One main Canadian stereotype is people saying sorry all of the time.
It may even become annoying; saying or hearing the word “sorry” so often. Most people say it to be polite, but others do it because of personal issues from their past, perhaps a past that makes them feel they have to please everyone all the time and avoid conflict at all costs. These people tend to take the blame for everything as a way of keeping the peace.
Have you ever noticed yourself or someone you know constantly apologizing? It can be for the tiniest reason or something that you don’t even have control over.
I noticed myself doing this a lot more after being in an abusive relationship. Any mild inconvenience, I found myself instantly apologizing. I would genuinely feel bad, even if it wasn’t a big deal (like not doing the dishes) or my fault (bad weather cancelling outdoor plans). Even if I knew I didn’t have to apologize, or knew that it was annoying people, I would still apologize. And then apologize for apologizing. Being in a healthy relationship helped me realize that I don’t always need to be apologetic. My fiancée would assure me that he wasn’t upset and that I didn’t need to apologize. But why did I still do it?
I began to look into my past to help make sense of my behaviour. I was bullied while growing up, and not only did this lower my self-esteem, it also made me anxious about having conflict with others. I was then in a psychologically abusive relationship where I was told that everything was my fault and that I wasn’t good enough. These experiences led to me wanting to constantly please people to avoid conflict and to make up for not being good enough.
When my self-esteem is lower, I find that I actually believe that everything that goes wrong is my fault. I have been trained by certain experiences in my life to believe that I am always the problem. This makes me afraid to lose those closest to me because I fear doing something wrong to mess up the relationship. Therefore, any little thing I think that I have done wrong, I instantly apologize for, so the person will not get angry and leave me.
So, what can we do to stop apologizing all of the time?
Be Aware. Try to be aware of when you are saying sorry. Do you really mean it or are you just saying it out of habit? Do you believe you are to blame for the situation? Is the situation even that big of a deal? Does the other person even care about the situation or are you blowing things out of proportion? Why do you feel you have to apologize for this? Is this a good or logical reason?
Be Thankful, Not Sorry. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but instead of saying “sorry I’m late,” say “thank you for being patient.” This will help you feel less guilty all of the time, and can even make the other person feel good for being thanked for their reaction to the situation. When you thank someone, it is also harder for them to become angry and continue to blame you, because you are showing your appreciation for them instead of being caught up in your guilt.
Saying sorry all of the time can make you feel guilty for being yourself. By saying sorry less often, and only when you actually mean it and don’t feel obligated to say it out of avoiding conflict or trying to please people, you will begin to feel better and less apologetic about who you are. While it can be hard to break any habit, by trying not to say sorry all of the time, it will help improve your relationships and help you feel better about yourself.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, lifestyle, and pandemic support. Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
In support of @kellymentalhealthfndn
© COPYRIGHT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WEB DESIGN BY KMH