It may happen that you have fallen into the trap of over-apologizing and say sorry for things that may not demand an apology. It is a bad habit and can result in a reflex reaction. This is a self-defeating pattern that can be exhausting but to everyone all around you including your boss, family, and co-workers. The apology impulse has its roots in a person’s childhood. Many people are said to upload politeness. It is deep-rooted in your psyches, which equates to likability.
Excessive apologizing may be a genuine way to show respect. It can be problematic when we give high regard to the reactions and opinions of other people. A tendency of over-apologizing may appear from conflict aversion. Apologizing is a misdirected way to claim responsibility to disappear a problem- irrespective of the fact you deserve or not deserve blame in the very first place.
Constant apologizing has adverse effects on a career, from annoying your superiors and colleagues. However, the most lasting and detrimental side effect of too much apologizing is destroying your self-image.
Over-Apologizing May Hurt Your Meeting
- Self-doubt and Insecurity: Apologizing for entering into the office of your boss and prospect at the scheduled meeting time may convey a lack of confidence.
- Insincerity: When you are lied to repeatedly by someone, you do not believe what the person says. They lose face. Similarly, constantly saying sorry may have a similar effect. Unwarranted apologies bloat your speech as well as detract you from your message’s clarity, however, dilute your phrase’s power.
- Powerlessness: If you are just one person who is constantly apologizing, it may show an imbalance in power that can erode a relationship along with your self-esteem. An executive who over-apologize are considered too timid and not given promotions because they are perceived to lack leadership skills. On the other hand, they may be criticized when they are direct.
- External Validation: Apologizing is levered subconsciously as the method to seek reassurance. When you apologize you hope your friend/prospect whom you are meeting to say not to apologize.
- Compromising on your professional values: Leadership needs a backbone. You should be aware of what you stand for. Over-Apologizing focus on the perceptions of others of what is wrong and right rather than their own. When it happens repeatedly, the personal values and beliefs receive the shaft. Without a clear personal mission, you may ruin your career.
Ways to Stop Saying Sorry
- Think positive, reflect on the way how early childhood may have contributed to this behavior. This way you shall have more power to change and take action.
- Examine the contexts where the sorry impulse emerges. Begin to identify triggers that worsen this behavior including certain contexts, people, moods, or times. Pay attention and try to find out whether the tendency to apologize too much evolves with a few friends much more compared to others. For example, Demanding and pushy clients may constantly request for impossible deadlines that you may find stressful.
- Replace unwarranted apologies with correct statements, use right words like “guess what” instead of “sorry” for communicating your point. This may be tricky in the beginning. There is no shame to ask other about verbal do-overs, especially with friends and family. For instance, if you cancel an outing with your friend then instead of apologizing use the sentences. “Thanks for understanding. It is a week where I have meet deadlines and thanks for being supportive.”
In the long run, over-apologizing can do much more harm to your meeting than good. Regardless of the way you want to come across, excessive apologizing can give a poor image to the person whom you are meeting. This may communicate incorrectly your desires and hurt your self-respect. If you are confident, straightforward and clear, you can show your skills.
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