Recently I started to notice all the little things I say sorry for. I’ll say sorry for asking for something at a restaurant, stating an opinion that might be a little controversial, or stumbling over a sentence or word. Then I realized it’s not just me – saying sorry is an epidemic. Particularly as women, we apologize all too often for things that in the grand scheme of things is not a huge deal. There is certainly a time and place for apologizing and I’m not suggesting you stop saying sorry completely (if you ate your roommates leftover chipotle you should probably say sorry for that). But here are a few of the reasons why you need to stop apologizing.
1. It Gives Others Power Over You
A lot of times, as women we apologize to make sure we aren’t offending anyone or because we don’t wanna come off as too strong or too sure of ourselves (especially in front of our superiors). I know I personally will sometimes find myself apologizing over the tiniest little things and then think to myself ‘why am I saying sorry for that?’ This doesn’t mean there aren’t ever times when apologizing is necessary. Sure it has its time and place. But you should never apologize for every little thing you say and do, giving others authority and power over you. Stumble over a word in a conference room meeting? So what? We’re all human and there’s no need to be sorry over trivial things.
2. It Lowers Your Credibility
Studies have been done that show the more powerless language you use (such as “um” “ah” or saying a sentence as a question instead of a definitive declaration), the less credible you come off. What’s more, women on average tend to use powerless language more often than men. It’s the way we were raised. We’re taught to be polite and not too sure of ourselves. But it’s high time we start owning our confidence.
3. You Deserve To Own Your Confidence
The culture that engenders us to say sorry over every little thing we say and do is one which diminishes our confidence, self-esteem, and sense of capability. You are every bit as capable, intelligent, and independent as your co-workers, peers, friends and so on. There’s no need to apologize for it. I can’t say this enough – own it.
4. Because It’s Okay To Ask For What You Deserve
Whether you’re asking for a raise or an extra lemon in your water at dinner there’s no reason to start your request with “sorry but….” Of course you also shouldn’t come off as entitled, but there is a happy medium between arrogance and absolute timidity. Search for that happy medium and run with it.
5. You’ll Feel Better About Yourself
I’ve just recently started to consciously catch myself when I’m about to say sorry for something trivial. Now that I’ve rephrased my requests or the way I interact with others in a way that is unapologetic, I’ve noticed a difference in myself. I feel more confident because I act more confident and don’t let others have unnecessary authority over me. I’m still humble and I’m still respectful, I’m just not sorry for being who I am.