Over-apologising. Am I really sorry?

BY Rachael Pearson


19 July 2017

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sorry. One little word that I use way (and I mean WAY) too much. It’s always been a bit of a natural reflex for me, but since starting here at Digital Noir, I’ve come to realise that maybe I do say that word a little too often…

People questioning why I am apologising is nothing new, but within the last couple of months Sam, Tess and the gang have been pointing out (and laughing just a little bit) how often I say sorry unnecessarily. I’ve tried to narrow down why I apologise so often during a day and am happy to let you guys be the judge of whether I need shock therapy!

I actually do something wrong.

Okay, so obviously I say sorry when I do something wrong like spill someone’s drink, send someone a message that was meant for someone else or poke someone in the eye when I get a little too over excited with my arm gestures! (This happens more often than I would like to admit.)

I feel guilty about something occurring.

Did I directly cause it? No. Does it matter? Absolutely not! If I feel remotely like I could’ve prevented the injustice from occurring (despite the likelihood of that often being unlikely) I will apologise profusely, probably more than the person actually at fault.

Something bad has happened to someone and they tell me.

Definitely not my fault but I’m truly sorry that it’s happening to them, so I apologise as a form of empathy. I want them to know that I’m there for them and feel their pain.

An inanimate object and I cross paths.

Yep. If it’s not to the object directly, it’s to the owner of the object just so they know that I wouldn’t intentionally nearly knock the plant off the shelf – I’m really just clumsy. I also will probably tell the object to shush if it’s being noisy, but that’s probably a totally separate issue for another time.

I am under pressure.

Pressure and I are not good friends and if I feel like I’m stressing others out by being stressed, not working fast enough or to a good enough quality I will apologise like there is no tomorrow.

Looking back on that list, maybe the guys are right. I definitely apologise way too much and while it’s not physically harming me, it could make me seem easily pushed around which isn’t good and will end up causing problems later in life.

So while David and Sam build me a ‘Sorry Jar’ – fees starting at $1,000,000 per sorry – I need to sit back during situations and ask myself whether an apology is really needed. If you find yourself in a similar situation do the same, it’s crazy once you pick up on the bad habit just how much you can say it in a day.

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