The problem with apologizing

September 27, 2021
Nicole Kleiman-Reck

This is a guest post by Nicole Kleiman-Reck, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and wellness advocate based in Orlando, Florida. Check out Nicole's website for more information about her work and to read more of her fantastic articles.

“I’m sorry “

These are two of the most overused, overrated, and underappreciated words. They have the potential cause significant damage to one’s self-esteem when repeated, over time.

Think about what you might be telling your brain every time you say, “I’m sorry.”

This phrase is stated as a fact.

There is no wiggle room whatsoever.

Just plain, simple, “I’m sorry.”

The problem is, it can be very damaging!

And I have seen this first-hand with my clients. The one’s that struggle the most with issues related to self-esteem also seem to be the most apologetic.

“I’m sorry” can also reflect negatively on how others view you. I mean, if you think you are such a sorry person, and make mistakes that require apologies often, how much influence and respect do you really deserve?

Like most things, balance is key.

If you are going to apologize, take a moment to reflect if you really did something wrong.

If so, you may really be sorry.

But for this to have a positive result, it is all about the action you take afterward that facilitates change in the right direction.

And an empowering tip is that when you really want to apologize, you can actually do a phenomenal job of communicating in a mature and responsible way without ever, actually, using the phrase “I’m sorry.”

Instead, try saying something like, “I wish I did not behave the way I did and want you to know that in the future, I’m going to make an effort to behave differently.”

Or instead:

Thank people for their patience, their flexibility, their understanding.

Now you’re making impact!


Actually, while I am at it…NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR:

Not responding to a message right away.

Voicing your opinion.

Your own decisions. It’s your life, and your choices.

Having high standards. People who want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.

Stepping away from a toxic work environment/toxic relationship.

Your achievements.

For taking time off to recharge.

Asking Questions.

Saying “No.”

Following your own path.

Being You!

Thank you again Nicole Kleiman-Reck for contributing this post.

Nicole Kleiman-Reck
Licensed Mental Health Counselor and wellness advocate.

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