Do you ever notice how many times a day you say the words “I’m sorry,” almost as an automatic response?
And did you know that saying these words too often can actually have a negative impact on you and your life?
Of course there’s nothing wrong with apologizing when you’ve messed up and when it’s used legitimately to acknowledge a mistake… this can actually be very humbling and necessary.
However, if you say “I’m sorry” too much, it can also be seen as a sign of weakness or low self-esteem.
If you fear that you may be using these two words more than you should, follow these 5 simple steps to discover how to stop over-apologizing!
Step 1. Listen to yourself
Are you saying “I’m sorry” because you made a genuine mistake and you truly feel regret for your actions?
Or is it because you feel intimidated and afraid that people won’t like you or accept you and your opinions?
Take a moment to reflect on the real reason why you’re using these two words. Also understand that you are entitled to your feelings and you are unique; stop apologizing for who you are. If you’ve made a mistake, learn to forgive yourself. Take it as an opportunity to grow and be proud of yourself for your strength.
Step 2. Change your vocabulary
I notice that many people (especially women) say “I’m sorry” when in reality, they want to say “Excuse me”.
Does this sound familiar?
If it does, then starting today, make the conscious decision to say “Excuse me” instead of apologizing.
Soon you’ll see how replacing these two words can make you feel better about yourself.
Step 3. Ask the right questions
Donna Flagg, author of Surviving Dreaded Conversations, says that we usually invalidate ourselves when we apologize for posing a question.
She says that some of us do this to protect our egos, in fear that we’ll be judged for our lack of knowledge.
“But you shouldn’t apologize if you’re requesting help or clarification,” Flagg says. “All you need to say is ‘Can you please help me understand that?’ or ‘Could you please explain that a bit further?’”
If someone judges you for asking that could be a projection of his or her own insecurities, Flagg adds.
Step 4. Learn the right time to say sorry
Save your apologies for when you’ve genuinely done something wrong - when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings or when you’re offering your condolences.
Remember that it’s not humanly possible to please everyone all the time. So start by politely declining requests that you don’t have time for or that you don’t want to do. Try not to get down on yourself, as this may cause you unwanted stress and anxiety.
Step 5. Turn your apologies into gratitude
Did you know that a “sorry” can be a “thank you” in disguise?
Well, this is true when another person, let’s say your co-worker or partner, picks up a chore or a task that you both usually share.
Instead of apologizing for not doing it yourself, express how grateful you are for their help; this will make them feel appreciated instead of making them feel that they have to reassure you.
Or, next time you need to vent or share your feelings, try saying “Thank you for listening to me,” instead of “Sorry for venting.”
Turning your apologies into gratitude can go a long way, especially since being in a state of gratitude opens the door to more abundance, success, love and better health.
As you feel and express gratitude towards yourself and others, your mood and positive vibrations will rise, and the stress of pleasing others will fade away.
And that also includes achieving our health and weight loss goals!
And that's something I know both you and I want just as much :)
If you want to become happier, healthier, slimmer, more youthful you…
All by simply rediscovering how to love myself again.
Oh, and if you have any other tips on how to stop over-apologizing, please share them with our community in the box below :)
*The Mind Movies team has updated this post on July 10th, 2017 to include the latest information for our readers.
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.