How to apologise less

apologise less

Are you one to say sorry frequently? Take note of how to say it less and be accountable.

Saying ‘sorry’ too frequently in day-to-day conversation can cultivate perceptions of subservience according to executive coach Bonnie Marcus. Overusing the s-bomb can be a bigger blow to career prospects than being disliked, says founder of Manhattan’s Center for Talent Innovation Sylvia Ann Hewlett. Here’s how to rein it in.

Keep a sorry log

Create a table with three columns labelled ‘when’ (date and time), ‘what’ (the situation) and how (you felt). Being aware of when you say sorry will clearly show what triggers you to apologise and may highlight unnecessary instances.

Be accountable

Ask a good friend to pull you up when you say ‘sorry’, whether it’s your go-to sentence starter or a device you use in everyday conversations.


Choose a different phrase to sub in for apologies – think starting a sentence with ‘Let me say this’. If you tend to use ‘sorry’ to fill a space between subjects, try tolerating a couple of seconds’ silence before launching straight into the next idea.

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