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Overusing "I'm sorry"

landclark posted 12/12/2019 07:58 AM

Does anybody else find themselves over apologizing in their daily life? I'm not necessarily talking about waywards being expected to apologize for what they've done, but other stuff. Like somebody bumps into you in the grocery store, and YOU say you're sorry. You need to bring up a point in a work meeting, and immediately say I'm sorry and then state your point. You have to ask a question and you apologize for bothering them, even though it's your job and theirs. You get upset about something related to infidelity, and you say I'm sorry I got so upset. I even find my son doing it, apologizing for making a mistake or an accident.

I know there are times when an I'm sorry is warranted (and not the I'm sorry you felt that way, but a genuine apology), but I feel like I overuse it.

For instance, I shouldn't have to apologize for getting upset about infidelity. I may apologize for anything cruel and unnecessary that I say while upset, but not for getting upset, but I still do it. (My WH doesn't expect me to apologize, it's just such a part of me that I feel like I have too.)

Even when he says he is sorry, my initial response is "It's ok." when no, it's really not, and I am minimizing my feelings by saying it's ok.

I'm sure there are plenty of articles on this topic, but figured I would ask some real people. Am I alone? How do you retrain yourself to not do it? I feel somewhat like I am apologizing for my existence. lol

[This message edited by landclark at 7:58 AM, December 12th (Thursday)]

Lalagirl posted 12/12/2019 08:10 AM

My DD35 does this and has her entire life. A therapist told her it's a lack of self esteem.

I can't share links, but if you google "Law of Attraction: Over Apologizing for Everything," it provides good insight and guidance to help you stop saying sorry so much.

I copied and pasted the "whys" noted in the article:

Common Traits of People Saying Sorry Too Much

While ďsorry syndromeĒ is a pervasive issue that is experienced by all sorts of people, there are certain common traits that overlap with this tendency. In particular:

Compassion. People who care a lot about the feelings and preferences of others often find themselves over apologizing when theyíve done nothing wrong.
Submissiveness in relationships. Those who are prone to saying sorry too much in a relationship often give their partner the message that they feel itís wrong to have their own personal boundaries or needs.
Agreeability. If you care a lot about keeping the peace and preventing conflict, youíre likely to say sorry more than is necessary. After all, youíd rather give an unneeded apology than end up in a fight.
Lack of faith in oneís own judgment. When youíre never quite confident that what youíre doing or saying is right, you can be quick to apologize and simply assume youíre in the wrong.
Strict background. Whether you were raised in a strict schooling environment or by particularly authoritarian parents, spending your childhood in fear of discipline can make you trigger-happy with apologies.
Anxiety. Living with an underlying sense of impending doom can lead you to be ultra-sensitive to the idea of situations or relationships going awry, which in turn can spark a disproportionate amount of apologies.

hikingout posted 12/12/2019 08:36 AM

You know, I think of this being more of a female trait, though I have come across a male here or there who do this.

I did this for years. I really had to work cognizantly to stop. The reason that I think that it's more of a female trait is because it's kind of a gender programming thing that has been passed down from generation to generation. As little girls we are taught to be "pleasing" and "accommodating", kind of as part of our training towards being seen as having good manners. And, some people take that and learn to be kind AND hold their boundaries. Others, learn to be kind and hold other's feelings often above their own. So, it's a good symptom to look at for growth, you just have to decide if you fall on the healthy or unhealthy side.

Being conflict avoidant and pleasing, putting other's feelings above mine really has worked against me in my life more than it's worked for me. Learning to state my desires, say no, and have good boundaries does actually surround a lot of my work as a wayward. But, I do think that it goes beyond being wayward - it's about being healthy. As it's been stated all over the place, a lot of people have self-esteem/self confidence issues. I think it's a symptom of really not taking responsibility for our own happiness, not seeing our happiness as important as others - and that eats away at our self worth.

I still will apologize if I bump into someone at the grocery store. Being friendly and courteous, that is something I want to be. I still will consider other people's feelings, but I will hold mine as important as well and allow others the opportunity to consider mine, when it's appropriate.

