Why do girls apologize for everything? Stop saying you’re sorry!
When a person says they are sorry, they are telling someone that they are remorseful. The message sent is that they feel badly for what they have done. The word sorry isn’t hard to say for many people, but for some people, mainly young women, they seem to say sorry way too often. The big question is….Why do young girls feel it is necessary to say sorry for things that don’t require an apology?
Generally speaking, girls are typically more apologetic than boys, but it doesn’t mean they are any more remorseful. Girls seem to give out apologies within the broader context of a conversation, where boys typically do not. There is also a cultural expectation that girls will be more accommodating than boys, and sadly many girls live up to that expectation. Overtime, apologies become repetitive, habit-forming and expected by others. Girls can lose sight of why they are even apologizing.
Now, when it comes to excessive apologizing, girls tend to read into things very differently than boys. They will over analyze their actions and words wondering how they are perceived by others. Carefully calculating their word choice while looking for verbal cues of acceptance. If they don’t see those verbal cues of acceptance, that’s when “sorry” comes into play. It’s a very critical way of viewing oneself that can produce anxiety and sometimes low self-esteem.
Although there may be nothing to apologize for, young girls will use sorry like a verbal crutch to fill space and feel more secure. As one article points out, women sometimes say sorry a lot because they view it as being polite. If a girl hears the excessive use of sorry by their female role model, they too will adopt it as an acceptable form of politeness. Kids learn early on that saying sorry can help calm things down quickly, or defuse difficult situations. Do girls subconsciously believe that apologizing will help prevent disruption? Is this their way of minimizing or avoiding conflict? When this behavior is observed and accepted by adults, they too are condoning the excessive use of the word. Parents have a responsibility to step in and look at their own use of the word sorry and help their daughters (and sons) understand when to use it appropriately.
Remember, apologizing is confirming that you have done something wrong. Within the proper context, this can be a very brave thing to do. However, constantly saying “sorry” sends out a message that you aren’t a confident individual.
Girls can break the pattern of unnecessary apologizing by taking a few small steps:
- Pay attention to how many times you apologize in a day. Under what circumstances do you tend to apologize?
- Make sure you know what you are apologizing for and why before apologizing.
- Become aware of your pattern. If you realize you are about to apologize for something that doesn’t require an apology, STOP! Do not apologize. Find the appropriate words.
- Do not avoid conflict by apologizing; however, if you really messed up, then apologizing is the right way to go.
Girls need to stop saying sorry out of habit, guilt, or accommodation. Apologies should only be given when deserved. The result, a more confident and strong young woman.