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Are you aware if you are apologizing too much?

teresaman's profile thumbnail
👏👏👏This is a very great list! Thank you SO much for sharing this. Overall a personal shift I've made, similar to your point #7, is to apologize less in general and thank them for the opposite. I was heavily inspired by this article about the effects of apologizing and how it makes people feel like they have to now attend to your apology.///... tangentially, I've also thought my uses of "sorry for your loss" or "I'm so sorry that has happened". I find that tends to elicit a "it's okay" when things really aren't okay, and I don't quite know what else to say in most situations. Wondering if you have any thoughts on that?///Otherwise, another article I've come across has made me recognize how often I use the word "just" in my emails and daily communications. I'm "just" checking in, I "just" wanted to let you know. I've since curbed the usage of that word and smile when I write "letting you all know" as in, hell yea I'm here to talk and not "just" doing XYZ and self-minimizing.
leenab's profile thumbnail
Great reminder and totally agree about the usage of "just". That's a really good one to call out here. Also, thanks for sharing that article!Regarding "I'm so sorry for your loss", I personally feel saying something like "This must be a difficult time for you. I feel your pain ..." is probably more genuinely compassionate than "sorry for your loss". I agree it (sorry for your loss) can come across more of a platitude.
teresaman's profile thumbnail
That's a great point, and a good way to reflect on what you've heard and acknowledge their emotions, but the primary subject is still THEM and not US for feeling sorry. Thank you!!
ellenflanagan's profile thumbnail
With regards to loss: my dad used to say, “there are no words” and accompany this this a hug, a squeeze or whatever is appropriate given your relationship with the person.
deniceahilton's profile thumbnail
Yesssss...the "just"...HUGE!I observe if doing that for myself and for others, because whatever it is that comes afterwards is not something that is minimized.As far as the other "sorry for your loss" or "sorry that has happened." I listen to what they're saying. PAUSE. It's amazing what happens during the pause. If they're in front of you, you can see it. To have the "breathing room" to BE or share. We can remove the notion that because someone is sharing something with you, that it becomes your responsibility to make it better for them. I feel like and have observed that that is a way some try to help...by "taking it on" or even to find a way to share in the emotion. This can happen repeatedly in other environments and contexts and can lead to physical manifestations of illnesses and such.It's perfectly fine to sit and listen. You don't have to offer advice, solve their problem or anything.One thing I've used and guide women to do is to ask a more open-ended question that doesn't push a certain emotion or feeling or PROJECT your own judgments or feelings about what's happening. Go in with the notion that you're holding space for them. Sometimes simply acknowledging that whatever it is is happening in their life is happening can be monumental for people. There's a subtle discernment. I may ask, "how are you, really?" or "how are you handling/managing/coping?" Some are prompted to ask what does the other person need. Be prepared that sometimes they really don't know.I've even asked, "may I offer xyz?" It could be a hug, an ear, advice, whatever. Or depending on who it is, I might ask more generically. Asking for permission is big thing, too.
leenab's profile thumbnail
Love the advice here. Culturally, we are trained to immediately "fix" things, make things better right away. I fully agree being present with someone can be very powerful and very cathartic (for them), indeed.
jikajika's profile thumbnail
Thanks for the list, even though I'm looking it over and saying to myself, "Doh"!🤦🏾‍♀️
leenab's profile thumbnail
Yes, we've all done it, and we see others do it! They are very obvious gotchas!
deniceahilton's profile thumbnail
Love this! All of the sneaky "micro-apologies." If I feel like I'm beginning to give more info than what was actually asked, then I realize I crossed into Apology Central. So I begin to PLAY around with it. Begin to gain an understanding of why did I do that in that scenario?If I did it in that scenario, guaranteed it applies to another aspect of my life. So now from this new perspective, I can transmute that energy into something else where it's more empowered and do it with confidence!I see this with the women I'm working with. The core theme is confidence in whatever area or aspect it is. So we may literally stop the play-versation and toot some doggone horns!She may not be in an environment where whatever it is that she's apologizing for is supported or encouraged. So I provide the space where it is - and we do it in a healing way for her.
leenab's profile thumbnail
@deniceahilton I love how you called it out so clearly - "when you're giving more info than was actually asked, you're entering Apology Central"!
megsandtorv's profile thumbnail
Re: realizing you're giving more info than what was asked, what a great red flag/tip! For us newbs to the 'need to stop apologizing game', I feel like apologizing has become such second nature that I don't even realize it. BUT, I definitely am cognizant of the giving-too-much-info-to-explain-myself spiral when it's happening, so that's a great self-check and entry point into being more conscientious about micro-apologies (also, love that term).
crystalt's profile thumbnail
Yes I've done all these things, more so with #1 and #8! Maybe being British has something to do with it as well - we say "sorry" even when there's nothing to be sorry about 🤦🏻‍♀️.Like @teresaman, I've started cutting out "just" from my vocab and using brackets. I'd use to brackets to caveat a lot of what I was saying because I wanted people to understand I'm aware of certain conditions and exceptions. I didn't realise until recently, it was probably diminishing my points.
aliciajabbar's profile thumbnail
I love that you call out the downsides of caveats @crystalt. I see my clients (I am a women's leadership coach) do this all the time. I find that a bigger driver of that specifically is not wanting the experience of being on the receiving end of being questioned about exceptions and caveats. When we can reframe these to be acceptable (or not personal), many women can stop doing this up front.
crystalt's profile thumbnail
Yes, you nailed it! I was reading "TA today" which made this point about using brackets in this fashion as a symptom of perfectionism. It was literally a lightbulb moment for me.
aliciajabbar's profile thumbnail
What is TA today? I have never heard of it. Thrilled you ad a lightbulb!
crystalt's profile thumbnail
TA = transactional analysis, it's a study of personality and how the significant adults in your childhood (parents, teachers, relatives) form your personality. As I'm going through it there are a lot of 🤔 and "right, that explains it" moments for myself. If you're interested, the one I'm reading is by Ian Stewart and Vann Joines.
aliciajabbar's profile thumbnail
I will definitely check it out. I am diving into Internal Family Systems (IFS) which may be different. Thanks for the recommendation.
crystalt's profile thumbnail
I've not heard of IFS, I will check that out also!
ellenflanagan's profile thumbnail
Oh Geez, this is one of the most common things that I would work with female residents on. They were clearly successful, smart, talented and yet they would apologize for everything. First step is just realizing that you are doing it. My tip - if you had or have, a daughter, would you want them to be incessantly apologizing? If not, then turn it (your behavior) around and stop because kids watch everything and they will surely learn this behavior from you!
lita81gr's profile thumbnail
Oh I’ve been working on these for years! I’m sure some still slip but I’ve been more conscious about not apologizing for nothing. I have also taken the habit of calling out fellow female engineers at work who apologize for doing their job, l think they appreciate the advice (I hope lol)
cathysebag's profile thumbnail
Thank you for this super thoughtful post! This is something I have been working on for YEARS and having tools is so helpful!