Apologizing too often can hurt your reputation and your confidence. Here’s why:
Some people are chronic apologizers. That means they apologize for everything - even things they don’t control... Like the weather. “Oh – I’m sorry it’s too hot out for you!” And women are especially susceptible. In fact, the average woman apologizes 10 times more than the average man! But guys can still be apology-a-holics too.
According to psychologist Deborah Tannen, author of the book You Just Don't Understand, chronic apologizers use the words, “I’m sorry” in place of phrases like “excuse me” and “you must be disappointed”.
Now, no one’s suggesting that you don’t say you’re sorry when you actually make a mistake or hurt someone’s feelings, but apologizing ALL the time makes your opinion and words mean less to others - and eventually, it hurts your self-confidence.
So what’s the fix? Simple – DON’T say you’re sorry when you really mean something else! For example, Instead of “I’m sorry I need to go,” try “Excuse me, I’m running late”.
And if you know you’re going to disappoint someone, talk about their feelings instead of apologizing. So, “I’m sorry, but I need that report by 5PM” turns into, “I know it’s the last thing you want to hear, but I need that report by 5 o’clock.” It’s a subtle change, but it makes a big difference.
So try it! You’ll not only feel more confident, but you’ll keep your reputation in tact because people will respect you more.