“I am sorry.”
- When I am in the check-out line, with a line behind me, and it seems to be taking forever.
- When my daughter has a rough time at daycare.
- When I want to interrupt a conversation or ask a question.
- When someone else bumps into me.
- When someone has to wait on me for a little while.
- When someone asks me to do something and I say no.
It seems as though I have taken the phrases “Excuse Me,” “Pardon Me,” and “Sorry” and rolled them all into one. I have developed a reflexive “I am sorry” and I use it way too often.
I am not the only one.
Some of you might think, “What’s wrong with apologizing?”
Nothing, unless you say it too much.
When you apologize for everything, it takes the sincerity out of your words when you mean it for real. It makes you seem weak, especially in a work or professional setting. It opens you up to feeling guilty for just about everything that you do in your life.
Over-apologizing is about seeking approval and hoping to be liked.
It’s okay if people don’t like you, or like every decision that you make. My hope is that you are living for you, not for them.
So, here is my new pact:
- I am going to stop apologizing for taking up space in the world.
- I am going to stop apologizing for having a question.
- I am going to stop apologizing for being an American living in France, and not always understanding the language.
- I am going to stop apologizing for things that are not directly my fault and things that are out of my control.
- I am going to stop apologizing for my child’s behavior. When she is old enough, she can apologize for herself.
- I am going to stop apologizing if someone has a negative reaction to something that I did, but that aligns with my values. If I would do the same thing again, if given the chance, then I don’t need to apologize. I can explain, but I don’t need to apologize.
Here are some examples of what it might sound like: