Hi everybody, I’m Corinne and I am a serious over-apologizer. I was lucky enough to have parents that promoted impeccable manners growing up. Never have I ever forgotten to mind my P’s and Q’s. However, as I grew older – this slowly, but surely became one of my personal tragic flaws. I found myself apologizing in situations out of obligation, even when I knew I shouldn’t be saying sorry. Not only can apologizing too much be kind of annoying (my friends are brutally honest) but it can also be a negative thing, when it starts hurting the way you feel about yourself.
The “S” Word
These examples may seem small and irrelevant. But, in some cases they can streamline into the bigger issue at hand. Over-apologizing can turn into apologizing when you shouldn’t really be sorry.
It’s about to get ridiculous, but these scenarios have happened IRL.
“Hey, can you pass the breadsticks?”
“I’m so sorry! Here you go!!”
Why would I say sorry? They wanted the breadsticks. They didn’t yell, they asked nicely. I did not hoard the breadsticks. (Or did I?) Nor was I disabling them from access to said breadsticks. The “sorry” in this situation is completely uncalled for.
“Sorry, can you help me with this?”
Whether it be problems with technology or opening a pickle jar — no apology is necessary when you actually need help with something. In most cases, I’m asking an expert for help anyway, like the guys at the Library IT Desk or my dad. In both cases, they are experts in technology or opening pickle jars and are happy to be of assistance.
Stand Up For Yourself
“The first to apologize is the strongest.” Yes, this is true in matters of love and war. But in situations where you are sulking or letting your confidence be deterred, those situations are the ones that can have a seriously negative impact on your self-esteem.
“Hey girl, lemme get your number.”
“Hi, sorry I have a boyfriend!” or “Sorry, I’m not interested!”
Girl, do not be sorry! First of all, no apology should ever be the response to a lousy pick up line or cat call. The giver of said statement should be apologizing to you for objectifying and disrespecting you. Also, we should be able to just say “no, thank you” and move on with our night, without being harassed in any way. Always remember your manners (no, thank you — rather than sorry), but when you aren’t treated with respect, they don’t deserve an apology of any kind.
“I’m so sorry, I’m dressed like a bum” or “I apologize for my appearance, I’m not wearing any makeup!”
This is where the problem of apologizing can be really detrimental. You should never feel the need to justify your appearance to anyone. Your friends, family, significant other – they should all love you regardless of whether you feel fabulous or a little bit frumpy.
How To Stop The Madness
Through my over apologizing antics, I had started convincing myself that I was always wrong, that my thoughts ideas and words weren’t valid and that I was less — therefore, I had to justify my actions with timid responses and “sorry” became an instant reflex.
My advice to you is to try to stay confident no matter what you’re wearing, or if you are barefaced for the day. Rock those sweatpants and own your naked face, because there’s nothing more beautiful than being confident and comfortable in your own skin! And when you feel uncomfortable or taken off guard, take a second to think before responding with an apology.
I know some of these tips are easier said than done. Believe me, I’ll be the first to admit that I have relapsed into my “sorry” habits more than a few times. But just recognizing that you may be apologizing too much is already an improvement. Be confident, be polite, apologize when necessary – but not when you don’t need to.
Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with being polite and manners are a valuable attribute that I think we should all strive to maintain. I am a huge advocate for apologizing when you know you’re wrong in a situation. However, when you start to overuse the “s” word to the point that it stems from a place of self-doubt and cracked self-assurance, then it might be time to reevaluate your responses system.
Are you part of OAA (Over-apologizers anonymous)? Tell us how you stopped saying “sorry” so much!