It's easy to find yourself apologising for everything, even when it isn't necessary - which not only makes the word lack meaning, but might mean you losing sight of the decisions that you actually wholeheartedly believe in.
A recent survey found that, on average, we each say sorry eight times per day. Professor Sarah Niblock, Chief Executive of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, says in turn this "corrodes our self-image, and can impact our reputation." Here, 11 things you need to stop saying the 'S word' for.
1. For saying no to plans
"Agh, I'm really sorry but I can't make it to the pub on Thursday.."
"Can you see how self-sabotaging that statement is?" Sarah comments. "Do not have a second thought about saying no. Better to say ‘it’s been a demanding week and I am going to recharge my batteries tonight'.” It's SO easy to say yes to every single plan that comes your way, only to later realise you're busy every night for the next three weeks. It's important to have 'me time' to make you appreciate having plans more - and not get burnt out.[instagram]https://www.instagram.com/p/BSPHRguBMeZ/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_medium=loading[/instagram]
2. For asking for help
"Sorry to interrupt, can you show me how to use the system?"
If it's the difference between you not knowing how to do something crucial or interrupting someone to ask how, nine times out of 10 your boss/colleague/friend/mum would choose the latter. As Sarah says, "your boss isn’t going to be angry with you for asking questions. It shows you have a growth mindset, a keenness to improve your performance and embrace challenges."
3. For showing your feelings
"I know it's not ideal and I can't apologise enough for the way I feel..."
You can't help the way you feel, so why apologise for it? Yes it's not ideal if it hurts another person or ends up making a situation more complicated than it would be otherwise, but it's key to address the way you feel and not be regretful over it. As an Instagram text post you once strolled past said, 'You only regret the chances you didn't take'.
4. For speaking your mind
"I'm sorry that I don't agree, but..."
This is trés important: being true to yourself and expressing the way you feel (providing you're not being a dick) isn't something you should feel sorry about. The worst thing is half heartedly expressing your opinion, only to regret not going the whole hog and defending your corner later. Like Sarah says, "We’re all too often raised to believe we shouldn’t disagree with our parents but in the workplace, a bit of tension or conflict can actually push teams towards dizzying new heights to creativity and innovation."
5. Not having it together all the time
"I'm really sorry, I can't afford it/don't have a car/haven't got the time..."
Listen, if you feel like you're not as successful as you wanted to be as a twentysomething, the chances are you're not alone. And it's probably because you put so much pressure on yourself to achieve a lot, that nothing will ever feel enough. Don't apologise for not having the funds/a house/a boyfriend/a dog (mainly the last one) when your family ask at Christmas, but rather be proud of what you've accomplished and rave about yourself.
6. For not replying to a text/email/call immediately
"Sorry for the late reply..."
WE ARE ALL BUSY. WORK EMAILS ARE NOT YOUR MAIN PRIORITY. THAT'S OK, IT'S PROBABLY NOT THE PERSON YOU'RE EMAILING'S EITHER.
adulthood is emailing "sorry for the delayed response!" back and forth until one of you dies— Marissa Miller Kovac (@Marissa__Miller) February 26, 2016
7. For circumstances you can't control
"Sorry, the train was late..."
"We simply can’t control everything in life," Sarah reminds us. "Take responsibility for your own decisions, but you should not be apologising for everything else or it will exhaust you." If you tried to apologise for all the slightly shitty circumstances, you'd be saying sorry on repeat for days on end. Be responsible for your own choices, not everyone else's.
8. For calling in sick
"I've been up all night vomiting, sorry for the late notice but please can I have the day off?"
It's easy to feel like you're letting everyone down when you're ill, but if you genuinely can't help it and need to take a sick day, you shouldn't apologise for it. Don't feel apologetic about doing what your body needs: if you made everyone in the office/at the party/etc sick, that's when you'd have to say sorry. Sarah adds, "It’s a sign your body needs to rest so take the time to recover and return when you are your best self."
9. For being scared
'I'm sorry but I'm not a very good flier so please be patient with me...'
Everyone has fears in life, and you shouldn't be ashamed or apologetic because of them. It's OK to be scared of things - it's something inherent within you and the chances are you don't have a choice in it , so people should accept this in the same way you would accept theirs.
10. For being you
Hey sista, stop apologising for being you. Sarah advises the best way to do this is to "be more alert to our patterns of apologising and identify the triggers to the behaviour. Start by replacing unnecessary apologies with accurate factual statements that communicate your point simply.
"If you’re caught in a moment where anxiety kicks in and makes you question your value, take a step back and say, ‘I don’t need to apologise for this.’"