There’s one habit I’m trying to wean myself off at the moment and that’s apologising too much. If someone was standing next to me all day counting up the number of times I say “sorry” I think I’d be shocked!
And the sad part is, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.
In fact, there’s been a lot of research on this, including the work Tara Mohr discusses in her inspiring book, “Playing Big”. Women, in general, say “sorry” far more than men and for things they really don’t need to apologise for.
The two key areas which concern me the most and why I’m so focused on ditching this unhelpful habit are when it comes to our appearance and in our careers.
How often do you or a friend turn up saying, “Oh, I’m sorry about the state I’m in..my hair’s a mess..I don’t have makeup on..look at me, I look dreadful and you look so nice…” It’s endless. Maybe subconsciously we’re downplaying ourselves to make the other person feel more comfortable and so we fit in.
For each of us the underlying motivations will be different. However, if you look at the expectations placed upon women by society these days, you can understand why we do this so naturally.
We’re constantly reminded how we “should” look (i.e. perfect), that our skin should be flawless and for goodness sake, don’t even think about getting a wrinkle! After all, aging is strictly forbidden. And need I remind you, it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, gaining weight is also a no, no. We have access to an abundant array of unsustainable diets and exercise programmes so we really have no excuse, right?
It’s all a pile of smelly socks if you ask me!
Of course, I’m also realistic and I know we can’t change our culture overnight. All we can do is to be more aware of our own habits and lose the ones which don’t feel good.
So if you’re often apologetic about your appearance or start your work emails with, “Sorry for troubling you, but..” like I used to (LOL), maybe it’s time to ask, “is all this over-apologising really necessary?”
I’m the first to apologise when I’ve done something to hurt someone else or have been inconsiderate, but I’m consciously not trying to apologise for my appearance or for raising an opinion which might be a little controversial – such as this one perhaps!
Anyway, enjoy my beautiful friend! I’m going to end here before this post gets too long and I feel the urge to apologise