Do you ever find yourself saying ‘I’m sorry’ too much? That is one of the worst habits I have. I’m constantly apologizing for things that are beyond my control and have absolutely nothing to do with me. I still feel the need to apologize for them. If someone is having a bad day, “I’m sorry you’re having a bad day.” If someone is sick, “I’m sorry you’re not feeling well.” The phrase seems to just roll right off my tongue, and I can’t stop it. Thankfully I’m not alone in this bad habit. There are many others out there like me who constantly say ‘I’m sorry’ too much. Women are more prone to saying ‘I’m sorry’ than men, and we do it more often, according to Psychology Today. Often we as women apologize for offenses that most others don’t even notice or find offensive.
When it comes to apologizing, though, there are certain things in life you should apologize for, such as yelling at someone when you are having a bad day. It’s not their fault you’re having a bad day; yelling at them isn’t going to help. But there are certain things that you should never apologize for, such as:
- Crying or having any emotional reaction to something (a movie, song, book, etc.).
- Being good at something, whether it’s sports, singing, dancing, etc. Own your talent and never say ‘I’m sorry’ for it!
- Sharing your success on social media, as long you aren’t bragging or arrogant, share your success!
- Not having it all together. Newsflash: not all of us have it ‘together’ every day of the week, and sometimes it takes us a minute.
- Death. Death happens, and it touches each and every one of us. Never apologize for your grief.
The problem with apologizing for the little things is that when it comes to apologizing for the big things, people may feel as though you are not sincere in your apology. Another reason people tend to apologize for things that are not necessarily their fault? We (I’m guilty of this as well) tend to be people pleasers. We want everyone to be happy, and if they aren’t happy, sometimes we feel as though it was something that we did. Obviously, that is not always the case.
If you want to learn how to stop apologizing and to stop saying ‘I’m sorry’ so much, here are some tips and tricks:
- Turn your ‘I’m sorry’ into a ‘Thank you’ instead. Instead of apologizing for not doing something, thank the person who wound up doing it instead
- Identify those that trigger your ‘I’m sorry’ the most. Is it friends? Family? Random strangers? If you accidentally bump into someone, say “Excuse me” instead.
- Take a few minutes for self-reflection and ask yourself “Why am I apologizing?” and “Did I do something wrong?”
It takes practice, but by stopping and looking to see what exactly you are apologizing for and deciding if you needed to apologize for it (such as bumping into someone or someone else having to do a chore that you normally would do), you can start working on ways to change and grow.
Are you someone who says ‘I’m sorry’ too much? How do you stop over apologizing?