If you think about it, it’s like saying “excuse me for living” – literally: If you tend to apologize for every little thing, you devaluate yourself. And there’s no need to.
Are you the type of person who says “sorry!” when a stranger bumps into you in the street, even it’s their fault? Do you apologize in advance when you’re asking your colleague to help you with something perfectly normal? Maybe you even apologize for things that you can’t control at all. You’re not the only one.
Many people, especially women, apologize all the time – while there’s no need. Most of us learn at a young age that they need to say sorry when they did something wrong. Of course, that’s useful. If something went wrong because of you, it’s a powerful thing to acknowledge what you did and apologize. But when you say sorry all the time, there’s something wrong.
If you keep apologizing, in fact you’re saying “excuse me for living” – literally, not ironically. This may undermine your self-esteem. The difficult thing is that excessive apologizing usually comes from very nice qualities. If you’re very empathetic, you probably tend to say sorry because you want to take other people’s feelings into account. However, when doing so, you don’t take your own feelings into account. If you try to avoid conflict, apologizing may be your way to do so. But apologizing a lot can also come from a strict upbringing, or difficulties related to fear.
Text: Joanne Wienen – Photo: Allef Vinicius