Replace that Unnecessary ‘Sorry’ to Boost your Confidence

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Image Credits: Arvig Business

Sorry if this bothers you, but I just wanted to apologize for taking up your time with the contents of this article. I hope you can forgive me because really, I’m sorry.

Was that too many ‘sorrys’? Or maybe just enough to send our minds into an anxious spiral of making ourselves small and diminishing our feelings.

There are two types of sorrys. The necessary ones- when you bump into someone or when you’re late, and the unnecessary ones that claw their way into our vocabulary, just like the one you got at the beginning. These also include “sorry I don’t mean to point out the obvious,” “Sorry to bother you,” “Sorry, I spilled something,” and so on.

These “Sorrys” that we so generously sprinkle around could end up hurting us by undercutting our confidence. It’s become a habit where we apologize to someone else for being late by justifying their behavior by pointing out a fault of our own. You could probably stop and ask yourself, “Have I actually done anything wrong here?” 

But it’s not too late to save ourselves. We can exclude the “sorry’s” from our sentences — and still be considerate. Here are a few ways!

  • If you bump into someone unconsciously: You could say “Go on,” “After you” or “Pardon me.”
  • During a meeting:  Instead of saying, “Sorry to interrupt you,” you could say “How about,” “I have an idea,” “I’d like to add” or “Why don’t we try this?”
  • For emails: Google Chrome plugin called ‘just not sorry’ will alert you to all the pointless apologies.” Example: Many of us have responded to a text we got when you were busy and couldn’t respond right away with a ‘Sorry.’ The plug in points out and says, “Don’t apologize — say, ‘I was occupied,’ ‘I was reading,’ ‘I was driving’ etc.”
  • In some of the instances when we’d typically throw in a “sorry,” we could just use the two magic words: “thank you.” Gratitude has an amazing effect when you say “thank you for waiting” instead of “sorry I’m so late.”
  • An alternate time when “thank you” could work better than “sorry” is when you’re with a friend and you realize you’ve been doing all the talking. Instead of saying, “sorry for complaining” or “sorry for venting,” you could just say, “thanks for listening,” or “thank you for being there” or “thank you for being my friend.”
  • Expressing Compassion: Instead of constantly apologizing in a relationship, express your compassion differently like “I know that’s tough to hear” or “You can always tell me when you’re upset.”

Although apologizing can be a great way to build trust and improve social cohesion, it’s vital to be able to affirm yourself and view yourself as having the right to make your way in the world. You could start this practice with your family and friends before trying with others. The idea is to be polite while not diminishing yourself. The sooner everyone understands this concept, the sooner the world will be more confident on the whole. If you hold any of these traits, it’s up to you to chip them away.

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