Women and men of the blondeee universe, let’s make a pact here and now! Ladies, no more ‘I’m sorry’ as we start into a thought or question. Men, support your girlfriends, wives, mothers, daughters, and gal friends as we work on ridding ourselves of this habit.
I write here as a woman who finds myself using this phrase when there is no need. I am not quite sure how we got here?
Story time! I was at a training yesterday in an environment of very accomplished folks. I mean, we are talking A-types. I was in the back of the room (I am not a total slacker, I wanted an easy exit… ok, I was kind of hoping not to be called on and such. I’m that girl that feels bad when no one is participating and then feel the need to be super engaged… I digress). From the back I could survey the goings on, and it was almost surreal as I watched woman after woman start each question for the training leader with ‘I’m sorry. I was just wondering….’ or ‘I’m sorry. I had a question about…’
Why are we sorry?! What?!
The men did not start with an ‘I’m sorry’ intro, nor should they (and I am not knocking the men here, they were lovely. I mention it for the stark juxtaposition).
As I mentioned, in the past I’ve been the ‘I’m sorry’ girl. In fact, I still do it and then quickly say, ‘kidding, I’m actually not sorry, what I was saying…’ and resume my thought or point. Where did women adopt this as a filler? I don’t suspect we women are really sorry for asking a question or sharing an idea. In this instance, is it the natural lead in since we feel we stopped the class? But, the instructor has said to ask questions at anytime.
**For the record, there are very reasonable times to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m not saying don’t use the phrase- please do when called for!
Back to business, literally. In business (and in life, but particularly business) we need to help women realize it’s not empowering or enhancing to use that phrase on so many levels. Even if it is a filler, the subliminal is to minimize the woman’s smarts, capabilities, and confidence in the workplace. Not only is this the message to those around her, but to her own self. Consider the opposite- will people be offended if a phrase doesn’t start out with ‘I’m Sorry’? My guess is no.
So, let’s all work on doing better. Women- promise yourself here and now you will be more mindful about your words and mindful about getting ‘I’m sorry’ out of your filler vocabulary. Men- promise yourself here and now you will support the women around you and gently remind them of their use of ‘I’m sorry’ as a filler when it sneaks in.
Ready team, break!
Go forth and be good,