Did you know that the more you say ‘I am sorry’ the more people think less of you? We aren’t saying that, but several studies show this. Studies also suggest that apologizing and over apologizing is a female pursuit. Women, due to their conditioning, apologize a lot more than required. At the workplace, they do that to avoid conflict, out of respect, and sometimes because they consider apology as a selfless move.
No matter what the reason is, the point is that the more you apologize, the more you are perceived as weak and under-confident. Do you think less of yourself? No, right? Then why would you want others to think of you that way?
If you are still wondering, “What are the things I shouldn’t apologize about at work?”. This is where we give you five things you shouldn’t apologize for at work and some ways to fix this habit.
For Taking Time Off
Do you apologize for working hard? Then why do you have to be sorry about the fact that you need a break? Whether it is a lunch break, after work hours, or a vacation, you deserve all these breaks, and you should take them for your sanity and better productivity at work.
With the hectic lifestyle, we all are leading currently, a break is important to avoid anxiety, mental breakdown or hitting a creative block. Hence, you should NEVER apologize for something you’re entitled to, and breaks will always come under that category.
For Asking Someone To Do Their Job
If you are in a position of authority and you need to ask someone to do something that is part of their job description, there’s nothing to apologize about. Many early managers would hesitate to allocate work to their teammates. They end up saying, “Hey, I am sorry, but I need you to look at the work you were supposed to do yesterday.” That’s not something one should be saying when you are asking them to do something they get paid for. Also, when in authority, you can sound confident without being bossy.
So, you tell us. How many times have you seen a confident person apologizing? Not a lot, right? Well, that is because constant apologizing is the opposite of confidence.
For Expressing Opinion
While working with a team, a clash of opinions is inevitable. There will be people who don’t like your ideas, and there will be times when you don’t agree with someone. Apologizing for telling someone what you believe in is not acceptable to your self-esteem.
If you don’t have conviction towards your likes and dislikes, how is someone else supposed to listen to your opinions with surety? If you’re someone who starts a sentence with, “I am sorry, but I don’t think…” you need to stop doing it now!
For Questioning The Status Quo
We all evolve in our lives, whether it is professionally or personally. This progress happens only when you question the existing system and clear the doubts you have in your mind. If you undermine your own doubts and questions, how do you plan to bring your perspective to the table?
If you begin to ask a question with “I am sorry” then some might skip answering your question because it is coming from a person who is not sure if their question is important or not.
For Being You
No matter what, we repeat, no matter what your life is like, and whatever background you come from, you should never be sorry about who you are. And when we mention ‘you’, it includes the way you dress, the way you look at yourself, the way you communicate, things that you dream about and everything else that has helped you build your personality. If something doesn’t align with your personality, saying a plain ‘NO’ would do the job.
Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about who you are, irrespective of the people around you. You are unique, and embracing it is the only way to go ahead, apologizing for it is not.
Bonus Point — What to Say Instead
We know it is a habit that is ingrained in you due to conditioning, but it is time you grow out of that conditioning. It is not just about how people perceive you with all your apologies but also how annoying it can get beyond a point.
So, here are some ways you can get out of this habit!
Slip In A Way To Say Thank You
What do you say when someone points out a mistake in your work? “I am sorry for the mistake.” Is that your usual response? Instead of saying sorry for something, just say ‘thank you for bringing it to my notice.’ It helps you take back the power in your hands and then take the conversation ahead.
Work On It
Rather than just saying ‘sorry’ over and over again, you can work on correcting what puts you in a tough situation. It makes you look confident and responsible.
Take The Practical Approach
We tend to diffuse a conflict by uttering a sorry, subconsciously. “I am sorry but I don’t think this will work.” It takes away the impact of your ideas. Frame your sentence better by saying, “Let’s look from another angle.” This way, it helps you put your ideas across, in a rational way.
So, there are ways to say sorry without saying the actual word. So, when you feel obliged to say the ‘S’ word, just don’t. Consider it a swear word, and your job will be done.