13 Things To Think About The Next Time You Say Sorry


    1. It's really easy to get into a habit of saying sorry even when you don't need to.

    2. First of all, saying sorry all the time doesn't necessarily always make you sound like a pushover. Or even super polite.

    3. Cultural pressures are actually a big factor in how much you say sorry.

    4. OK, that said, starting sentences with "Sorry, but.." usually isn't ideal.

    5. Track how and why you say it to help decide if you want to change your sorry habits.

    6. If you're still not sure if you want to kick the habit, ask yourself how'd you handle not being able to use "sorry."

    7. FYI: Saying sorry a lot won't necessarily wreak havoc on your life. It might be NBD for you.

    Once you review the situations in which you say sorry, you can start to figure out if it's something you actually want to curb. Tannen says that if you feel that you're being appreciated at work or in relationships, that your work is valued and taken seriously, and that overall you're getting what you want from your life, there's no real reason to change things up. Again, don't let society tell you how to talk!

    If, on the other hand, you now suspect that there's a connection between saying sorry all the time and how self-confident you are or appear and what you're not achieving at work or in relationships, it might be a good idea to try to cut back.

    8. To say sorry less, start by figuring out what you really mean to say.

    Lombardo says replacing the "sorry" with words that more directly express what you mean will actually get your point across better anyway. For example, you probably meant "excuse me" when you accidentally bumped into someone, or "may I interject?" when you wanted to ask a question in that meeting. Or maybe instead of saying "I'm sorry, but I really need you guys to work late tonight," you could instead say, "I respect that this isn't what you want to do tonight and I appreciate that you're taking time away from your life to work late tonight."

    9. Now try to actually say those things in conversation.

    10. You can also ask people to help you with that.

    11. Bonus: The less you say sorry as a reflex, the more meaningful your real apologies will be.

    12. Whatever you do, don't beat yourself up for saying sorry.

    13. Don't expect perfection — just keep at it till you're where you want to be.