Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Are You An Over-Apologizer?

{flickr photo by Craig Murphy}

I am. And I’m betting most women are. In fact, a study found that women apologize more than men do. Why? Men have a higher tolerance for what they perceive is worthy of an apology. Women who want to instill harmony in their relationships are more sensitive to transgressions, and more apt to feel like victims of wrongdoing.


The Bad Thing About Over-Apologizing

The thing about saying, “I’m sorry” is that it becomes habitual. Some of us do it as a courtesy, a polite remark. Others say it because they genuinely feel bad for something they’ve done. It can also be an afterthought, an easy statement to appease it’s recipients: “I’m sorry for not blogging, for my last inadequate post, for snubbing you, for what I wore today, for not working hard enough, for breathing.”

As women we’re taught to apologize, to appear polite, to sweep up the dust under the rug so no one sees it. But when does saying, “I’m sorry” become too much?

After the tenth time apologizing for a transgression (maybe you’re constantly late or you continually offend a friend), your apology may become watered down. Maybe it’s a sign you need to delve in deep and figure out why you’re really doing what you’re doing.


What Apologizing Could Really Be Hiding

You’re always late for a class or a meeting. Why? There’s a part of you that just doesn’t want to be there. It could be a sign you’re avoiding addressing an issue because it’s uncomfortable. Instead of just relinquishing a commitment, it feels easier to apologize for being late or unavailable.

If you find yourself continuously apologizing to a friend or your partner, you probably feel pretty resentful inside. Maybe you do it because you don’t know any other way to communicate. Maybe you’re afraid to open up and express how you really feel. It feels a lot easier to pacify an angry person then it is to figure out if you should be in this relationship in the first place.

Apologizing can heal a relationship, but it can also be a temporary band-aid. The key is to figure out what role it serves in your relationships. Are you apologizing because you feel less than, to temper a difficult person or issue or are you doing it because you are sincerely sorry for what you have done?


Comments read comments(2)
post a comment

posted July 11, 2015 at 2:39 pm

As a child I was always saying “I’m sorry” for everything. My mother told me I was the “sorriest” person she knew”! It’s a habit that I have toned down, but still have a problem with–taking the blame for EVERYTHING!

report abuse


posted June 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Sometimes, I think, men don’t apologize enough. This could perhaps be as bad, or maybe worse sometimes, than over apologizing in my opinion. Humility and having a clear perspective go hand in glove, don’t they, and I say humility, not humiliation. Thanks.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

The F-Word That Will Change Your Life
To be human means you ache. You hurt for the things you don't have, the life you never got, the people who betrayed you. Some days seem ...

posted 9:30:37am Aug. 13, 2012 | read full post »

Practicing Acceptance
I think one of the greatest obstacles we grapple with is learning how to accept what is instead of moaning and groaning about what we ...

posted 9:00:28am Aug. 07, 2012 | read full post »

The Truth About Comfort
Fear if left alone will only grow bigger. And if confronted can reap so many unexpectedly beautiful things. Such a small choice like deciding to go out with a new friend or trying a new restaurant, a new way home, can be like a car wash for ...

posted 9:00:22am Jul. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why Life is Unfair
Life is not supposed to be easy. We're not meant to sit in hammocks and twiddle our thumbs. We're grown to be both hard and soft, both strong ...

posted 9:00:47am Jul. 12, 2012 | read full post »

What's Causing You the Most Suffering
What's causing you the most suffering in life isn't the things you don't have or not being grateful for the things you do. The reason why most of us ...

posted 9:00:18am Jun. 27, 2012 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.