said than done sometimes. What often happens is the way I express the thoughts instead of the actual words. Something I meant as a joke, others take seriously. Something I say seriously, others laugh out. You get the picture, right?
If saying sorry has become second nature and is easily said – STOP yourself before the word comes out of your mouth. Consider if what you are saying sorry for is actually something you need to say at all. I admit, it will be difficult in the beginning, but it will come with time.
Remember, you are not alone, LOADS of people are like you. Myself included. The main thing is you deserve better, but you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it either. We usually feel worse after, right? I have been told for years I am my own worse enemy so it is time for us to join together to combat the need to say sorry?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!