The Sorry State of Women and Workplace Apologies

You might have heard or read that women apologize more than men. Or maybe you’re not aware of how much you say sorry throughout the day. Start counting your sorries, and you’ll soon realize it’s true. There are myriads of articles and research studies about this topic.

“Before we women even open our mouths, our words feel like an imposition rather than a contribution, and thus we feel we need to say “I’m sorry” to cushion the impact. In fact, sometimes it seems like women apologize for just plain existing.
    - Sydney Beveridge, Huffington Post

So why do we apologize more? The short answer is that women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior.

According to a 2010 study published by the Association of Psychological Science, women apologize more than men, but they also reported committing more offenses than men. That correlation makes sense. If you feel like you’ve somehow done something offensive, a normal person would then apologize for that action.

As a UX Designer, I’m a problem solver. So let’s think about this from a UX perspective and figure out what the problem is.

Saying sorry too much isn’t the problem.

The problem is that we think we’re being offensive when we’re not. Maybe we’re not actively considering our behaviors offensive, but I guarantee you we’re doing it subconsciously. By over-apologizing, we minimize the impact of our position and our words. Now that we know the problem is thinking we’re being offensive, it seems rational to rethink what constitutes offensive behavior.

I put together this guide to help us work on our over-apologizing habits.

Things That Are Offensive

Here are a few examples of things that are offensive. You should apologize for these things.

Stealing someone’s food.

Via GIPHY

Being extremely rude.

Via GIPHY

Biting someone.

Via GIPHY

Not replacing the toilet paper.

A perpetual problem at Nebo.

Things That Are Not Offensive

Here are a few examples of things that are not offensive. You should not apologize for these things.

Asking a question.

Even if you think you should know the answer. Even if you have to stop someone else in the middle of their busy day to get an answer you need.

Via GIPHY

Having a dietary restriction.

“Is Pepsi okay?” “No, sorry, I’m team Coke forever.”  “No.”

Via GIPHY

Eating.

“Sorry I just really had a bad day.” Stop apologizing for that! Eat the ice cream and own it.

Via GIPHY

Sharing an opinion.

“Sorry, but I’d just like to add my thoughts here…” Having an opinion isn’t something to be sorry for. Whether you’re adding on to someone else’s idea, respectfully disagreeing, or recommending a different approach, your opinion is one of the most valuable assets you have in the workplace. You should be confident in it — not sorry for it.

Via GIPHY

Why have we been apologizing for these types of things?

I did a search in my email for “sorry” and found that we women of Nebo have been apologizing for things that aren’t offensive behavior. Here are just a few examples. One of these is from me 🙈.

Not being perfect.

Things that are not your fault.

Now that we know we’re over-apologizing, what can we do about it? How can we break this habit?

Starting today, try this.

It’s overwhelming to change a habit. We need bite-sized actions to work on. Realistic goals. Lest we fail to stop saying sorry in one day and then have to apologize to the world for failing.

Start today. You can’t take action yesterday or tomorrow. You can only take action today.

Ask yourself this: Did I do something mean?

If you did something mean or truly offensive, apologize for it.

Via GIPHY

Otherwise…start by trying to do these two things.

1. Omit “sorry” from emails and messages. Offer facts and solutions.

This is the low-hanging fruit, because you get to reread before you send. Here are a few ways you can rephrase and empower your words and actions.

“Sorry for forgetting the attachment.” → “In my last email, I didn’t include the attachment. Here it is. Have a great weekend!”

“Sorry for missing that.” → “You’re right, I didn’t think through that aspect. I’ll take a look again and get something back to you by end of day.”

2. Replace “sorry” with “thanks for…”

This one is a little trickier because it’s usually verbal, but it’s still very attainable. Try to catch yourself before saying sorry for doing something and turn it into a statement of gratitude related to the other person’s action. This flips the situation from “fault” on your part to being appreciative of someone else’s behavior. Ultimately, this way of thinking can help improve your mental sanity and reduce your guilt complex.

“Sorry I’m late.” → “Thanks for waiting on me.”

“Sorry I need to cram in here.” → “Thanks for making room.”

“Sorry for the delay.” → “Thanks for being patient.”

You might be saying sorry because you're trying to be polite. That sentiment is perfectly understandable and acceptable. I'd still encourage you to think about how and why you're saying sorry, because there are other word choices. Regardless of why you're saying "sorry," by using that word you're speaking fault into being. But there are many other ways to communicate politely that don't add to your subconscious guilt cycle. Try it. I think you'll like it.

And may our apologies forever be with purpose.

Written by Lucy Allison on March 22, 2019

Comments

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Dr. omohan also cures:
1. HIV / AIDS
2. HERPES 1/2
3. CANCER
4. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
5. Hepatitis B

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Jenna says:

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https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

Blog: https://ancientspirit1.blogspot.com
Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

WhatsApp +2347059715465  .

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violet says:

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This isn't to propose that all men are rude and unapologetic and that ladies are the opposite, however, something garbled is occurring in ladies' conduct that can't be credited to reflexive affableness.

Helen Davis says:

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I'm Natasha Wanderly form USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he could come back to me, I was really worried and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. 11hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity is real spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your ex lover back or save your marriage fast. Do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Unity now. Here’s his contact,Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com or Call/WhatsApp him: +2348055361568 ,website:https://unityspelltemples.blogspot.com ,your kindness will never be forgotten.

Natasha Wanderly form USA says:

Save Your Marriage and Get Your Ex Boyfriend/Girlfriend Back! Dr.Unity has helped thousands of women get their Ex husband/boyfriend back using his real effective love Spell Call/Whats-app dr.Unity +2348055361568 for help?
I'm Natasha Wanderly form USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he could come back to me, I was really worried and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. 11hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity is real spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your ex lover back or save your marriage fast. Do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Unity now. Here’s his contact,Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com or Call/WhatsApp him: +2348055361568 ,website:https://unityspelltemples.blogspot.com ,your kindness will never be forgotten.

State of Women But there are many other best ways to communicate easily or politely that don't add to your super subconscious guilt cycle as well.

Sandra Maria says:

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.........................

Sandra Maria says:

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My Name is Sandra Maria from USA, I want to say thank you to PRIEST WISDOM for the good thing he has done for me,Though am not sure if this is the best forum to show my joy and happiness for what he has done for me but i cant hide happiness and my Joy so i have to share it with people, my marriage got crashed about two years ago and i tried all i could within my power but to no avail. i saw post and testimonial about the good things PRIEST WISDOM has been doing so i decided to give it a try. though he is always a busy man but when he responded back to my email, he gave me 48hours for my marriage to be restored really just like he said my marriage was restored since then I am happy and i am living happily i am so grateful, PRIEST WISDOM you can always email him here: Supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or WHATSAPP / cell phone +2348124644470

Kelsey Frizzell says:

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This could be because girls and women are conditioned to be more attuned to—and responsible for—how their behavior affects others. This empathetic awareness complicates behaviors associated with success: winning, drive, and competition.

Nice post! As a woman, we have a lower threshold for what requires for an apology because we are more concerned with the emotions of others and we always wanted peaceful relationship with others.

As ladies, we have superpowers. We are sisters. We are healers. We are moms. We are goddess warriors. I am a case of what is conceivable when young ladies from the earliest starting point of their lives are adored and supported by individuals around them. I was encompassed by phenomenal ladies throughout my life who showed me calm quality and poise.

Lallison 1 xdvnrmy
Written by
Lucy Allison
Senior UX Designer