I am the type of person that over apologizes for everything, even for the dumbest thing imaginable and even when it wasn’t even my fault. It’s annoying as shit and I question why I have always done this and still continue to do it. It’s a daily struggle but I have noticed that I am doing it less and less since I have become more aware of myself and my place in this world.
The real question that I have always asked myself is why am I constantly apologizing? Is it the way that I was brought up? Is it my lack of self-esteem? Am I just trying to be agreeable? Am I filled with anxiety and always feel the need to apologize? Am I showing myself to be too submissive? Or am I just really compassionate and want others to understand that I am truly sorry?
The way that I was brought up definitely plays into why I apologize so much. I was made to question a lot of my actions and I felt that whatever I was doing was wrong. For example, if I didn’t make the bed, I was made to feel guilty about not having the time to do so and therefore, felt a huge need to over apologize for something that wasn’t really that important in the larger scheme of things. This is only one small example, but growing up with strict parents made me become ultra sensitive to every decision that I have ever made and I still question the choices that I have done, even if more than 30 years have past!
This upbringing also ties in with my questionable lack of self-esteem growing up. Since I always questioned whatever I have done, I am always second guessing everything and if I have felt that I have made the slightest mistake I quickly say “I’m sorry”. This has lead me into situations and people who have taken advantage of my lack of confidence and have abused my kindness time and time again.
I also do not like disagreements and rarely want to argue with anyone even when the other person is clearly wrong. I am, therefore reluctantly being persuaded into things that are not agreeable to who I really am. I will accept other people’s explanation and find fault in my own conclusions about a topic and end up doing things that I am truly uncomfortable with time and and time again. This agreeableness leads people and myself to think I am submissive. Avoiding conflict and admitting defeat has always left a bad taste in my mouth but I have struggled to accept that I am correct in my stance before the initial apology ever arises. However, I have always bend in the past to please others and allowed myself to be swept into situations that affect my overall well-being.
Or damn, am I just a really nice person and feel the need to show a bit of compassion every now and then? Isn’t it okay to apologize? I think it is but doing it for the sake of doing isn’t a good idea and I have begun to stop and analyze the situation before I resort to saying “I’m sorry” right away.
So how do you stop from immediately apologizing? I have gradually began to practice these steps every day and I have noticed a reduction in my remorseful words, lol.
- Pause: Before you begin to say you’re sorry, ask yourself “why” . Have you done anything wrong here? If you haven’t and you don’t want others to think you have, do not apologize.
- Know Why: Find out what your triggers are. What makes you apologize? Write down different scenarios that you have encountered in your life and give an example of when you have apologized. Practice saying something else instead of “I am sorry”. If you like, focus on just one scenario that you encounter often and practice with that.
- Rephrase Your Words: When speaking with others, even when showing compassion or asking a question, try to rephrase the question or statement in a positive way. For example, instead of saying, “Sorry to interrupt you”, you could say “May I interrupt you with a question?” Instead of saying, “I am sorry about what happened to you”, you could say, “It appears like you’re struggling with that. How can I help?”
These steps all take practice but eventually they will become more natural to you and you won’t end up questioning or apologizing for your existence. Over apologizing is a reflection on how you feel about yourself and it shows a lack of appreciation for your existence. Your existence is vital to the growth of who you truly are and it is vital for the positive growth of the world. Don’t forget that you play a part in making this world a better place for yourself first and foremost and the people who you love. – Peace and Love