Updated: Jul 12
✨You are who you are for a reason.
✨You are a one off.
✨There is absolutely no-one on this earth who could be you better than you.
Yet, every time you apologise for something that isn’t your fault, you are apologising for who you are. Even if you don’t think that’s what you are doing, that is 100 % what you are telling the other person.
I once heard a woman on a reception desk in the space of approx. 5 minutes. say sorry more than 11 times. There wasn’t one thing she apologised for that was her fault. She was telling people what she had been asked to by her line manager or boss. She was just the messenger.
So seemed so worried is she that others would blame her that she felt the need to apologise even once they had happily accepted what she had told them.
Her apologies did not necessarily reflect any disappointment or resentment from the other person. It was a knee jerk reaction to cover the situation in case it turned ugly.
So convinced was she that it was her fault for telling them some thing they may not like she got in before they had time to express any displeasure. And if they didn’t react negatively, she felt the need to continue to apologise until they turned and left or someone else started talking to them and relieved her of the burden she felt she had just unleashed on them.
And she is not the only one who does this…
It is very common for people to over apologise about small mistakes and to apologise for something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.
Often people who apologise for things they don’t need to also ask permission for things they don’t need too. I worked with one woman who used to ask if it was ok if she could go to the toilet, make a coffee or take something to another office, even though it was made clear to her from the very first time she did it, that she did not have to ask. Six - eight months later it’s started to sink in – but you could see the conscious effort she had to make not to ask.
It’s a self-esteem thing. It’s a worthiness thing. It’s a ‘I am not good enough’ thing. It’s a ‘everyone else is better than me thing’.
I want to shout a huge, loud NO right now!
No one is better than you! No one is more worthy than you! You are as perfect or imperfect as everyone else. You are You, and no one else can ever be you.
Stop apologising for things that don’t need your apology.
Stop asking permission to do things you have every right to do.
Baby steps to help you stop apologising, try changing your sentence into an acknowledgement of the situation.
Sorry I’m late ------------------------------Thank you for waiting.
Sorry I can’t make that ------------------- Thank you for the invitation, maybe another time.
Sorry I messed that up --------------------What can I do different next time.
Sorry I’m being so slow --------------------Thank you for being patient while I work this out.
You’ll notice that all of these new ways to address certain situations use the words Thank you.
Practice saying thank you instead of I’m Sorry. Showing people that you appreciate their support; shows them you are worthy of it.
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