If you’re like me, you over apologize for just about everything. At times, apologizing seems like the “easiest” and most “polite” thing to do. But what if you skipped out on the “I’m sorry” for the summer and replaced it with a more confident statement?

For me, over apologizing comes from having a strong service-oriented mindset – perhaps the many years of being a waiter and those days of answering calls. Without realizing it, I learned how to over apologize and was rewarded for that behavior along the way. But, for many of us, and especially women in the workplace, this is still a common theme and can be an impairment to being seen as a leader and having confidence.

Studies show that individuals that over apologize are less respected, less likely to be believed in future apologies, and it can lower your self-esteem when approaching new endeavors.

A few things you can do to skip the many apologies for the summer are:

  1. Keep track of all the times you apologize in a notebook – keep with you a notebook, and each time you apologize, write a tick-mark and tally along the way.
  2. Ask for support from a colleague or friend – asking someone trusted to help keep you on track and call out your apologies in a way that is uplifting can help you notice the amount of times you apologize.
  3. Download the google chrome app, Just Not Sorry Plug-in that syncs with your e-mails – this tool will highlight every time you use words that are depreciating your messages (ex. “Just”, “I’m sorry”, “I’m trying”, etc.)

To curb this behavior over the summer and detox your apologies, set a goal to be more authentic with your language and still accomplish showing empathy and understanding, without diminishing the impact of your messages. If writing an e-mail, ask a colleague, coach or mentor to proofread and highlight ways in which you may be over apologetic or too direct. If you’re having a conversation, use a pause instead of “I’m sorry” and see where that lands without needing to fill the space. Additionally, check-out our video library as a subscriber with leadership conversations around managing conflicts, or come to any of our future events.

We’d love to hear how this summer detox works for you! Write to us at kmatta@aweconnects.com and share your stories with us!

Kevin Matta
Director of Client Engagement & Inclusion, AWE