15 Signs That You Apologize Too Much

Saying “sorry” isn’t a thing that is reserved to Canadians. Many people all around the world have a tendency to apologize too much. This nervous habit is often brought up when friends or family are poking fun at it, but this is a way of them helping you to break that cycle.

Because while you might not think much of it, over-apologizing is actually a root cause to low self-respect, perfectionism and a fear of disconnection. In other words, it can be a serious problem that should be addressed.

To help with that, here are some specific signs that show if you’re someone who apologizes too much.


Apologizing For Stuff Outside Of Your Control

The biggest sign that you over-apologize is when you are apologizing for things outside of your control. Did your friend or co-worker get wet because it’s raining outside and you apologized? How about apologizing for mistakes that someone else made?

These are clear signs that you are extending your apologizes too much because the weather and other people’s actions are two things out of your control. Instead of saying sorry to things that can’t contribute nor change the situation, work on having sympathy for the person’s frustration or distress.



Saying Sorry For Things You Don’t Think Are Wrong

Say sorry when you feel there is a need to, but there is a problem when you start to say sorry for things that you don’t think are wrong. For example, saying “I’m sorry” for thinking a way that someone else would disagree with. That’s a difference in opinion, which you’re entitled to.

If you find yourself in this situation, start going back to apologizing with intentions. This means avoid saying sorry because a situation becomes awkward or creates conflict.



Apologizing For Actions Of Other People

Another sign is when we are apologizing for other people’s actions. In essence we’re shifting the responsibilities of someone else onto us.

While this is another sign of low confidence, this trait is actually something that we pick up in our childhood. This is especially the case in women who are raised more to be responsible and considerate of others. This involves apologizing even if they’re not at fault. Those early childhood habits lead to one apologizing for errors that someone else did.



Saying Sorry When You Are Asking Someone For Something

Asking for favours from friends and family is cool or when you’re giving instructions or assignments to co-workers. But don’t make a point of starting off or ending with “I’m sorry.”

The reason we feel the urge to do that is mostly out of fear of taking up someone time or that we are being a pest. This feeling didn’t come out of the blue though. Growing up, we learn to read rooms and read people and the messages that our presence is unwanted and the lessons that come with that can get internalized and stick with us for a long time.

Instead, make a habit of saying “thank you.” Or if you think someone is really pressed for time start with “can you” or “could you?”



Apologizing For Typical Situations

Sneezing in a quiet office. Squeezing past someone who’s sitting down or is in the way. These are typical every day actions that people will generally come to terms with and are cool with. It’s one thing to expect this behaviour and another to say “I’m sorry.”

Instead of saying that, take some time to rephrase what you are communicating. Use lines like “bless me” or “excuse me” in those situations.



Saying Sorry Repeatedly

Over-apologizing at its core is when you are repeating the words in a single sentence. When you find yourself doing this, one trick to stop yourself is to pull your navel towards your spine like you’re putting on a tight belt. After that breathe deep and inhale and release your navel from the position.



Apologizing To Inanimate Objects

While some might find it unusual, to someone who over-apologizes, they may slip into these situations. Bump into a chair or drop their phone and they may say “I’m sorry” to that object. You’ll find this tendency to be used more often in women than men.



Saying Sorry When Being Assertive

Being assertive is all about ensuring everyone can get a chance to play their role on the big stage of life. Sure it can seem as an aggressive front, but it is no means that. Regardless, people get in their heads that trying to be assertive means being aggressive and end up apologizing for their actions.

If you are trying to be assertive, it’s worth looking at your words. There isn’t a need to apologize, but rather focus on saying “no”and leaving it at that.



Apologizing Makes You Nervous

Sure apologizing feels bad in some cases, but when it’s a roller coaster for you and you are on it all the time it’s more of a sign of anxiety than anything else. For the over-apologizer, saying “I’m sorry” is a way for them to manage emotions of fear, worry, and nervousness. As opposed to feeling these emotions, they bottle them up and suppress them through apologizing.

If you do feel anxious about apologizing, it’ll do you some good if you sought help.



Saying Sorry Constantly At Work

Chronic over-apologizers will say “sorry” in so many places. But one place to keep an eye out for is at work. This is especially damaging, as it makes employees seem not as confident about their work regardless of what field they’re in.



Apologizing And Not Knowing Why

Saying sorry has a time and place, so when it comes to a point where you are saying “sorry” and you have no clue why, it means you’re using it too much. In order to knock this habit off, the first thing to consider is looking at yourself and determining why do you feel compelled to apologize. Not only that, but also look at events and determine whether apologizing is warranted in the first place.



Feeling Unsure About Yourself And What You Are Doing

On the note of not knowing why you’re apologizing for something, another aspect to it is not knowing who you are or what you are doing. This habit tends to follow those who are unsure of themselves or are lacking confidence.

These people will generally walk around with a sense they’ve done something wrong. The over-apologizing is even more damaging as you are holding in guilt and defectiveness even if you know deep down you did nothing wrong.



When You Apologize, People Tune You Out

Over-apologizing means that your apologizing will become utterly meaningless to people. Some people will roll their eyes when they hear you say “I’m sorry” for the umpteenth time while others will clearly tune you out.

This is what happens when your apologizes become more of a habit than a genuine sincerity. If you notice that, it’s a sign to make some changes.



That, Or They’ll Tell You Directly To Stop Apologizing

Some will tune you out, but others will be more direct and tell you straight up to stop apologizing so much. When you start hearing this, it’s clear you are guilty of just that. This is the most obvious sign out there.



Find It Tough To Leave It At “I’m Sorry” When Apologizing Is Actually Needed

The final sign is a deceptive one. If you are someone who is always apologizing – especially for things that don’t warrant it – you’ll find it tough to leave it at “I’m sorry” in situations where an apology is needed.

The thing with this one is that you’ve spent so much time apologizing for little things to the point that when you’ve got an actual problem, you feel the urge to give an even larger apology. Instead of finishing up with a simple “I’m sorry”, you feel compelled to provide ample background information and to explain your actions.

The thing is, not every person wants that nor does every situation actually needs that. Instead of explaining your reasoning, place your trust in others, so that they will give you feedback and will ask questions if they need more, which is much better than a simple “I’m sorry.”