I'm sorry, but I'm not going to apologize anymore

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I hear myself say it way too often. "I'm sorry." What am I sorry for? Just about everything you can imagine. The weather, how bad the traffic is, that the deli didn't have the chips you like. 

I apologize for not knowing something. I apologize because I have a question. I apologize because of someone else's behavior. The list goes on, and on, and on.

I had to email a co-worker for the third time asking for the same thing. I started out the email, "I'm sorry to ask again..." Really?! I'm sorry?

But when should we be sorry?

Should I be sorry when I make an honest mistake? I know I'm not perfect. No one else thinks I'm perfect. Making honest mistakes seems like a reasonable expectation. Shouldn't really be sorry for meeting expectations. 

Should I be sorry if I disagree with you? If I have a question? If Fred was being a jerk? 

I can't help but wonder what saying "I'm sorry" so many times a day, does to a person. Why do I do it? I think it's my way of trying to be polite, but I'm not really sure.  

I notice that more women then men seem to have this same issue. Why is that? 

If I didn't say "I'm sorry." so often, what would happen? I think I might be afraid that I will be labeled as a royal "B" (not to be mistaken for the royal we ala the Dude). 

So I get mad at myself for doing it but I got seriously pissed off when my boss did it the other day and I'm on a new mission. The craziness must stop!

We're in a meeting. She and I are the only women in the room. There's a heated discussion, everyone interrupting each other, voices raised, wanting to be heard. Instead of waiting for an opening, she jumped right into the middle of it. She spoke clearly, was forceful, and direct. 

I felt like jumping to my feet and clapping. As I was driving home, she called to discuss how the meeting went, like we often do. I told her how proud I was of her for standing up for herself.

"Well," she said, "after you left, I apologized in case it seemed like I was being snippy."

"Did anyone apologize to you?" I asked sarcastically.

"Well, no," she admitted. 

ARGH! 

Okay, I'm not suggesting that you do whatever you want whenever you want with no regard for other's feelings. I'm only suggesting that we stop apologizing for things out of our control, having a differing opinion, or for just being a woman in business. 

So I say to the world, "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to apologize anymore...wait, I'm NOT sorry and I'm NOT going to apologize anymore." This might take some work, but I'm on a mission!

Darci McIntyre1 Comment