When did this get started?
How is it that so many of us women have grown up and kept up this habit of apologizing for everything? Where did it come from? Do you do it, and if so, why are you sorry?
As a Boomer born in 1959, it’s only in my fourth and fifth decades of life that I’ve come to recognize this unconscious habit of feeling the need to use and overuse these words: “I’m sorry”.
Okay, so yes, it’s excellent to apologize when we’ve really made a mistake or done something we regret. Let’s be quick to apologize for those things, and get it over with and move forward.
That’s not what this is about. Rather, this is about how it is that so many people, especially women, seem to use these words as if to apologize for existing, for being present, for saying something or for taking up space.
The Psychology of Apology
We’re intrigued by the psychology of this and how it came into existence, and this Pantene commercial provides a good visual intro to this topic.
“Women have more connectivity between the left brain and the right brain and because of that we’re more emotional and more sensitive to how other people are feeling,” Tonya Reiman, author of The Power of Body Language, told ABC News. “Therefore, we feel like we need to apologize for everything.”
“If women can delete the apology and just go forth with their statement, they’ll come across as much more powerful,” she added.
So women, own the value of your years of experience, wisdom and contribution. Don’t apologize for not knowing something. Learn it if you’re interested, but don’t apologize for not knowing. Don’t apologize for taking up space on this earth, for speaking your mind, or having a divergent opinion on something. Don’t apologize for questioning things that don’t sound right or make sense to you.
If you have any thoughts or comments to share, please do! The world needs your contribution… the art in your word, thoughts, craft, creativity… that shade of rare named you.