#SorryNotSorry

Last night, fellow personal finance blogger and Babble contributor, Kathleen, from the blog Frugal Portland, posted a video on her Facebook page. It’s called Not Sorry, and I think it’s really great.

A while back I wrote a post called, Stop Apologizing For Your Existence – Why Saying I’m Sorry Undermines You. The video above perfectly articulates what I was talking about it that post.

I think it’s so important to talk about these “little issues” that come up with women, and especially any issues that can impact women in the workplace. This is definitely one of those things.

The other day, a friend of mine told me that at her job she was instructed to “be nicer”, and another friend said that during a performance evaluation she was told she needed to “smile more”. I was shocked to hear that such feedback was given (they don’t work in the hospitality industry where I could see comments like those being somewhat warranted). I wonder what the correlation is with women being so “sorry” about so many unnecessary things, and also being expected to be so nice and smiley is? Are women just are supposed to be robotically cheerful and constantly apologetic in the workplace? I don’t think so, and I don’t like it one bit.

Let’s be on our own side and stop saying “sorry” so much. It might seem like a little thing to do but we can start making a shift with how we are seen, especially in the workplace, with every unnecessary “sorry” that doesn’t get said.  Try saying, “excuse me” if you need a transitional phrase. I’ve found that it’s pretty easy to swap them out once you become aware.

Do you find yourself saying “Sorry” when you don’t really need to? Have you ever been told to be “sweeter”, “nicer”, or to “smile more” in the workplace?  I’d love to hear about your experience with this issue.

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7 comments

7 thoughts on “#SorryNotSorry

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  1. Ana

    At my last review, I was told that even though I am helpful and I do work above and beyond and no one things I am unwilling to help, I need to be friendlier and more approachable. I thought it was a ridiculous comment, seeing as how everyone agreed they loved WHAT I did.

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  2. Meghan

    Oh yeah. I apparently have a resting b face but I’m not happy or mad, I’m just concentrating. I’ve been concentrating a lot lately and am suddenly hearing a lot about the team’s mood. Sorry dudes, I’m in a gross basement working hard – sorry if I am not the Cheertator!

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  3. Lisa E.

    I am always over apologizing and I’ve noticed it a lot lately. This is definitely something I need to work on – to be confident in who I am and what I do and to only be sorry if I really did something wrong, not just for being who I am.

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  4. Kirsten

    Somewhat related: I broke my habit of saying “please” because I noticed men just said what was expected. You don’t have to bark orders or be rude, but at work, saying please indicates that what follows is a request – not a direction.

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  5. Evelyn

    I definitely have this tendency at work. While it worked for my previous position, which was service-focused, I found that it also made people respect me less. They saw me more as a helper and not as someone capable of leadership. That job required that sort of personality, but it still felt like I was shooting myself in the foot. Be less sorry and risk my likability/job, or keep my job and not move higher.
    Moving away from service oriented work is one strong reason why I’m trying to train myself for different work.

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  6. Lois Levy

    Throughout my career as a successful manager I was told that while I got incredible results and had amazing teams, my behavior was too abrasive, too assertive, too much. One boss told me that he thought I was fabulous, but he also thought I had to stop “breaking so much glass.” Men never hear stuff like this. It was acknowledged that I was almost always right, but still….I finally became a consultant where they paid me more for the exact same behavior.

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