Do you feel this is a symptom for you that speaks to some things that are less healthy and you would like to change? Certainly the one that I would look at the most:

Even when he says he is sorry, my initial response is "It's ok." when no, it's really not, and I am minimizing my feelings by saying it's ok.

What could you say instead that would be more empowering? Thank you for noticing that was painful to me? I don't know the answer because on this I am on the opposite side of the fence.

When I apologize to H for things from my affair, sometimes he will say "Yeah that really was shitty", and sometimes he won't say anything at all. And, I think he is just fine with that. I have learned that I don't need to be validated with the response because I said I was sorry for that thing because I am, not because I expect forgiveness around every turn. You are saying "it's okay" to make him comfortable - and I am not sure if it even really does that. So, you could be sequestering something for no reason other than your own expectations you set for yourself? I suggest that only because those expectations I had on myself eventually smothered me to an extent that I was numb, and I couldn't see that they belonged only to me.

Good for you at being introspective enough to recognize this might be a symptom of something bigger to work on for you. I so wish I would have examined a lot of those things a long, long time ago.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:39 AM, December 12th (Thursday)]

PSTI posted 12/12/2019 20:18 PM

I'm Canadian lol. I always apologize when someone bumps into me at the grocery store.

landclark posted 12/12/2019 21:57 PM

I'm Canadian

My grandmother is from PEI, but she was not one of the polite Canadians. Lol. She was pretty awesome though.

landclark posted 12/12/2019 22:18 PM

As little girls we are taught to be "pleasing" and "accommodating"

Iím worried Iím subconsciously teaching my son this!

Do you feel this is a symptom for you that speaks to some things that are less healthy and you would like to change?

I do feel this way. I think this is a part of why I was willing to put up with less than in my relationship for several years. Lala touched on something that resonates with me and thatís Agreeability. I think this goes back to always walking on eggshells around my mom growing up. Every disagreement was your fault, no matter what. You had to always apologize to her otherwise she was the ultimate mother scorned. I have no doubt this has added to my overly apologetic nature. I think itís fair to say that she taught me others feelings were more important than mine.

I look back though and see this with my WH. If I tried to talk to him, about anything, he would seem put out. So my response instead of demanding more or better was just to be agreeable. Focus on my son and try not to annoy my WH, until it built up so much that I couldnít hold it back. I certainly didnít fight for myself the last several years. I became complacent in my relationship. I no longer want to be apologetic or complacent.

Living with an underlying sense of impending doom

I think this also applies to me. It goes back to my mother, but then also the fact that I was taught at a young age that Armageddon would come in my lifetime and basically I would die an early, painful death. Yep, my parents actually taught their child this. Lol. This has always stuck with me, and I often wait for the other shoe to drop and assume Iím steps away from something terrible. Take my job for instance. Iím constantly paranoid Iím going to get fired. I still do the best job I can, and I know Iím liked and respected, but still, itís a constant fear.

You are saying "it's okay" to make him comfortable

I really am, and it does me no good. I definitely need to think of a better response, or no response at all. This morning he apologize for something and I forced myself to say nothing, but thatís what prompted this thread. That my initial thought was ďitís okĒ.

I really need to get back to IC, apparently. Lol.

Thank you all for your feedback, and HO, thank you for always being so kind to both waywards and betrayed. ❤️

cocoplus5nuts posted 12/13/2019 07:08 AM

No, I don't. My dad apologizes for everything! It drives me crazy. I have started telling him that he doesn't need to apologize for whatever wasn't his fault. He says he knows that, but he does it anyway. It's a conditioned response. I don't think he's even aware he does it. My fch is the same with the word,"No." He will start a statement with a, "No," when there's absolutely no reason for it. He doesn't know he's said it.

I am very conscious of not apologizing when I haven't done anything. Someone bumps into me at the store, I say, "Excuse me." My tone will be different depending on the circumstance. I consciously do not say, "I'm sorry, but..."

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