Like many women, I'm a habitual over-apologizer. My default whenever I sense any sort of awkwardness, brewing conflict, or potential for admonishment is to immediately respond with a sorry. I apologize for other people in my dinner party when I sense the waiter is feeling slighted by their abrupt demeanor. I'm the one who apologizes to the jerk who knocks into me as he races to exit the subway car.
Most damagingly, whenever I voice any sort of disagreement, either professionally or personally, I preface it with a "sorry, but..." It's so bad that I even apologize for apologizing. I say the S-word more than any other in the English language (except maybe kerfuffle, but that is an awesome word and should be said often and with feeling).
In my mind, I think I'm just being polite, overcompensating for someone else's rudeness or for imposing on others, but the reality is that my over-apologizing makes me look insecure and allows others to take advantage of me because they think I don't know what I'm talking about. And, that's a load of bull. I am strong, intelligent, and, damn it, I don't need to apologize for having an opinion. It's a work in progress, but ultimately, #SorryNotSorry should be my new mantra.
And, Pantene is in total agreement: The latest video in its Shine Strong campaign, called "Not Sorry," addresses the need for women to stop apologizing all the time. Much like the brand's viral "Labels Against Women" video, which launched the campaign, the goal of this video is to empower women to overcome gender bias and societal expectations — and reach their full potential.
Says Colleen Jay, president of P&G Global hair care and color, “We believe the message of the 'Not Sorry' video will resonate with women, encouraging them to be more aware of this diminishing behavior and, in turn, prevent any bias they may be unconsciously creating.” Word.
After viewing the video and seeing from the outside just how all that apologizing makes me appear, I know I, for one, am ready to make a change. Rather than diminish myself by saying sorry when I am, in fact, not sorry, I'm going to make a conscious effort to stop using that five-letter word. It's not going to be easy — I'm pretty sure my first word as a toddler was sorry — but the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
Are you a fellow over-apologizer? Or, are you a former over-apologizer who already broke that dirty habit? Do a girl a solid and share your secrets!