Are you an assertive person on the inside but you don’t show it? Have you ever felt that you need to ‘tone down’ because of your assertiveness? Do you feel awkward whenever you want to speak your mind and end up having to apologise for it?
Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world? Have you ever noticed that?” Nicole asked. “You go on websites and some girl leaves a post and if it’s longer than three sentences or she’s expressing her thoughts about some topic, she usually ends with, ‘Sorry for the rant’ or ‘That may be dumb, but that’s what I think. – Libba Bray, Beauty Queens
It’s a common scenario, not only on the internet but also in real life.
Girls tend to not speak up in class and in their workplace, as compared to their male peers. They are often worried about being judged for what they might say or act. In their minds, they often think that they need more information or experiences to back up what they might say.
On other occasions, when they speak, they end their statements with a question as though to ask for approvals from the audience to validate what they’re saying.
Does this feel like you? How many times have you argued a statement someone has just said, knowing that you are right, but you’re arguing with them only in your mind?
Stop Apologizing For What You Want To Say
If you are someone who apologises when you want to speak your mind, or when someone is blocking your way, it’s time to stop.
Saying sorry puts you in a negative position, as if you are in the wrong, even though you are not. The other party will deem that they are superior over you (subconsciously) and think that they are doing you a favour instead.
For instance, when you see a bunch of strangers talking to each other in the middle of the aisle at a supermarket who are in your way, and you say “Sorry” so that they will make way for you, you are putting yourself in a negative position. Change the word you use because sorry is not the right word. The correct word to use is “Excuse Me“.
When you’re at school or at work, you need help with your work. As you approach your friends or colleagues, you say “Sorry, umm…” as though you have stepped on their foot. Since you are asking for their favour, use “Excuse Me” and “Please” instead. It is more polite that way. And after they have helped you, saying “Thank You” is definitely a must.
When you’re at the checkout counter, and you want to request to break down the notes into coins, if you say to the cashier, ‘Sorry, could you give me coins instead?”, it will seem as though you are causing them more trouble. Instead, use “Please” and “Thank You“.
Why Do We Apologize For Something We’re Not Doing Wrong?
Saying sorry is a way to express our sympathy, acknowledge our wrong doings, take responsibility for our actions or words. How it became a representative word for “Excuse Me” and “Please” is something that puzzles me.
Perhaps the apologetic note makes others who hear them feel more and engage more rather than feeling manners and politeness from the person who asked. Perhaps the person asking may feel less direct or awkward when they sound apologetic.
Stop saying “Sorry” when you’re not because sorry is meant to be apologetic, that you have hurt someone or done some wrong.
When you say sorry, you are giving your power away. Your voice becomes uncertain and soft.
It puts you in a pleading position and makes you feel smaller and weaker when you actually have the rights to ask people to step aside and make way for you, when you actually can request from an equal position and when you can ask for their help when you need.
When they give what you want, it makes you feel as though they took pity on you instead.
Just a change of word use can put you in a much better position.
You can do so much better.