The other day an article scrolled onto my LinkedIn feed titled 10 Things to Never Apologize For Again. My first thought was that people in my culture don’t apologize enough. My second thought was, please don’t give my people more reasons not to apologize!
In fairness, it was a good list and the author made some great points. Still, can’t help but think the world needs more apologizing, not less. So to get the universe back in balance, here’s my list of things we should always apologize for. In no particular order.
You should apologize if…
- … you overuse fancy jargon to make things sound more complicated than they are. (My field is the worst offender. Unless it’s actually rocket science, please speak plain English.)
- …you send connection requests on LinkedIn without a brief courtesy message. (A simple greeting will do.)
- …you are a keyboard warrior who flings insults online that you’d never dare say to someone’s face. (If you can’t be brave, at least be civil.)
- …you argue politics on social media, especially on LinkedIn. (Divisive and unproductive, business and politics are a bad combination.)
- …you think you have nothing to apologize for. (You do.)
- …you accuse everyone else of being in a bubble. (Proof you are living in the tiniest of bubbles.)
- …you assign yourself a pretentious business title that doesn’t exist in real life, like “Relationship Integration Versatilist,” (counselor) or Transparency Enhancement Technician (window washer).
- …you use nouns like “leverage” and “gift” as verbs. (Who gave these nouns permission to become verbs?)
- …you use words like “opulent,” “high-toned,” and “resonantly floral” to describe your coffee. (Just drink it and enjoy!)
- …you make lists of reasons people should apologize. (For that I sincerely apologize.)
It’s easy making this list for other people. Now try making one for yourself. Not so easy, and not nearly as much fun. But there’s a big upside: it’s a wonderful exercise in self-reflection.
What’s your list?