Two words I have said way too often, "I'm sorry"
For most of my life, up to this point, I did not believe in myself, and I had a horrible self image. I found myself constantly apologizing for almost everything I did or said. Here is a small sample of my chronic apologizing:
"Sorry, you might think this is silly, but..." (apologizing for an idea before I even express it)
"Sorry dinner is late" (apologizing for cooking!)
"I'm sorry my car is messy" (I have kids)
"I'm sorry it's raining" (constantly apologizing for things out of my control)
"SORRY" (when I was just standing there and someone bumped into me)
This all happened because I doubted myself constantly. Until recently, after making an effort to change this, I had a hard time maintaining friendships because my constant negativity was draining for the people around me. I put myself down all the time, never stood up for myself, and had no confidence.
After working on this, I am now able to embrace my words without feeling the need to put myself down and apologize for my thoughts, questions, or for things that are out of my control. I have also discovered, while working with people who are on a weight loss journey, just how common self doubt and insecurity is with those who have been overweight. That is why I want to share with you some of the steps I took to stop constantly saying "I'm Sorry" and to speak in a way that will diminish self-criticisms and doubt.
- As Yourself if you have really done anything wrong. If you did not really do anything wrong, you run the risk of making people think you did by apologizing. So take a pause and don't apologize if you don't need to.
- Say Thank you Instead. Have you ever sat with a friend and told them about what is going on, then follow it up with "I'm sorry for venting." Instead express your appreciation to them and say, "Thank you for listening."
- Phrase your questions and statements carefully. Don't express an ides with "I'm sorry, but..." or apologize for not understanding if you need to ask a question. Instead, recognize that what you have to say has value and you deserve to express yourself openly.
- Express Compassion Differently. Another common trait of those who over apologize is a big heart, but saying I'm sorry might not be the best way to express compassion. When you have to share a difficult emotion, practice using statements such as "I am always here for you," or "you can always talk to me." In many cases, it will bring more comfort to the person you are interacting with.