Want to sound more confident? Then stop saying sorry…

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It’s the school holidays! Today I took my three boys out for breakfast at our favourite roti canai restaurant, went swimming and then had a late lunch with Aisya near her house. As Aisya and I were talking in the car on our way to lunch, we brought up the topic of how a lot of people, especially women, tend to say “sorry” even when they shouldn’t be. So I thought this would be a good topic to write about today.

Do you say “sorry” when you’ve done nothing wrong?

We get a lot of emails from our subscribers and we’re always happy to get emails. However, we noticed that many of the emails end with “I’m sorry that my English is bad” or something along those lines. Every time we get these emails we feel like saying, “You don’t need to be sorry! Well done for making the effort to write to us in English!”

When you say sorry all the time, it makes you sound less confident and unsure of yourself. It’s totally fine when you’ve made a mistake, or you’ve caused someone inconvenience. But in most other situations, you don’t need to say it.

Did you do something wrong?
Did you hurt someone?
Did you do or say something that was offensive?

If the answer is no, then you’ll need to start using it less. Save it for the situations where you really do need to be sorry.

Try these examples.

“I’m sorry that my presentation is bad” can be replaced with “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present to you.”

“I’m sorry that my grammar is poor” can be replaced with “Thank you for listening.” (or just don’t say it at all).

“I’m sorry, but I’d like to check with you on something” can be “I’d like to check with you on something.”

So starting today, I want you to ask yourself this question. “Do I tend to say sorry even when I haven’t done anything wrong?” If the answer is “yes”, it’s time to take it out of your everyday sentences. That way, you can start sounding more confident. It will also make others see you as a person who is firm and self-assured.

You have a right to ask a question or express an opinion. Unless what you express has offended someone, you don’t have to be sorry for it.

We’ll talk to you again soon.

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

Sign up to join our free video training, Speaking with Confidence. We’ll send you seven tips to your email address!

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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