Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm sorry I keep apologizing...

Someone whose opinion I respect reminded me of a bad habit: apologizing in advance. That is, I'm not apologizing for something that I really did wrong, or some offense I actually caused. No, I apologize for not being good enough. I apologize quickly for imagined slights I may have caused. It ain't pretty and it ain't helping.

Apologizing, for me, serves two functions. First, it works to disarm anyone who might criticize me. I'm like the submissive dog in that moment, the one that rolls over and exposes its belly to the dominant dog: "See, I'm no threat! I already know you're Top Dog!" Second, it works to ameliorate conflict. If I immediately accept responsibility, maybe folks will just stop fighting.

Says a lot about me, doesn't it? But times change. And my habits need to change with them, and with me. I am a strong, intelligent, funny woman. And no one expects me to be the best at everything, except me. Time to get over that.


madeline said...

I also say sorry a lot--and was possibly told to "stop saying you're sorry!" by that same someone who told you to stop.

I don't say I'm sorry because I'm wrong, or out of respect, or because I feel I should be submissive. I say I'm sorry because I'm an empath. I feel peoples' struggles and pains as though they were my own, and my "I'm sorry" is more like the Spanish "Lo siento"--I *feel* it.

Candace said...

Dear Little was how we were raised. I remember Dad walking in the door after work and looking at me, "You must have done something wrong today, you look guilty."
I have worked very hard not to say "I'm sorry" all the time. I am fortunate to work for a boss who doesn't worry about fault, he wants a solution.
Instead of being submissive dogs...lets be Alpha Bitches!!

susansinclair said...

In those immortal words of Dad: "Now you've wrecked it!" (Maybe that's what I shoulda named the blog...)

Mark said...

Just remember that your always an amazing women, no matter what!!

Candace said...

Another Dadism, uttered after some major blunder..."Did you learn anything?"
Nope, not a thing.