How often are you apologizing, regardless if you hurt someone or if the situation truly necessitated an “I’m sorry”?
People-pleasing includes a lot of apologizing, and it doesn’t always express what we really mean which, sometimes, isn’t so much I’m sorry as it is I’m so thankful.
I used to say I’m so sorry all the time. I’d apologize for everything—even when it’s not really what I meant. Here’s an example from my own life. When I published my book, The Happier Approach, some of my friends and family hosted book parties in their homes.
One of my dear friends from high school, Renee Mattson who spoke on the podcast about how to avoid passing your anxiety onto your kids (here’s part one and part two), hosted one of these events. She invited me to her house a little early so we could have lunch together.
When I arrived, Renee realized she’d forgotten to think about lunch. As she was running around the kitchen, prepping leftovers, I started to feel bad. She went into all this trouble—hosting an event for me—and now she’s serving me lunch!
My Monger was having a field day with this. As the words “I’m so sorry you had to make me lunch” came out of my mouth, I caught myself and simply said: “Thank you so much for making lunch. I know it wasn’t easy and I really appreciate it.” Renee’s face lit up and she said, “you are so welcome, I’m so glad you came early. I know it’s just leftovers but it gives us a chance to talk and catch up.”
In that moment, I realized that by saying thank you—which is what I truly meant—it allowed me to appreciate Renee, allowed her to feel appreciated, and empowered both of us. Had I apologized instead and said my 3 favorite words, “I am sorry”, then she would have apologized for throwing together leftovers and all the things that we people pleasers apologize for and we would have both left the conversation feeling disempowered.
Today on the show, my guest Amy E. Smith and I are talking about people-pleasing and how saying I’m sorry all the time is just one of the ways that people-pleasing shows up in our lives and how it disempowers us and keeps us disconnected from the people in our lives.
Amy is a certified confidence coach, masterful speaker, and personal empowerment expert. Founder of TheJoyJunkie.com, Amy uses her roles as coach, writer, podcaster, and speaker to move individuals to a place of radical personal empowerment and self-love.
Learn more about Amy E. Smith:
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Coach In Your Pocket
Helping people with High Functioning Anxiety is a personal mission for me. I have a special place in my heart for this struggle because it’s both something I dealt with unknowingly for years, and because it silently affects so many people who think this is just how it is.
Working with me this way is an incredibly efficient and effective way to deal with your anxiety in the moment–without waiting for your next appointment.
I have been doing this work for over 20 years and Coach in Your Pocket is the most effective and most life-changing work I have ever done. My clients are consistently blown away by how these daily check-ins combined with the monthly face-to-face video meetings create slow, lasting changes that reprogram their High Functioning Anxiety tendencies over time.
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