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7 Aug

Stop Apologizing! #sorrynotsorry

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine asked if he could give me some constructive feedback, to which I was happy to welcome. After telling me how much he enjoys working with me, he said: “Kathy I need you to stop apologizing”…I was a bit confused to what he meant by that, so I asked him to elaborate. He then, started explaining how on every other email I would send out to him, I would say “Sorry to bother you”, “Sorry I took so long”, “Sorry, I know you are busy” etc… He went even further and said “Have you seen man being so apologetic for everything? we don’t say sorry when asking for things that are expected to be done” That was when it hit me, and made me realize I was taking credibility out of my work because of my many unnecessary apologies.

I started to think a little deeper into this issue and realized it came from the way I was raised. In Colombia (and I’m sure in many other cultures), kids (especially girls) are taught that being polite is not an option but a requirement, and I think that’s where the whole “sorry” misconception comes from. Apologies are continuously linked with our conception of politeness, and woman usually wants to sympathize with others, while men want to show power.

Saying sorry can be linked with the thought that you made a mistake, so I was apologizing for a nonexistent mistake I made, on every other email I was sending out  #lessonlearned #wakeupcall

I’m glad I have found great people throughout my career that have shared many lessons with me, but this one was definitely one that I needed. I am now more aware of my way of asking for things, and realized my colleague was right; I shouldn’t be sorry for people doing their job! I can still be polite without the need of being so apologetic. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that if you make a mistake you should say sorry. It shows you can accept your mistakes and try to move forward once you learn from them.

About you? How many times have you apologized this week?

Apologies are continuously linked with our conception of politeness, and woman usually want to sympathize with others, while man want to show power.

Hace unas semanas un colega me preguntó si podía darme un consejo, a lo que yo acepte felizmente. Después de decirme cuánto le gusta trabajar conmigo, me dijo “Kathy, necesito que dejes de disculparte por todo”… Yo estaba un poco confundida con lo que quería decir, así que le pedí que elaborara su comentario. Él me comenzó a explicar cómo en casi cada correo electrónico que le he enviado, le he escrito: “siento molestarte”, “lo siento q me tomó tanto tiempo”, “lo siento, sé que estás ocupado, que pena molestar”, etc… Luego me dijo: “¿Has visto a un hombre disculparse por todo? Nosotros no pedimos perdón al pedir cosas que se espera que se hagan o que son parte de tu trabajo ” fue entonces cuando me hizo dar cuenta, que yo misma estaba quitandome credibilidad de mi desempeño en el trabajo debido a mis muchas disculpas innecesarias.

Comencé a pensar un poco más sobre este tema, y me di cuenta que viene de la forma en que me criaron. En Colombia (y estoy segura que en muchas otras culturas) a los niños (especialmente a las niñas) se les enseña que ser educados no es una opción sino un requisito y creo que ahí es de donde proviene la idea errónea del disculparse. Las disculpas están continuamente vinculadas con nuestra concepción de la cortesía y la mujer por lo general, quiere simpatizar con los demás, mientras que el hombre quiere mostrar su figura de poder.

Pedir disculpas está relacionado con la idea de que cometí un error, así que me estaba disculpando por un error inexistente que hice, en muchos de los correos electrónicos que estaba enviando.

Me alegra mucho poder encontrar personas a lo largo de mi carrera a quienes les importo y han compartido su sabiduría conmigo, pero este consejo fue sin duda uno que necesitaba mucho sin saberlo. Hoy, soy más consciente de mi manera de pedir las cosas y me di cuenta de que mi colega tenía razón- ¡no debería disculparme porque la gente haga su trabajo! Todavía puedo ser educada sin la necesidad de disculparme por todo. Ahora, no me malinterpretes, creo firmemente de que si cometes un error deberías pedir disculpas ya que esto demuestra que puedes aceptar tus errores e intentar avanzar una vez aprendes de ellos.

¿Y Tu? ¿Cuantas veces te has disculpado esta semana?



Kats Salazar
  • LuLu Love

    I do this all the time! “Hey sorry, may I ask you something?” Or “Sorry will you do this? That? Sorry sorry sorry!” Someone brought this up to me, too, and now I am more self-aware and try to stop myself from being so apologetic, but as you mentioned, this is how we were raised. I also learned to coach people on that, too! Just stop saying sorry all the time lol. I know for a fact we don’t make that many mistakes in a day. Lol. Love this post!

    August 8, 2018 at 4:29 pm Reply
    • Kats & Nats

      Thank you! the first step to making a change is to become aware of what we have to change, so it’s great you’ve noticed and that you are coaching other people 🙂

      XOXO- Kats

      August 14, 2018 at 10:01 am Reply
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    September 7, 2019 at 3:15 am Reply
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