Sorry. The word invades our everyday conversation. We say it without thinking. “Sorry, but can you repeat that?” “Oops, I’m sorry, forgot my bag.” “I’m sorry to interrupt, but can I steal John for a moment?”
Why do we apologize all the time? And by “we,” I mean women. Studies show women apologize far more often than men. Most chalk this up to our need to not offend others, a strong desire not to be considered rude.
Why are we so worried about rudeness? Consider the recent YouTube video by Pantene entitled: “A Man’s a Boss, a Woman is Bossy”. The world sees us differently, no matter how many sorrys we stick into conversation in an effort to soften ourselves. Adding “sorry” to our direct questions — queries that need no apology — only makes us look weak. We can blame men for making us feel like we need to apologize, but as with many things in equality arena, real change starts with us.
A New York Times opinion piece recently posited our constant apologies as something else: our own way of being assertive. “To me, [sorrys] sound like tiny acts of revolt, expressions of frustration or anger at having to ask for what should be automatic,” the writer says.
In some cases, yes, my “sorry” might secretly be a smoke screen of the truth or a more direct response like: “You’re a jerk. Turn the music down.” But it also seems to me that “sorry” has replaced “excuse me” and “please.” Has our “sorry” simply become a habit?
I challenge you to write down every time you say, “sorry” throughout the day and why. Are yours a habit? A passive-aggressive way of smoothing a request for something you deserve? Or, as the Times author suggests, the substitute for a string of swear words?
Regardless, it’s time to find a new way to communicate, one that has us unabashedly standing on the same level as men — without first apologizing.
Connect with me and let me know your opinions and thoughts on this subject!
Posted on March 9, 2016 by Lisa Thomas in Inspirational Articles