How often do you say those two words? If you're a woman, probably way more often than you should. All too often I hear women apologizing. Just over the last few days, I have witnessed the following incidents:
- A female co-worker is walking down the hallway and a male student, goofing around with his friends, bumps into her. She immediately turns and says, "Oh, I'm sorry."
- A friend and I are having a good natured debate. At one point in the conversation, she exclaims, "I'm sorry, but that's how I feel."
- A woman walks into a store at the mall and trips over a stack of shoe boxes left haphazardly by the door. As she rights herself, she apologizes to the sales staff and offers to help pick up the strewn boxes.
- A teary-eyed female student keeps apologizing for being a burden when I offer to help her develop some tactics to overcome her test anxiety issues.
I used to do the Sorry thing too. I said "I'm sorry" to so many people so often during any given week that it lost all meaning. And when I took an inventory of the situations that prompted the "I'm sorry, " I quickly realized that almost none of them warranted this exclamation. I felt like a fraud. I was ready for a change.
It took time, but I no longer blurt out "I'm sorry" unless I actually am remorseful. These days, I don't diffuse situations or placate others with those two little words, unless it's actually warranted. I have found more effective methods of communication that allow me to be pleasant without handing away my integrity and self worth. I now know that it is possible to be self assured without being rude or brash.
So, I urge every woman out there to turn in her Sorry Gang membership card. I won't lie, it will be hard at first, but in the end you will feel more genuine and true to yourself - it truly is liberating.