Quit Saying Sorry All The Time

By pearl - December 07, 2018

Image result for i'm not sorry photos
The first time I heard about women saying sorry more times than men, I totally rolled my eyes. Like, do people actually pay attention to this? What’s the big deal about it anyway? So I decided to start paying attention to the details of my conversations with women, and I soon noticed that this was very true. Indeed, women throw around the I’m sorry phrase a lot more than men. A case of this happened while I was working on a project with a mid-level woman and she made a minute error (sorry I can't go into the details), something that could easily be fixed and had been done a few times by other people. Yet, she said sorry at least 7 times in the space of 10 minutes. This got me wondering why the prevalence of this character trait among women. Though there are probably multiple reasons/studies to explain this, for the purpose of this blog post, I chalked it up to the need and desire to sound/appear polite. However, whatever your reason for saying sorry needlessly is, you need it to quit it now and here's why                         
Saying Sorry too many times makes look weakuh-huh! you got
that right ladies. Saying sorry more times than necessary or saying sorry just to appear nice gives off the impression that you are weak, insecure and a people-pleaser and you really do not want that to be the tag on your personality. Generally, people want to be around people that are confident and firm on their beliefs, especially at work. Endlessly apologizing during meetings or throughout the workday not only makes your co-workers uncomfortable but also make you appear restless.                                                 
It makes you look less trust-worthy: This may be a spoiler alert but truly ladies, saying sorry too many times plays on how others perceive you. Coupled with the fact that it is manipulatory in some way because it seeks to gain the sympathy of others, it is also deceitful because we say it even when we do not mean it, thereby abusing the very meaning of the word.                                         

When is it Absolutely Necessary to Apologize at Work?

Well, that's why we are here! Say sorry only when you are truly sorry for an action or event and would have acted/behaved differently in retrospect. Apologize only when you mean it. Do not say sorry when you are not. Ladies, it's totally ok to say I'm not sorry when you're not. And no, this does not give you the masculine or domineering vibe most women fear being associated with, this makes you human, fallible, and entitled to your feelings. But Also, when you do, say it once and move on. Please!

Alternatives to saying sorry

So the next time you feel like saying sorry out of impulse, try saying one of these instead
  • Thank you: there's a lot of times we apologize when gratitude would have been the appropriate emotion to express. For example, a co-worker helps you with a task or fills in for you, instead of saying "I'm sorry you had to do that for me," try saying "thank you for helping me out, you are a real life saver." This is both refreshing to say and it achieves more because it makes the other party feel good about themselves.                  
  • Pause and ask a question: you are in a meeting and you have something to say but do not want to interject, instead of saying "I'm sorry for interrupting" or something like that, try asking "is now a good time to speak?" or "I will like to add ...?" this serves the purpose quite well and avoids unnecessary apologies.     
  • State your reasons in other polite ways:  many at times, we feel like we have to use the sorry word to appear polite whereas it's not the case. Say you are visiting a friend/family member and you exhaust the time planned to spend with them. Instead of saying "I'm sorry I have to go now" try saying "It was fun spending time with you but I have to go now." This creates a space of joy, as you both get to dwell on how fun the meetup was, instead of how saying goodbye sucks.

P.S: This blog post is in no way intended to dissuade women from apologizing when they are wrong or saying sorry to sympathize with others. Instead, it is a gentle reminder that we are abusing the word 'sorry' and it's about time that we looked into that. 


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