1. Know when it is a good time to be
sorry. It’s appropriate to say something when someone has received bad news, or
you’ve really made life difficult for someone else.
2. Notice who you tend to apologize to.
Are there certain people who undermine your confidence, who leave you a feeling
as if you’re always wrong?
3. Try to notice when you’re starting
to apologize. Habits are often hard to recognize. They’re usually automatic,
and we’re only semi-conscious of patterns we fall into, and things we tend to
4. Try and look for the roots, or the
need, you’re covering up. For example, perhaps an authority figure (parent,
teacher, older sibling, coach) used to get angry if you didn’t “just shut up”
or take the blame. Alternatively, you may feel you can’t really share the way
you feel – so you just apologize.
5. Related to the above, consider how
your drive to apologize to others is likely to affect you much further down the
road. For example it is likely that you’re building up a heap of grievances, or
you may pull back from get close to those you love.
6. Decide to establish and enforce your
boundaries, and to say “no” to others – without also saying “sorry”!