What makes pre-apologizing so seductive?
Check out this Pantene commercial (I promise it’s not about shampoo!): Not Sorry #ShineStrong and you’ll see what I am talking about.
So I ask again what makes pre-apologizing so seductive? Is it a sort of insurance against offending people? Does it automatically let you off the hook when you think you have annoyed someone? Might it wipe the slate clean, so to speak?
It’s A Girl Thing
Let’s be real for a second…us gals…we apologize way too much! If words held zero power, then I would say fine knock yourself out and apologize away! But words do hold power.
In the video you can clearly see how much more confident we would come off if we nixed the apologies.
Why is it women who tend to be the ones apologizing for everything? This fascinates me! ‘Sorry’ seems to flow from our mouths much more often than from our male counterparts.
Boys vs. Girls
I conducted a mini-experiment of my own! I made a conscious effort to listen to my guy friends’ choice of words while we hang out with each other. I also pay close attention to the way guys speak on the dates I’ve gone on here in New York.
I wanted to see if it was really a girl thing! Sadly, but not surprisingly, it is a girl thing. The one time I heard sorry come out of my guy friend’s mouth was when I flat-out told him, “When you did this, it upset me.” To which he replied, “I’m sorry.”
See? He only apologized when I communicated that something he did upset me. He didn’t pre-apologize for anything and everything and he definitely didn’t apologize just for being himself.
Sorry for Being Me
Turning this onto me and how it affects my life is my next step. I apologize a bunch and it is something I am focused on changing.
Sometimes I feel like I apologize for being myself.
– I apologize for asking questions at work.
– I apologize for interrupting someone while they are busy.
– I apologize for bumping into people on the subway.
Some of it is good manners but most of it is unnecessary. I know the difference between being polite versus apologizing for the sake of apologizing.
A Personal Challenge
I am from the South and I am also a girl (Haha…stating the obvious here!). That’s two strikes that will get me in trouble with this apologizing thing. As a Southerner, I was groomed to never impose on others, always be polite and never ever, under any circumstances offend anyone. GASP! And as a girl, I was taught to be sweet, agreeable and apologetic.
I Want Out!
So I plopped myself down on my bed the other day and thought, “How can I change this about myself? I want something different.” A couple of options occurred to me, one) of course I could use EFT to start changing my behavior, or two) I could begin keeping a written record of every time I apologize to help me become aware of how often I do it. I opted for the diary option for a nice change of pace!
I am personally challenging myself to phase-out my tendency to apologize for everything under the sun. I have my Apology Diary (a tiny, grey Moleskin notepad, to be exact!) tucked neatly into my purse which I will tote around with me to record each time I utter the words “I’m sorry.”
Entries so far:
4/11 – Said “I’m sorry” to my roomie when I realized I was standing in her way her in the kitchen.
That’s only one entry! I’m on a roll…
How do you find your little habits that you want to change in yourself? After you find them how do you go about changing them? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on Facebook HERE! I enjoy receiving your notes, tips and advice!
– Terran Leigh
KEEP CALM AND TAP ON IT
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