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You are standing in a packed metro and a stranger collides with you. Do you wait for them to apologize or are you the first one to say “sorry”? Do you apologize for making a completely reasonable request to a coworker or even while asking for another glass of water in a restaurant? If you can identify yourself in these scenarios, we may have some bad news for you.
According to research, the word ‘sorry’ is probably the most-overused word amongst the Brits. To conduct the study more than 1,000 Britishers were surveyed and it was found that an average Englishman apologizes at least 8 times a day. In fact, one in eight people said sorry as often as 20 times a day.
Why is sorry killing your confidence?
Women are likely to fall prey to this habit of over-apologizing as they usually tend to have higher emotional quotient. We do not realize it but the words we use on a daily basis and our speech habits have a very strong impact on the way we feel about ourselves.
Your statements can make you look defensive and guilty, especially if you have a habit of over-apologizing. When you begin and end your sentences with an apology, be rest assured that it can drastically affect your self-worth and confidence.
When you overuse the word ‘sorry’, it devalues when you genuinely mean it and downplays your achievements. If you seek forgiveness for speaking up in a meeting or brushing past someone, it can negatively impact how you are perceived by others.
What can you do to avoid over-apologizing?
There are certain changes that you can implement in your day-to-day life to get rid of the ‘sorry syndrome’:
1. Replace sorry with thank you
It will serve two purposes. First, it prevents you from spending any time obsessing over whether you did anything wrong. Secondly, saying “thank you” genuinely lends a more positive tone to the conversation.
2. Pause before apologizing
Whenever you feel the urge to say sorry, take a brief pause and go through the situation again. Ask yourself if you are apologizing due to the self-imposed guilt or whether you are actually at fault.
3. Stay silent
Sometimes the best thing to do is to say nothing at all. There is a reason silence is considered golden. Don’t start a sentence by saying sorry if you are not sure what you are apologizing for or whether it is really needed.
The bottom line;
Remember that there is nothing wrong in apologizing when you have genuinely committed a mistake. From stepping on someone’s foot to hurting someone’s feelings, a timely apology can save relationships and calm someone down. Ultimately, it is important to know where to draw the line.