Since young age, we are taught to apologize when we do something wrong, eating too loud, being late, and sometimes anything can make us apologize too much.
Maja Jovanovic, a professor at McMaster University and Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario, says that “when we needlessly apologize, we end up making ourselves small and diminish what we’re trying to express.” According to her, there are some necessary apologize that has to be expressed, but there are more times when apologizing has become our habitual way of communicating in which they could make us appear smaller and more timid than we really are—somehow cutting our confidence out.
Excessive apology can also be a stem from anxiety or depression. Quoting from a research called, “Children Reaction to Apologies” from University of Florida, it is said that “Apologizing, an action that carries a lot of significance amongst humans, serves an important social function. It can show recognition and value for broken rules.” Anxiety plants plenty of doubts to the back of their mind that make them question everything—even creating solutions to things that are not even problems to begin with. Therefore, they apologize to their own insecurities over others.
Then what you should do when you apologize too much?
Eliminate “sorry” from our sentence but still be considerate to it
Stop saying sorry when you bump into someone, instead say “pardon”, “after you”, or “go ahead.” When you’re in a discussion and you’d like to interrupt someone who’s in the middle of talking, say “That’s good, but how about,” or “I’d like to add. You can still be polite without apologizing too much.
Change “sorry” to “thank you”
“Thank you” actually works better than “sorry,” because it shows your appreciation to the other person for what they’ve done. For example, you can say “thank you for waiting” rather than “sorry I’m late,” little gestures of how you communicate can change the other’s perspective on seeing the situation and feels that they are appreciated.
Implement these habit to your daily conversation and be confident about it, there’s nothing wrong of not saying sorry for things that are not meant to be sorry about.
Source: Darby, Bruce W. 1982. Children’s Reactions to Apologies, Florida: University of Florida, TED Talk series “How to be a Better Human” by Maja Jovanovic.
Writer: Windyannisa Cindrati
Editor: Olivia Elena Hakim
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