The 5-Step Plan to Stop Saying "I’m Sorry"

Regain your power, confidence, and authority with this plan to stop apologizing when you shouldn’t.

Posted on | By Blanca Cobb
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Blanca Cobb Explains the S.O.R.R.Y. Plan (2:47)

Many women say “I’m sorry” as a fix to any problem, whether they’re at fault or not. Here’s a list of examples when women tend to say it: asking someone to repeat what they said, making a request, feeling like an imposition, asking a question, and being assertive. The overriding theme in these examples is that an apology isn’t required or necessary. Perhaps you’ve become accustomed to apologizing as a way to be polite. Yet, unknowingly you’re sabotaging your power, confidence, and authority. Apologizing without a legitimate reason and apologizing too frequently makes you appear weak and less confident. Which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve when you apologize.

To regain your power, confidence, and authority, here’s a five-step plan to stop saying “I’m sorry.”

Step 1: Save Your “I’m Sorry”

To stop saying sorry for everything, you have to understand the situations when saying sorry is warranted. First, save your apologies for when you’re offering condolences for a death. A sorry in this situation shows that you’re empathetic, thoughtful, and compassionate. Second, save your apologies for when you’ve genuinely hurt someone’s feelings. When you say sorry in this situation, then you’re showing that you truly understand the negative impact of your words. Third, save your apologies for when you’re at fault for an accident or mistake. Let’s say you spill your coffee and it stains your friend’s handbag. Saying you’re sorry in this situation shows that you’re accepting responsibility for your unintended actions.

Step 2: Own Your Decisions

Your decisions are yours to make. No one has a say in your decisions unless you ask for their input. If your decisions are legal and don’t negatively impact other people then there’s no reason to be sorry. Let’s say you sign up to volunteer at your daughter’s school book fair. A few hours before your volunteer shift, you get called into work. You switch shifts with another volunteer. Own your decision that you found someone to cover your book fair shift and your decision to go to work. You don’t need to say sorry for making a decision to stay employed.

I’m a mom of two kids. Both of them know that I’ll make decisions that are in their best interests, but at times they may not like my decisions. One house rule is that they have to complete their chores before texting, talking to friends, or turning on the tube. I own my decision to instill a sense of responsibility in my kids. There’s no need for me to say “I’m sorry that you’ll have to complete your chores before texting your friends.” If I do, then I’m undermining my decision.

Article written by Blanca Cobb
CEO of TruthBlazer, nationally recognized body language, and lie detection expert.