Why Women Should Stop Saying “Sorry” So Often

This culture of women constantly apologizing (for no good reason) is maddening to me.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Recently, I was at the Korean market with my mom.  As we were walking, I could see this Korean grandma rushing up from behind us with her full cart.  Even with people in front of her, she didn’t slow down, which caused her to run her cart into my mom.  What happened next confused and frustrated me.  My mom turned around and said, “Oh I’m so sorry.”  The lady had hit my mother with her cart and my mother was the one who apologized?  The grandma grunted and just kept pushing her cart along.  As she rushed past us, I asked my mom in Korean, “Why are YOU apologizing when she’s the one who ran into you??”  My mom pinched my arm and whispered, “Stop she can hear you.”

This culture of women constantly apologizing (for no good reason) is maddening to me.  I know many a women have written about this, but it’s so damn true.  Not too long ago, a friend stopped me in the middle of my sentence to tell me, “Hey, you’ve said ‘sorry’ about 5 times in our conversation.  STOP it.”  It’s so deep ingrained that we don’t even notice when we’re doing it: “Sorry, but can I please have a napkin?” “So sorry, but can I pass through?” “Sorry I can’t make it tonight.”  “Sorry my child is crying.” Sorry this, and sorry that.

The truth is, if you didn’t actually do something wrong, there is no reason to apologize.  When we do this, we subconsciously think that we are always in the wrong or that we just made a huge mistake when neither of these are true.  We are constantly in a state of low level stress. Without realizing, we anticipate that we’re about to do something bad, so we start our thought off with an immediate apology.  FACT: we don’t need to feel bad about “bothering” someone with a question or even our presence. We are allowed to ask questions.  We are allowed to be who we are where we are…unless we’re actually not supposed to be there.

So the next time you find yourself about to apologize, see if you can substitute, “I’m sorry” for “thank you” or “excuse me” instead.  I’ve found that these work in putting myself in a place of empowerment rather than a place of approval.  And you know what they say about approval: you don’t need anyone’s but your own.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    To change ourselves we need to change our perspective

    How To stop Apolgizing For Everything

    by Patricia Love

    Female Founders: Jessica Turner is helping moms who are stretched too thin

    by Erika Couto

    Judy, Judy, Judy: Judy Jean Kwon’s 7 Steps to Being Woke

    by Quendrith Johnson
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.