Have you become one of those chronic apologizers? With every little mishap, you find yourself somehow absorbing the guilt and blame for it and then apologizing. If you stop and think about these situations rationally, then you will probably see that it wasn’t your fault at all. Worst yet, nobody else blamed you either and certainly were not expecting your apology.
Image Damaging Habit
While sometimes people who do this think they are showing themselves to be straightforward and humble, this is not the case at all. Over apologizing actually hurts your credibility and makes you look weak. And if you work every day in a political environmental, guess who people will try to blame problems on behind your back? Your propensity to apologize about everything pretty much confirms that you are the one to blame.
However, there are some actions you can start taking right away to get you on track. Let us look at them:
Four (4) Ways You can Quit Apologizing So Much
1. Come Up with a Solution
All of us are prone to make mistakes at work on occasion. And the proper thing to do is own up to them. For the little screw-ups, just telling the people involved what you did and that you are working to correct it is usually enough. Most of the time, no one even expects an apology. The thing is that apologizers often want to get a “oh that’s okay” out of someone, and apologizing is the quickest way to do that.
In any case, when you screw-up, come up with a solid solution to how you are going to fix your screw-up. If the screw-up is really big, then you should apologize to those involved – but don’t linger on that – get started fixing the problem. If you missed a deadline, then offer them an alternative date that you can uphold.
2. Stand Strong in Silence
Most apologizers hate silence. And because of their inability to handle silence, they start blabbing – and then out from the apology for something. For professional auditors, silence is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Most of them are taught to offer very few replies to the comments of the people they are auditing. This is because many people get nervous during silence and starting talking and they eventually spill their secrets. So learn to be comfortable in the silence of others.
3. Stop and Determine What you did Wrong
This is where you give your rational mind a chance to intervene. Every time you feel the urge to apologize, stop and ask yourself what exactly you did to warrant an apology. Find that reason for apologizing – if you find one and you feel it is sufficient, then go for it. Otherwise, you should just keep quiet.
4. Technology Can Actually Help
Believe it or not, there is a Chrome extension called “Just Not Sorry” which will find words in your emails that are undermining your overall message. It will find the ugly words that can hurt your credibility and weaken your voice. It is very much recommended to give this tool a try.
As you can see, most of the things mentioned above are just a matter of habit, If you become aware of your overapologizing, then you will begin seeing opportunities for improvement.