Do you apologize for everything you do? I've recognized so many people I know who struggle with this. Friends, family, acquaintances, clients, at some point or another we say "sorry" for things we don't actually need to be apologizing for. People feel the need to apologize for everything, even though, in most cases, they haven't done anything to warrant apologizing. Apologizing is a learned behavior, stemming from childhood. It's become engraved in our brains that being nice and polite will bring us some sort of likability or happiness in life.
Over apologizing often comes across as someone who struggles with a lot of guilt, shame, insecurity, self doubt, and a great lack of confidence. What if we only apologize if we do or say something that actually warrants an apology? If you over apologize, if sorry is in every other sentence, then hear this - over apologizing can take a toll on your success, it may weaken your authority, confidence, and worse- it may make an actual apology that is necessary harder, as the more you apologize the less power "I'm sorry" has.
Be mindful as to what you are actually apologizing for, does it actually warrant an apology, or is saying you're sorry just a habit that flows off your tongue. Has apologizing become a reflex to avoid conflict? Ask yourself prior to saying "sorry" why you are apologizing, is it warranted? did you physically, mentally, or emotionally do something to hurt or hard the person you are saying "sorry" too? if not, maybe this isn't the right time for an apology. Perhaps it's so embedded in your mind, that apologizing actually is second nature, you might have good intentions, think you are being kind and respectful, however it can become problematic.
Our good intentions, being overly apologetic, can turn around and bite us in the behind. In constantly apologizing we may allow others to perceive us as weak, incompetent, and may even come across as self-deprecating. When we over-apologize it becomes less sincere. Those unwarranted apologies hurt our credibility when the time for a genuine apology is needed.
Do you apologize for bothering someone without having evidence that you are? Do you show up to your co-worker, boss, partner, friends, whoever it may be, and start off with "I'm sorry to bother you.." then continue on? This show's insecurity and self-doubt. You don't need to apologize for asking questions, initiating a conversation, for simply existing!
Think of the boy who cried wolf. When you repeatedly apologize, eventually the "I'm sorry" loses value and credibility. If you disagree with something, don't apologize! Share your thoughts, feelings, dreams, emotions, beliefs, and opinions, own them! They are valid! If you have to ask someone to repeat themselves or clarify something, don't apologize! If your friend tells you they are having a rough moment, don't apologize, rather let them know you hear them, see them, and that you are there for them.
Stop apologizing for your laugh, your presence, how you look, how you speak, for being honest. Stop apologizing for being you! Don't you know, you are the only you there is, and that's your super power! Accept yourself for who you are, and let others see that unique, authentic, one of a kind, beautiful person you are.
It's a hard habit to break, but be mindful, when you over apologize it may not seem sincere to the other person, or come across as you not believing in your worth. Change your wording, let your thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, and passions be known. Stop apologizing like it's your job. In saying what you mean, be honest and impeccable with your word, say only what you truly mean. In being clear with your communication, you show others that you are confident and secure in yourself. Own your uniqueness, your personality, your ambition, your awkwardness, your weirdness, be apologetically you.
Apologize when it's warranted. That's it.