It’s often said that women apologise too much. Sure, saying sorry is the right thing to do when you’ve genuinely hurt someone and feel remorse. But apologising for every little thing – particularly when you’ve done nothing wrong – is a way we undermine ourselves all too often.
Psychologist Rachel Green from The Emotional Intelligence Institute has previously said over-apologising is a trait more commonly seen in women.
“It does depend on the level of confidence of the woman, how they have been brought up, their cultural background, their religious background, their personality type, and what role they are in,” she told ABC.
“However, even at high level executive positions I have heard women say ‘I am sorry ...’ when men in equivalent positions wouldn’t have. Our fear of causing offence leaves us open to manipulation, being ignored or not gaining respect.”
Clearly this a problem, particularly in the workplace, so career confidence coach Sam DeMase has created a quick video showing us how to swap out apologetic phrases. Take the phrase “so sorry to bug you,” for example. DeMase recommends asking: “Is now a good time for a quick question?”
DeMase says such changes can make a big difference to your confidence and impact in the workplace.
She also recommends saying “thank you for the feedback, I’m on it” instead of “sorry, I’ll do better next time.”
A more controversial suggestion is saying “thanks for waiting for me, I appreciate your patience” instead of apologising for being late.
But the reason for your lateness is probably key here – stuck in another meeting? Fine. Out getting coffee? Not so fine.
Still, the video has proved popular, gaining more than 780,000 likes. Is it too late now to say sorry? Yes, yes it is.