Over-apologizing can lead to low self-esteem and should be avoided

Accepting mistakes and saying "I am sorry" is a good gesture, but not every situation requires an apology. Sometimes apologizing in situations that don’t need anyone to say anything can backfire in professional settings. Those who over-apologize can end up with low self-esteem as it makes the other person look down on them.

According to Patrice William Lindo, Chief Executive Officer at Career Nomad, such gestures arise from people having insecurity, which is quite common for black women. Lindo added that such people are brought up traditionally by believing that they should always be down to earth, as being the opposite and highlighting the things they have achieved can cause problems for them.

Lindo further added that when someone has doubts about themselves, this is where such habits originate. The best way to deal with the situation is to use alternative statements instead of saying, "I am sorry."

For example, over the last two years, online video sessions have become more frequent as things shift online. At a time like this, technical difficulties seem to occur more often. Network issues or technical glitches can hinder the meeting. The silence followed by technical difficulties make it difficult for some people to stand, and they may end up apologizing for things that are out of their control. In such circumstances, instead of saying “I am sorry,” the user can say “Thank you for your patience,” which can also help to overcome the prevailing awkwardness in such conditions while maintaining confidence.

Similarly, if someone wants to join an ongoing discussion, they’d normally say, “Sorry, but I’d like to add." This is not a situation that requires an apology, especially if the person who wants to contribute has impactful things to add to the discussion.

Instead of apologizing, they can go in by using an alternative statement starting with “I would love to add” or “I believe." Wordings like these give confidence to the person instead of scaring them.

While the above two scenarios are for someone who wasn’t at fault and still apologized, what if the other person made an error? Mistakes are common and can happen to anyone. Saying “I’m sorry” can work but won’t be the best response; instead, accepting the mistake and telling them that they’ll take action to resolve it would be more effective.

According to Lindo, apologizing is not a bad gesture, but it should only be done under appropriate circumstances.

H/T: Heathermonahan / Pinterest
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