Ever found yourself flustered and apologising at the till because you can’t seem to stuff your change into your wallet before the next person comes along? Or catch yourself saying “sorry” for wanting someone to make room for you to walk past?
Many women can attest to finding themselves apologising for things that are not their fault, like the weather, entering someone’s office or asking if a seat is taken.
2016 should be the year for taking ownership of taking up space in the world. This includes public transport, the workplace and even our homes.
By nature, women are wired to be more nurturing then their male counterparts, according to research by the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
Being a kind and caring person is not a bad thing. However, being an over-apologiser can make you look insecure and powerless. In fact, not feeling confident and apologising all the time also has an effect on your career.
“(Women) devalue themselves and initially don’t price themselves properly, and then, when they do an exceptional job, they want to make people happy more often than they want to take credit. That explains a lot of the salary disparity between men and women,” said Barbara Corcoran, a judge on Shark Tank, a reality TV show which features a panel of potential investors.
The Scientific American says that although women do apologise more than men, there may also a gender difference in what is considered offensive in the first place.
Thankfully, technology has come to the party to assist in curbing apologetic behaviour. Gmail now has a plug-in called Just Not Sorry. The plug-in will underline certain words for correction, with additional information about how the phrase is perceived.
Using words like “sorry” frequently in emails undermines your gravitas, says Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and expert on gender and workplace issues, and even seemingly innocent terms such as “just” shrink your power. The plug-in is part of the Female Founder initiative.