If you say “sorry” for these seven things, you might be a serial apologizer

Have you ever noticed how often you apologize?

I mean, have you really thought about it?

You might be surprised how often “sorry” slips from your lips. And I’m not talking about the necessary apologies – like when you accidentally bump someone or say something hurtful.

No, I’m talking about those unnecessary, almost reflexive “sorrys” we throw around all day long. You know, when you apologize for asking a question, for expressing an opinion, or even for simply existing in a shared space.

Well, I have news for you.

Apologizing for these things is not only unnecessary; it could suggest something about your self-perception and self-confidence. Maybe you’re just a serial apologizer.

So if you’re wondering if this is you, let’s take a look at those 7 things that if you apologize for, you might just become part of the “I’m sorry” club.

1) Apologizing for your own feelings

Have you ever said “sorry” when expressing your own emotions?

This is a very common one. You can apologize if you are upset, anxious, or even excited. It’s like asking permission to feel the way you feel.

Your feelings are your own. They are valid and you have every right to experience them without apologizing.

Remember, it’s not about suppressing your emotions, it’s about acknowledging them without guilt or regret.

The next time you find yourself apologizing for your feelings, take a deep breath and remind yourself: It’s okay to feel.

2) Say sorry when someone else bumps into you

This one always gets me.

Just last week I was in the supermarket, minding my own business, when a man accidentally bumped into me. Guess what? Out of nowhere I heard myself apologize.

But why did I apologize?

I had done nothing wrong. I stood still. He was the one who bumped into me. Still, my instinctive reaction was to say “sorry.”

It’s a reflex that many of us have ingrained in us: the need to apologize, even when we’re not at fault. But it’s a habit we have to break.

3) Apologizing too much when you’re late

Here’s another one that hits home for me.

A while ago I met a friend for coffee and got stuck in the worst traffic. Of course I was late. When I finally arrived, I was so nervous and apologetic that you would have thought I had committed a serious crime.

When I thought about it, was it really that big of a deal?

Certainly, being late is not ideal and a sincere apology was necessary. But the repeated “sorry” made it seem like I had done something terrible.

Instead of getting caught in the guilt spiral, it would have been more productive to sincerely apologize once and then move on to enjoy catching up.

While it’s important to acknowledge your mistakes, don’t let them overshadow the rest of your interactions. You are human and sometimes life happens.

4) Sorry for asking questions

Do you ever start your questions with ‘sorry’?

I’ve noticed many of us do this, especially in learning or work environments. It’s like apologizing for not knowing something or taking up someone’s time.

Should we really apologize for wanting to learn or seek clarification?

Absolutely not.

By asking questions, we grow. It is the way we interact with the world around us and deepen our understanding. So you don’t have to apologize for it.

5) Saying “sorry” because you need help

Here’s a fascinating piece of information: According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people are twice as likely to help you if you ask than if you don’t. It is a testament to our inherent willingness to help others.

Yet we often feel the need to apologize when we seek help, as if it were a form of imposition or an admission of weakness.

Needing help is not a weakness. It’s part of being human. We all need help sometimes, and there is absolutely no reason to apologize for it.

6) Apologizing for setting boundaries

This is close to my heart.

I always felt guilty about setting boundaries, like I was being selfish or rude. Every time I had to decline an invitation or request due to prior commitments or the need for some “me” time, I apologized.

Over time, I’ve learned that setting boundaries is an essential part of self-care.

It’s okay to say “no” when necessary. Your well-being is important, and anyone who respects you will understand that.

7) Apologizing for your existence

This is important, so listen carefully.

If you find yourself saying ‘sorry’ simply because you are in a room or expressing your thoughtsit’s time for change.

You have every right to be here, express your opinion and take up space. Your voice is important. Your thoughts are valuable. And you certainly don’t have to apologize for your existence.

Takeaways

The journey to breaking this habit starts with awareness. Pay attention to the moments when you say ‘sorry’ unnecessarily. Think about why you felt the need to apologize.

It’s not about never saying ‘sorry’, but rather learning when an apology is truly warranted. For example, if you really hurt someone or made a mistake.

Instead, try replacing those unnecessary “sorrys” with expressions of gratitude. So instead of saying, “Sorry I’m late,” try “Thanks for waiting.” This small shift can make a big difference in how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you.

It won’t be an overnight transformation, but every step counts. And remember: you have every right to take up space, express your feelings, and be unapologetically yourself.

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