5 reasons why you should stop saying ‘sorry’ at work

You’re sorry that you chased up on that email response. You’re also sorry you bumped into your colleague in the corridor. Maybe you’re sorry too that you interrupted someone in the office with urgent news. Do you constantly find yourself saying that same five letter word at work when you don’t really mean it?

You will look more professional, be better respected AND gain confident in voicing your opinions if you stop saying ‘sorry’ at work so much.

Here are five reasons why you should cut down on all that apologising.

1. Things aren’t as bad as you think

According to a recent study “women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behaviour”. This means we are more likely to say sorry in everyday situations when an apology isn’t needed. Trust your judgement and know that you probably aren’t sounding rude and you probably don’t need to apologise.

2. Women apologise as a comfort 

One theory is that words such as ‘sorry’ are used as a comfort. We’re not actually sorry that someone bumped into us on the street, but apologising gives us some sort of comfort. In a work environment this can be confusing for people as they may not know what you actually mean. Be clear and get to the point.

3. Colleagues will lose respect for you

Levo League, an American women’s career advice platform, says that “apologising too much lessens co-worker’s respect” for the person saying sorry. Be confident in yourself and don’t use the word unnecessarily. It might make you come across as weak, nervous and not in control of your actions.

4. Don’t waste your words

Sorry is being used instead of other more important things. You could be using the time to instead make logical, declarative arguments and statements. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. If you’re not sorry, don’t even bother pretending to be. Use your words in a more productive and beneficial way.

5. You could sound aggressive

As well as a comfort, saying sorry can also be, according to the New York Times, an “assertive apology”. This is when sorry is said to obscure a point and it can come across as passive-aggressive. We should stop and instead be more careful with what we say, especially in the workplace where words really matter.