According to a 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science, “women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior,” and hence are more likely to see a need for an apology in everyday situations.
Women apologize more, and they seem to do so to be compliant and empathetic.
Should women “man up?”
Could apologizing be holding women back at work?
- “Excuse me, may I ask…”
- “I might be wrong, but …”
- “I don’t know, but…”
Phrases like the above litter your speech, and each time you use one, you weaken your own voice. When you say what you mean in a direct, straightforward manner, you’ll be heard, understood and respected.
Knowing how to communicate with confidence sends the message that you are self-assured, proud of your skills, and comfortable in expressing your ideas.
When you stop saying sorry, you allow yourself to grow into the most confident version of yourself.
Ann Friedman believes it’s up to society to change the sorry game and wrote a story that followed Crosley’s, aptly titled, “Can We Just, Like, Get Over the Way Women Talk?”. She believes women shouldn’t be forced to “question [their] voice.” If all women were to change their speech patterns to fit a prescribed, “powerful” norm, our cadence “would lose the casual, friendly tone we wanted it to have and its special feeling of intimacy…it wouldn’t be ours anymore.”
There is power in empathy. Apologizing isn’t what keeps women out of high-powered jobs they deserve. It’s not the “sorry” that’s the problem. It’s the sexism.