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How to Stop Saying Sorry All the Time

How many times do you say sorry in one day? Is it too many?? ...keep reading!

Being able to say sorry to someone is a wonderful trait and shows your compassion and empathy for others, however saying sorry too often can affect our self-esteem and our self-value. Do you say sorry when you explain to someone how something they said hurt your feelings, or when you ask someone for their help or advice, or when things happen out of your control? If you do, then the chances are that you over-apologise.


Why We Do It:

Apologising too often generally comes from a place of self-doubt and lack of trust in ourselves, where we believe that we must be wrong or have done wrong by others and therefore need to say sorry to make it ‘better’ again.

Saying sorry can eliminate the feeling of blame, guilt, or shame around our lack of capability to get it ‘right’ the first time. It’s normal to want to lessen any pressure building in situations and saying sorry can feel like an easy and quick fix. It becomes an automatic, overused response and most of the time we don't even realise we've said it!

The reason that this is so common is because it is our usual tendency to get around any uncomfortable moment and avoid awkwardness or upset wherever possible.

No one likes to put themselves in a position where they could be seen as offensive, rude, or unaccommodating for not saying sorry! It is understandable to want to be cooperative and please others if it means that we can avoid disapproval and have an easier life, however, if it begins to cost us our self-esteem and affect our self-worth then it makes sense to re-evaluate our methods.


How To Stop:

By over apologising we are taking on unnecessary responsibility and unwarranted self-blame. If your natural response is to say sorry, think first and question what is happening. Notice that ‘sorry’ when it is on the tip of your tongue and question why it is there and if it really needs to be.

For example, if you are late to lunch with your friends and it cannot be helped, instead of saying:

“I’m so sorry I’ve made you all wait; I feel awful you’ve been hanging around for me!”

you could say,

“Thank you for waiting for me, the traffic was a nightmare!”

Lets say you want to speak to your boss, yet you feel like you are always disturbing them, so you choose to say:

“Sorry to bother you, but could I ask you a quick question about XYZ, please?”

Ask yourself, are you really being a bother, and do you need to say sorry? If not, you could say:

“Hi, is now a good time to talk? I wanted to ask you a question about XYZ”

Can you notice the difference an easy rephrase can make? What does it feel like? Are you standing a little bit taller? Do you feel more self-assured? Confident? Free?


If you say sorry 49643543 times a day the reality is it is not going to stop overnight. I am not advocating for it to stop altogether, either. It's good to be able to take responsibility and accountability where it is warranted and justified. Some people cannot do that. A lot of the time people are desperate for the apologies they deserve and have to come to terms with the reality that this will never happen (and that sucks!). It's all about balance and leaning into your self-awareness. Are you saying sorry because you genuinely mean it or is it a defense mechanism to save you from the imaginary drama/conflict you're predicting?

Five Benefits of NOT Saying Sorry:

Taking away the constant ‘sorry’ from your vocabulary can be a massive game-changer and give you the opportunity to find a ‘new’ you. (I say new but what I really mean is the hidden, authentic you buried under all these rules and restrictions).

1. It can help you to stop seeking reassurance from others.

2. It can support you with finding your true voice and let you forget the one you have been hiding behind.

3. It can encourage you to feel more empowered, self-assured and confident.

4. You will be able to be more honest with others and show up for yourself.

5. It will enhance your communication skills and ability to express yourself.

So what are you waiting for?!? Oops, sorry! Was that too pushy?... ;)

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