A recent conversation with a friend that asked me, “why are you apologizing”, prompted me to count the number of times I said “I’m sorry”. In one day (from what I recalled), I used this phrase 7 times. Seven!! Cray! In thinking back to those moments, I realized, I apologize for everything. When I bump into someone, when someone bumps into me. Even when asking a question or making a request, I sorry all over myself. Often times, without even knowing it. And for what?!?! Am I really sorry for asking someone a question, or presenting a new idea?
Studies show that women tend to use this regretful phrase more than men. To some extent, it’s accidental, used in the place of “excuse me”. In other instances, it is to alleviate tension at your own expense. Now, let me clarify, sometimes “I’m sorry” is very necessary and appropriate. But, in another sense, it sends the message that what I am saying isn’t important. Or that the space I occupy needs to be excused or pardoned, which surely affects my self-esteem and sends a false perception to others of who I am. I am not sorry for sharing my talents, ideas, and gifts. I am not sorry for taking up my space. I am not sorry for YOUR mistakes.
If you are like me, dropping S-bombs like F-bombs, this might help. Retrain your brain. Instead of saying “I’m sorry”, insert other phrases. If you’re late for brunch, don’t run in sorrying all over the place. Just graciously thank your bestie for waiting and keep it pushing. If bae takes the covers in bed, do like Bey (Beyoncé, for you non-beyhivers) and quietly whisper, “I’m sorry, I ain’t sorry”, then yank them mugs back!
Don’t feel bad for being you! Know that it is ok to make a request, share an idea, ask question. An apology is not warranted to justify your necessary dopeness! So don’t!
How often do you say, “I’m sorry”? What are your ideas on avoiding over-apologizing? Can’t wait to hear from you!
Love Without Fear,