- a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure.
- feeling distress, especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune.
Day in and day out I have all types of people that come through the gym. One of the most common things I find people do that they don’t even realize is apologizing for themselves for literally anything.
WHAT ARE YOU SO SORRY FOR?
Sorry is a word of distress, sympathy or regretfulness. It’s not apologetic. It’s almost more of a guilt response. So, why are you so guilty? Who, or what, makes you or made you feel this way? Maybe you think it puts you in good standing with others. Maybe it’s how you grew up. No matter the reason it is important to understand the source of this feeling in order to make a change.
Personally, a simple “sorry” feels like a scapegoat for real acknowledgement. Avoiding addressing and absolving of your (real) transgression. We should want more for ourselves and those that surround us. A REAL apology is an acknowledgment. Which means you accept the truth of your actions, can articulate them and come to a resolution.
I see it mostly in women but its not uncommon in men either. People will apologize for anything it can be as small as asking someone to scoot over, to missing a session, getting help with anything, being sick, you name it and I have heard.
STOP. NOW THINK…
WHY DO YOU FEEL THE NEED TO BE SO APOLOGETIC?
Are you actually sorry, or is it a triggered response thinking you’re automatically at some fault?
Sorry does not fly in our household. If you really messed up, then you apologize. However, this should be followed up with a rundown of how it happened, why it won’t again, and the consequences laid out if you do. Then you act on it. Not carry on. Sorry means nothing if you continue to say it with no action. Especially so flippantly with little to no actual reasoning. There can be many reasons we do this but a lot of it is due to people pleasing, insecurities or a trauma response due to an abusive/controlling relationship. That could be parents, siblings or romantic relationships. That “why” is for you to understand and explore in order to better address as it comes up.
It is important to understand that when carrying on with this type of dialogue we are also carrying an internal dialogue. Your simple “sorry” is actually a judgment of yourself:
“I should apologize for “x” because I must have been wrong for *insert whatever circle reasoning we place on our self* ”.
This creates a separate, self fabricated, dialogue for the other person as well:
“I am assuming that I have something to be sorry for because something has come to my attention, or theirs”
Creating this feedback loop can lead to any questions, critiques, mentions or acknowledgments triggering you to feel you have to explain yourself or be apologetic.
Yes, if you make a mistake, own it. But then act on it.
Yes, if you are truly sorry, apologize. Thoroughly.
You should not be apologizing for anything you’re NOT ACTUALLY SORRY FOR.
This is disingenuous, this is manipulative, this is deceptive. Not just of the other person or people, but of yourself.
“NEVER RUIN AN APOLOGY WITH AN EXCUSE.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Are you someone who is overly apologetic?
Ask your friends. Monitor yourself. If you are, ask yourself why? Maybe you just need to acknowledge WHY, then you will recognize HOW you should conduct yourself. It is not “polite” or the right thing to do to be overly apologetic. It’s meant for sincerity and authenticity which are both met with ACTION, not just words.
You’re meant to occupy space, challenge others, have opinions, make mistakes, use your voice but you’re responsible for backing all of that up.
You owe the world to be the best you can be on any given day, this does not come to fruition if you sheepishly work your way through life and relationships with no voice, no boundaries, and no self respect.
Stop apologizing for yourself.