Over-Apologize. Do you do that? Ten Signs That You Are A Doormat is:
5. Continuously Apologizing.
ARE YOU AN OVER-APOLOGIZER?
Are you a person who over-apologizes? Let’s dissect this topic so you can change what may be a long-time habit.
First off, given the choice to be around people who never apologize vs. those who apologize too much, I’d choose the latter. Apologizing when you have done something that has resulted in hurt feelings for another person is honorable. There are many people who cannot seem to admit when they’re wrong. But apologizing too much isn’t healthy.
WHAT’S YOURS AND WHAT’S THEIRS
Sometimes people are hurt because of their interpretation of your actions. That’s not your fault. It can be gracious to apologize by sincerely saying, “I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by my actions, however, please know it was not my intention to hurt you.” That discerns what’s yours and what’s theirs.
DON’T DIMINISH TRUE APOLOGIES
Beginning and ending sentences with “Sorry,” and peppering paragraphs with apologies diminishes the power of regret and humility when you have made an error for which an apology is appropriate. It leads others to see you as lacking confidence, self-esteem, or as an anxious person.
REASONS YOU OVER-APOLOGIZE
If you are an over-apologizer, let’s look at the reasons.
- Do you feel inadequate?
- Do you think you’re in the way?
- Do you believe that no one cares about what you have to say?
- Does apologizing put you one rung down from others intentionally so they won’t step on you?
- Is it a strategy to secure approval from others?
- Are your apologies intended to have others treat you gently?
- Having been hurt yourself, are you terrified of inflicting pain on others?
- Do you take responsibility for the behaviors of others and apologize when it’s not your fault?
HOW TO BREAK THE HABIT
Here’s what you can do to break the habit. That’s all it is. A habit.
Become your own private detective seeking out the Over-Apologizing Dragons.
- Be on the lookout for aforementioned Dragons. (instances when no apology is necessary)
- For one week, keep a written journal of your apologies. Notice the prompts that occur prior to your apologies. (see list above to get you started)
- Consider your motive with your apologies.
- Slow down your speech during the transition phase of practicing this new behavior of not over-apologizing.
- Be mindful of your words.
- No one is perfect so if you apologize when you shouldn’t, just make a mental note.
- Don’t apologize for apologizing.
OVER-APOLOGIZING WAS YOUR COPING STRATEGY
Likely, due to your family of origin dynamics, birth order, and set of circumstances, you developed apologizing as a coping strategy. The good news is that since you created it, you can change it. Awareness is the first step. Congratulate yourself on having taken it by reading this article.
WHEN YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP
If you ever feel like you’re apologizing for taking up space in the world, like you’re not enough, like you’re always less-than others, or that you’re responsible for everything that’s wrong in the universe, please seek professional help. It doesn’t have to be that way.
And if others have hurt you and they apologize, don’t say, “It’s okay.” Instead, say, “Thank you.”
DISCLAIMER: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.