This got me thinking about other aspects of our lives where women do this, apologize for no apparent reason. Low and behold I found this happening at work, A LOT.
The other day as I was walking down the hallway I bumped into a co-worker and responded with an automatic ‘I’m sorry.’ He responded with an ‘excuse me.’ Both very acceptable ways of acknowledging the other person.
Why did I say I’m sorry?
Was I actually sorry? Not really. More than anything I didn’t want him to think I was rude.
Then it dawned on me. What if I started using ‘excuse me’ instead of ‘I’m sorry?’ I would still be acknowledging the situation in a completely acceptable way. I don’t think anyone would even notice the subtle change. But I notice.
To test my theory I shared my new found discovery with a few other ladies in the office.
What would happen? Would we all be giant snots for not saying sorry?
Nope. Not even close. It’s been a powerful shift in a positive way. We are now saying ‘excuse me’ when it’s appropriate, our heads are held a little higher and our body language doesn’t shrink as it sometimes does when we say 'I’m sorry.' All these positive changes with no consequences, just from switching two simple words.
I urge you to replace ‘I’m sorry’ with ‘excuse me’ and see what happens. Practice it right now, go ahead, say it…excuse me. It rolls off the tongue nicely. Much nicer than I'm sorry.
I think you will find yourself feeling pretty great and empowered!
Let us know how it goes and if you find it working, pass it on to other ladies.