There are two words that are costing women respect. And it’s hurting our life and business pursuits.
Be honest, when was the last time you sent an email, text, or started a conversation with the words, “I’m sorry”?
And not to actually apologize for something you felt sorry for, but used it as a way to explain something?
These two little words may not seem like much, but they’re overused by women in general – in both our personal and professional lives. Like when my friends send me an email saying they’re sorry they didn’t respond to my note because they had family in town. Or their kid got sick.
Or when I’m sitting in a meeting and hear a woman apologize before she states her opinion.
What this type of communication really does is weaken your voice.
It sends the message to the other person you’re either sorry for being who you are, for having opinions, or for having a life. You shouldn’t be sorry for any of this – ever.
It also sends the message you don’t believe in your worth. Apologizing before stating your opinion is like asking for permission to go to the bathroom. Then it places doubt in the other person’s subconscious that you’re not a confident person. They very well may begin to doubt your abilities. And doing business with you.
One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Christiane Northrup, a pioneer in women’s health.
Dr. Northrup says, “still far too often girls are given the message that their bodies, their lives, and their femaleness must be apologized for. Have you noticed how often women apologize?”
Kathy Caprino of Forbes also contributes over apologizing happens with women because we’ve been conditioned to say it more than men.
Cutting these two little words from your vocabulary will command more respect by simply stating what you need and think.
You don’t need to apologize or justify yourself.
Instead of sending an email like, “I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you, life got busy” you could say, “I hope you had a good weekend! To answer your question…” You also won’t waste the other person’s time for them to read what could be seen as an excuse and get straight to your point.
The words we use translates into how we feel within our own bodies, which ultimately directs our health and happiness.
So by apologizing, you’re essentially apologizing for being a woman, much like Dr. Northrup points out.
And why should you?
Being female is pretty great. You think of things in ways men don’t. You have your own skills and talents that deserve to be celebrated. And your way of doing things is meant to spark change in those around you.
Plus, as women, don’t we already have endless messages telling us and making us feel less than? We shouldn’t have it come through in our own communication.
We really need to stand up, put our shoulders back, and clearly articulate what we want and need.
That commands respect. That illustrates confidence. And it’ll most likely help you grow your business. You’ll show up as a woman seen as one who respects herself and the people you’re interacting with will want to be part of that glow.
Over the next week, I challenge you to remove “I’m sorry” from your vocabulary (unless you really did something to be sorry for), then observe how people respond to you. You will cut through the subtle energy dip those words can bring. And I bet you’ll find more peace and happiness within yourself.