I talked about this in one of my #toughtalkwithTash episodes on Instagram and I want to bring it here in our blog because it came up again in my intro series this week about people pleasing and being over-apologetic. These are common habits that block your confidence! And I want you to be more confident, plus, create some more space for yourself. Let me explain…
We’ve all been there. Apologizing for things that don’t require an apology, or feeling the need to apologize when we don’t actually have anything to apologize for. Women, in particular, tend to over-apologize more than men. We’re so used to bending over backward to accommodate others and avoid conflicts. This can lead to a lack of confidence and lower self-esteem, and saying sorry too often can diminish your power. But it doesn’t have to be this way. YOU belong in spaces.
Take up your rightful space, stop over-apologizing, and reclaim your confidence with these tips:
Understand why you apologize too much
The first step is understanding why you apologize too much in the first place. Is it because you feel like you don’t deserve respect? Growing up, were your parents always fighting, so you are trying to avoid conflict at all costs? Are you afraid of being seen as “too opinionated” or “pushy”? Do you feel like your opinions and ideas aren’t valid unless they come from someone else? Understanding the root cause of your over-apologizing can help inform how to address it going forward.
Know when not to apologize.
Once you understand why you over-apologize in certain situations, it becomes easier to recognize when apologizing isn’t necessary. Not every situation requires an apology—in fact, most don’t! If something isn’t your fault or if it wasn’t done with malicious intent, then an apology is unnecessary (and oftentimes even unwelcome!). When in doubt, practice assertive communication instead of apologetic language – this will help build authentic relationships and boost your own confidence in the process!
That’s not to say that you should never apologize. Of course, when in the right situation, admitting when you are wrong and taking responsibility for your actions requires courage and self-awareness. It shows that you are willing to acknowledge your mistakes and work to make things right. What I am saying, fear of conflict or a desire to avoid tension in relationships drivef unnecessary apologies, which causes stress on your behalf! And instead of being stressed, I want you to be empowered and confident.
Say “Thank You” instead of “I’m Sorry.”
Start reframing those apologies into expressions of gratitude. Came late for an event? Instead of saying sorry in this situation, say “Thank you for waiting”. Next time you need a favor, try expressing gratitude instead of an apology. Instead of saying “I’m sorry to bother you” say “Thank you for your time/effort”. By doing this, you’ll find that being thanked feels good and makes people feel more connected to one another in meaningful ways. Instead of saying I’m sorry I can’t do X project, say “Thank you for the consideration. I appreciate your request, unfortunately, I need to decline, as I would hate to over commit and under deliver.
Practice affirming yourself.
Finally, practice affirming yourself through positive self-talk whenever possible. Remind yourself that your thoughts and opinions are valid—even if other people don’t agree with them! Acknowledge what makes you unique and special—the traits that makeup who YOU are as a person! We are all unique, and we don’t need to mute any of our qualities to conform. Once you start living authentically and honoring your true identity, you will see that things will fall into place. Speak kindly to yourself and remember that no one else has the power or authority to define who YOU are as a person except for YOURSELF alone!
Over-apologizing can be a hard habit to break but with focus and intention on your part, it is absolutely possible! With these tips in mind YOU can take up your rightful space and stop over-apologizing once and for all – freeing us up to live more empowered lives, making relationships clearer and decisions easier!
Let me know which of these tips you want to try first this week in the comment section!