Stop Saying Sorry (It's Losing You Business)

Lucas James

Lucas James



Are you saying "sorry" when the situation doesn't require it? In some cases, people apologize when they haven't done anything wrong or feel like they must take responsibility for someone else's problems. By over-apologizing, you could be hurting your business. We'll look at why saying sorry is an issue and how you can fix it. 

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Reasons for Over-Apologizing

People often over-apologize because they think it is expected of them. Usually, the individual has done nothing wrong, but they feel like a "sorry" can help soothe hurt feelings or resolve problems. People also over-apologize because they want to be people-pleaser. As a business owner, you want to be friendly and polite to customers. Plus, you never want to upset or disappoint those who patronize your business. 

Maybe you just strive for perfectionism. If you have painfully high standards for yourself, it can be hard to live up to them. With that, you could feel inadequate as a business owner and feel you must apologize for everything that doesn't meet those perfect standards. 

When something goes wrong, it can make many people feel uncomfortable. Once again, you may feel insecure about the situation and don't know what to do or say to rectify the problems. By saying sorry, you are trying to make yourself and others feel better about the issues. 

Unfortunately, those in the business without the proper training or experience exhibit many signs of low self-esteem. If you are not confident, you might say sorry more often. You might think you are performing poorly, asking too much of a client, or being reasonable with demands. By saying sorry, you're giving yourself a significant boost to your own personal self-esteem. 

Related: How to Master Public Speaking for Introverts

Often, over-apologizing can just be a bad habit. A lot of people have over-apologized for years, or they have listened to others over-apologize for their actions. In either case, these individuals could be saying sorry unconsciously. Apologizing has just become an automatic response that many people do not realize they are doing. 

Finally, some people feel like they have to apologize on behalf of another person. If you own a business, you might have to apologize for the behavior or conduct of your employees. By apologizing for other people, you could actually enable the problematic behavior, making you responsible for their actions.

Why Saying Sorry Is Bad?

Too much of a good thing is never great for business. And this is very true of saying sorry. When you over-apologize, it will dilute those apologies that really need to be spoken. In the business world, over-apologizing can make you look less confident in your abilities. Customers will want to avoid dealing with a business with an owner who cannot handle the responsibilities. By saying sorry, you will present an unprofessional image of yourself and your business. Your clients will not want to spend money on your products or services if you have to keep over-apologizing for everything. 

Over-apologizing can be a symptom of low self-esteem or poor boundaries. Sometimes, people feel like they have to take responsibility for things that are not their problems. Instead of apologizing for something out of your control, finding a solution to a problem or resolving an issue with a client is better. Relying on saying sorry will only add more burden to your shoulders. When you need to focus on other business matters, you should be seen as a problem-solver, not an over-apologizer. 

Related: How to Build and Maintain Client Relationships that Last 

Know When To Apologize

Yes, there are times when you will need to make the appropriate apology. You should apologize when you have done something wrong, such as being disrespectful, hurting someone's feelings, or violating a person's boundaries. Hopefully, you are not doing that in your business space. 

However, you do not need to apologize for the following:

  • Not having an answer
  • Your employees
  • Circumstances out of your control
  • Things you did not do
  • Not having an immediate response

After all, you are human. But, as a business owner, over-apologizing is not a good look. In any industry, you should be seen as a strong leader. By saying too many sorrys, you will not be able to lead your company or your employees. You don't need to apologize and hope the problem will disappear. Make sure to take actionable steps to fix any issues in your company. 

Related: Not Growing? Tips to Increase Profit in Your Business Now

Stop Over-Apologizing

Now that you know you need to stop apologizing, here are a few tips for breaking that habit. 

Awareness is the first step in making changes in your life. As previously mentioned, over-apologizing could be a subconscious reflex in your mind. You want to pay attention to how you respond to certain situations. You can get some clues about why you are over-apologizing. 

Make sure the apology is absolutely necessary. If you did something wrong, then you will need to apologize. However, if you are explaining on another person's behalf, then you should rethink your sorrys. 

Finally, don't forget to reframe your apologies. Instead of saying "I'm sorry," use another phrase. 

Depending on the circumstances, you might want to say:

Thanks for your patience

Let me get to the bottom of the problem

Over-Apologizing Is Hurting Your Business

For many, those over-apologies are a bad habit that can hurt your business. Like most habits, it does take time and effort to undo that behavior and replace it. Yes, over-apologizing can be a bad habit to break, but you need to overcome it to help your business thrive. 

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Lucas James

Hi there. My name is Lucas James. I am the CEO of Twiz. I am obsessed with software and coming up with creative ways to solve big problems.

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