A University of Waterloo, Canada study reveals that women tend to be more apologetic. Apologizing might be necessary for certain situations, but you need to understand that over-apologizing can undermine your authority. If you are frequently apologizing at the workplace, it could impact your career. Apologizing when you have committed anything wrong could be a strength. However, apologizing without any reason could be a sign of weakness, and you need to stop doing it. Let us learn what causes women apologize too much and what they can do to improve the situation.
Why do Women Apologize Too Much?
Women and girls are usually conditioned to be more responsible and empathetic in their behavior. Women are often influenced to cover their actions with a proper apology. There are many who are constantly worried about hurting the sentiments of other individuals around them because they are forced to be more value-driven and polite. These inherited qualities can make you feel that you need permission and tend to be more apologetic.
Here are some of the reasons why women apologize too much:
- To avoid situations that may lead to disagreements.
- To showcase confidence in the ideas and avoid experiencing negative social feedback.
- You are overly concerned with what people may think of you.
- You have low self-esteem and think you are contributing to different problems.
- To be empathetic and aware of how their actions can impact other individuals.
- You feel uncomfortable and do not know what else to do.
- To fit the mold and be authentic.
- You have a feeling that you are responsible for another person’s inappropriate behavior.
Read Also: How Communication Errors Impact Women Entrepreneurs Negatively
How do You Know You Are Apologizing Too Much: Common Signs
To help break this habit, you should also be aware of the signs that you are over apologizing. Here, we have listed some common signs to look out for:
- You are apologizing for things that you do not have control over.
- You are apologizing for someone’s actions.
- You apologize to inanimate objects. (For instance, you are saying sorry after bumping into a chair, even though the chair is an inanimate object.)
- You apologize for things that you are not sure of.
- There can be situations where you would be unaware of why you are apologizing.
- You are repetitively apologizing for your actions.
- When you are trying to be assertive, you end up apologizing more often.
- You always feel nervous when communicating with anyone around you.
- You find it hard to leave the situation like that and end up apologizing.
What to Do About It?
There might be multiple situations where it may be necessary to say sorry and apologize for your actions. However, there might be situations where you are being over apologetic for your efforts. You must take a deeper look and try to understand the situation before saying sorry or anything else. Those women apologize too much and constantly say sorry, may be suffering from anxiety and not being able to manage their emotions. You do not have to hold back feelings of guilt and defectiveness, especially when you have not done anything wrong. When apologizing too much becomes a habit, it may even annoy other people.
Here are specific steps you can take to break this habit of over-apologizing.
- Notice what you are thinking and feeling – Before you make an apology, it is necessary to understand what you are thinking, feeling, and saying. Be aware of your feelings and pay attention to your thoughts. These may help you understand whether you are feeling afraid or anxious.
- Question yourself whether an apology is necessary – Critically analyze the situation and think about whether an apology is actually required. You must consider whether you are apologizing for your actions or taking charge of someone else’s actions. You may also discuss it with a trusted friend or a mentor before you apologize.
- Rephrase your words – You may consider rephrasing and try using different vocabulary. For instance, you can say I would like to add to this instead of saying I am sorry to interrupt. Changing your vocabulary is one of the best ways to break this habit.
Here are some other phrases that you may use:
- Excuse me
- Bear with me here
- Go ahead
- After you
- Thank you for flagging the issue
- I appreciate you bringing this error to me
- Sorry, could you please repeat that?
- Excuse me, could you please repeat that?
- Sorry I was late.
- Thank you for waiting for me.
- Sorry, I will not be able to make it.
- Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it.
Practice Self-Awareness and Be Confident
The most crucial step is to be self-aware. Notice how often you apologize in a day and use the word ‘sorry’ in your everyday conversation. Try to rephrase your vocabulary and be more confident in your approach. We do not suggest removing the phrase from your dictionary, but simply limiting the number of times you are saying sorry. You should apologize when you have said anything offensive, disrespectful, or violated any boundaries. It will take time to break this habit, but you should not feel discouraged. Understand that you have your own needs and limitations.
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