I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve always spent a lot of time saying, “I’m sorry.” In fact, it’s become such a habit that I don’t even realize I’m doing it anymore.
Today, the wonderful Miss Amanda Chatel and I were chatting about how much we love our jobs. (Seriously, Jen, that’s what we were talking about!) She mentioned a computer bug that was giving her some problems. My initial response was to say, “Sorry I didn’t notice that, I couldn’t helped you out.” I meant it, I felt a little guilty that I hadn’t picked up on the issue and helped take care of it quicker. Was it my job to do so? Not so much. But I still felt sorry.
Immediately, Amanda responded the way she often does when I apologize for things completely beyond my control. “Stop saying you’re sorry!”
Later on the day, I was giving her a head’s up that a piece was taking longer than expected. I didn’t want her to think I’d vanished or decided to take a nap. I am wearing yoga pants today, and there’s nothing more tempting than napping in yoga pants in the middle of the day. “Sorry I’m a little behind, this piece is taking me a while,” I messaged.
“DON’T YOU DARE APOLOGIZE TO ME, WOMAN,” Amanda yelled at me. No joke, she used all caps. But she pointed out something that I don’t notice much anymore. I say a lot of apologies.
It’s weird, because I’m a pretty opinionated person. I like to think I have a little confidence in those opinions. It would be hard to share them with the internet everyday if I wasn’t. Saying that you’re sorry all the time sounds like such a weak and insecure thing to do. That’s not how I like to picture myself at all.
And yet, there I am, saying I’m sorry all day long. Obviously, my perception of myself can be different than the one that other people have. This apology question has suddenly made me worry just how timid I seem to those around me, those I work with.
I don’t want to be seen as insecure. I’m a grown-up. I have my shit together. I have a successful career and a happy family. There isn’t much to make me question my choices and my decisions. And yet I always feel like I probably should be doing more. And then I apologize for not doing it.
Today has made me realize that I need to keep an eye on my apologies. Of course I want to give them when they’re merited. I’m not above admitting my mistakes and taking responsibility for them. But I think that I’ve reached a point in my life when I need to consider that apologies when used too often don’t just sound polite, they sound insincere. They sound unsure. That’s not the type of woman I really want to be.
I’m wondering if I’m the only one who has this problem. Does anyone else find themselves continually saying, “I’m sorry,” for things that are outside of their control completely? Do you think it makes people seem weak or lacking confidence? And do you agree to hold me to my new, more self-assured tone? I could use everyone’s help. And I’m not even going to apologize for the inconvenience.