It wasn’t until I graduated from college, living and working independently, that I realized just how often I was saying “I’m sorry”. My daily dialect included phrases such as- “I’m sorry, can I ask you a question?… Sorry, can you zip up my dress?…I’m sorry, I’m not interested in dating.” I’m astounded at how apologetic the women of our culture are and the effect it has on our relationships, work environment, and over all self empowerment. The submissive and timid attitudes that women have grown accustom to undoubtedly originate from the progression of women’s roles in history. Proving our intelligence and value in what’s considered to be a “man’s world” is the root to our hesitant approach.
Sadly, women have created a vicious cycle through lack of confidence in themselves and their abilities that this trait recycles with every generation. The modern evolution of females in our society has had little effect on the way women approach their wants and needs; which in result, makes it difficult for us to be trusted by our peers, especially the opposite sex. I believe that our world is in the midst of a pivotal era in time and it is up to us to make a difference in how we portray our intelligence and confidence.
Here are a few of the silliest things I’ve apologized for this week:
- To the waiter who messed up my order…that I’m paying for.
- To the guy I politely denied after he insulted my future career goals.
- To my best friend who solicited my advice yet didn’t like my opinion about her crazy ex boyfriend.
While there are instances where apologizing is necessary, most apologies used by women- especially at work- are hardly ever an apology at all. Simply put, rarely ever are we actually sorry to asking a question, we’re just trying to be polite. To mask being perceived as “too aggressive” or “dominant”, we begin a statement or question with an apology when in truth we are trying to directly voice our opinion. As a result, the overused apology is a tactic we exercise to downplay our power, because we don’t want to seem rude.
Through a self-assured approach and respectful delivery, you will be amazed at how differently people will treat you. Recently, I read a quote by Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, who said “People respond well to people who are sure of what they want.” Which got me thinking…? If women had more confidence in the things they say, work they produce, and thoughts they feel, than the responses they receive would greatly surprise them. It’s our job to unite together in building a strong foundation for the women of our future, so that they can stand confidently and self-assured that their voice matters to the world.
Author: McKenzie Welch (email@example.com)
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