Stop Apologizing and You’ll Instantly Boost Your Credibility
Do you apologize for everything? For mistakes others make? Or expressing an opinion that seem might be seen as unpopular? For walking into a room? Do you take the blame for things that have nothing to do with you? Or when something is clearly someone else’s fault?
If you over-apologize, you’re not alone. For women, it’s very common to start sentences with “I’m sorry.” Women want to avoid conflict. We’re programmed to accept blame and strangely, that makes us feel in control of the situation. Nothing could be further from the truth. And even though men are less likely to unnecessarily apologize, there are those who do.
Saying you’re sorry lessons your credibility. Rather than controlling the situation, it actually devalues what ever you say next. So does using pet phrases like “To be honest…,” “I’ve just gotta say…,” or “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…” Dr. James Pennebaker of the University of Texas suggests that by using such phrases, We emotionally distance ourselves from our own message, without even knowing it.
It’s important to communicate consciously – to state your point accurately and respectfully – all with the intent of being understood by the listener. Many of us have pet phrases that have landed in our speech pattern and stuck. They are so common, often we don’t even hear ourselves use them. But just like body language can betray one’s authority and presence, these words can broadcast insecurity. They may even imply dishonesty.
Strengthen the impact of your communication by eliminating every day pet phrases and common filler statements. Doing so will make you a more polished, confident and compelling communicator.
Become aware of how and when you use pre-qualifiers.
You might not hear them until after they’ve left your lips. But all is not lost. Once you start to notice how often you apologize or use filler phrases, you can begin to consciously choose to stop yourself before you say the damaging words out loud.
By nature, humans are afraid of silence. But until you’re ready to say something that will benefit you and the conversation, know that silence is fine. Silence will always sound better than “ummm.” It will also serve you better than apologizing or verbally stepping back from what you’re about to say at a time when you should be speaking with commitment and confidence.