Have you seen the Pantene shampoo campaign ad? If you haven’t, you should. And if you haven’t, you can do so at the end of this article. Pantene figured it out: Women apologize entirely too much and for everything! Why do we do that? I’m as guilty as anyone else. Let’s see, if I think about it, I remember apologizing for things like asking the server to change my order while he/she is still standing there taking them. Why am I apologizing for that? I can remember apologizing the other day when someone bumped into me and almost took the wind out of me. I apologized about that, too *blank stare*… why did I do that?
Oh, and this one gets me. I was on the train one day and asked someone to please move their bags from the only empty seat in sight so that I could sit down. Yep, you guessed it – I apologized before I asked them. I paid my fare – I am entitled to any vacant seats, not your bags/books/luggage or lunch! And who hasn’t apologized when you’ve had to go into your boss’s office with something important. Does this sound familiar? “I’m so sorry to interrupt you, but…” C’mon, are we really sorry to interrupt him/her? No, no, no! We’re not sorry – it was necessary. Here’s what I should have said, “Hi _____________, I need to speak with you about something. Do you have a minute?” Now, of course, if there are a few people in his/her office, the polite word is “excuse me” (I was taught from a child that you say excuse me before interrupting. To not do so is rude and I abide by that rule). But saying excuse me is not the same as saying “I’m sorry.”
Ok, now I’m a LOT better at not apologizing when I’m telling someone that I’m not interested in them romantically. I DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR THAT AT ALL…EVER. I try never to apologize for my feelings. No, I’m not sorry that I don’t feel the same way about you. No, I’m not sorry that your feelings are hurt because I told you the truth. What about the online folks who apologize for posting too many pictures of their kids/cars/houses/dogs/cats, etc. OR for posting an edgy or controversial post. “I’m soooo sorry, but I just had to post this/these.” No, you’re not sorry or you wouldn’t do it. Just post them without the disclaimer or apology! When I get sick of looking at it, that’s what the “unfriend” or “un-follow” buttons are for – and it works both ways!
We women are such “people pleasers.” It’s how most of us are wired, I guess. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or appear aggressive or rude. So, we soften the blow with an apology and sound “polite.” I think it only makes us sound insecure and in a perpetual state of apologies. Enough already! I challenge you to try this with any man in your life, especially if you live with him: During the course of a day, a full day spent together, keep track of how many times you say you’re sorry and how many times he doesn’t! Now I’m not talking about if you two are having major issues, but you get the idea. Now, let’s see if he apologizes for the same or similar things you apologize for. Don’t tell him you’re keeping track – let it be natural. I’m willing to bet that he won’t be nearly as apologetic as you are. Men seem to have a better handle on this apology thing than we do. They seem to just jump right in, walk on through, sit right down, or change their minds unapologetically. I’m not implying that they’re rude, but I think they are less inclined to seek approval or “forgiveness” the way we do. I’m not talking about big, major stuff – but the everyday little things that we women seem to get caught up in. The need to please and take responsibility. When we constantly apologize, we’re saying “it’s my fault.”
Of course, there are times when a sincere and genuine apology is necessary. You will know when the time is right for that. When it is, apologize – wholeheartedly. And then move on. Now, if you’ve really messed up, you may have to apologize more than once and make amends. Do it.
We’ve got to do better, ladies! I’m a work in progress myself, so I’m right there with you! No, I’m not sorry for changing my order. No, I’m not sorry that I asked you to move your stuff out of the empty chair so I can sit. No, I’m not sorry that you almost knocked me down – watch where you’re going! And No, I’m not sorry about anything that I post or write. But
I’m sorry please excuse any typos in this article…I’ve been writing all day and my eyes are exhausted! Yep, I’m still learning, too 🙂