I want to talk about a habit that many of us have that we don't realize how much it negatively affects us.
I'm talking about the habit of saying "I'm Sorry" far too often.
The habit of over-apologizing when it's not necessary at all.
Do you have a habit of apologizing too often?
When you don't really mean it?
When it's not at all necessary?
When it's for something that was clearly out of your control?
For being too sensitive?
When someone else bumps into you?
For taking up space?
Often times the 'sorry's' that come out of our mouth have little to do with actually feeling remorse, and a lot more to do with habit, anxiety, feeling insecure, a lack of confidence - always feeling like you are in the wrong, or to subconsciously protect yourself from a potential conflict. Too many 'I'm sorry's' can also stem from being in abusive relationships, a very strict upbringing, or even a boss that is hard on you over a period of time. For people that relate to any of the above, saying 'I'm sorry' too much can be very much an involuntary habit rather than something they actually mean.
The unfortunate thing is that continuing to over-apologize can keep us feeling small.
It can undercut our confidence even more.
It can continue to encourage feelings that you are often wrong when it's not the truth.
The words we use have a lot of power over how we feel.
Heartfelt apologies for something that you are truly sorry for, on the other hand, can be a powerful thing. They can dissolve negative energy. They can mend relationships that are damaged. They can encourage forgiveness. All good things. Know that there is a big difference between the 2!
So, ask yourself - Do you have a habit of over-apologizing.
Do the words "I'm Sorry" come out of your mouth without even thinking about it?
Are you someone that tends to apologize far too often when it's not necessary?
What can you do about it?
Turning apologies into gratitude can feel so much better when it's appropriate. Sometimes replacing an 'I'm sorry' with a 'Thank you' can make a lot more sense. For example, your roommate or partner clean the house when you are gone. A heartfelt 'Thank You' can feel a lot better for both of you than saying I'm sorry I didn't clean. Instead of apologizing for feeling like a burden to someone, thank them for all they do for you. It's likely that person is supporting you because they want to, and it feels good to help you. It will also feel so much better for them to receive gratitude from you.
If you have habits that you find yourself often apologizing for, like often being late for instance, it can be way more empowering and positive to work on improving those habits rather than always apologizing. Create new ways of operating so that you are avoiding circumstances where you always feel the need to apologize.
Pause before you apologize and ask yourself if you have actually done something wrong. if not, then stop the impulse to apologize, and find more appropriate words!
Know that everything we do in life is a habit. All habits are possible to change with focus & repetition. Bring some awareness to how often you unnecessarily apologize and practice using more empowering words. When you make this kind of shift with your words, how you feel internally is bound to be affected in a positive way.
Also, if you have people in your life that spit out way too many 'Im sorry's", correct them! Feel free to tell them that it's unnecessary to apologize for things that are not their fault. Let them know when you do not need an apology from them, and you could be doing them a great favor by bringing their attention to it.
I often call people out in my life for this, and the phrase I often use is: " Save your 'Sorry's' for when you mean it!" Fair enough, right?
Working on little shifts like this in how we operate can create big shifts in how we feel about ourselves. It's worth the effort!
Wishing you a gorgeous week!