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WORK

POLITENESS AND ASSERTIVENESS

NOT / SORRY

The ability to say sorry is a sign of being empathetic. It shows that one is mature enough to be able to admit their mistake and express remorse for causing pain or harm. Yes, saying “sorry” is sometimes hard. That is why it is especially important to know when to say it. 

Saying sorry too much or too often may have a negative impact. It is a fact that women say sorry more often than men. And they do not always have a reason. 


Sorry, not sorry! Why are women always sorry?

For example, you start your statement with words: “Sorry, could I…” or “I may be wrong, but…” It may seem that you are just polite, but you risk diminishing the importance of your words and ideas. It may even indicate a lack of confidence in what you are about to say. Or even not certain if you have the right to say it. 

The tendency to say sorry too often is more dangerous than you think. It influences your self-confidence and thus the way others see you. The ability to stand by your opinions and ideas is a crucial part in building healthy relationships at home, in a relationship, at school, or at work. 

Do not say sorry if you have not done anything wrong. Do not be sorry for just any trifle, and not beyond what is necessary. Your “sorry” may otherwise lose its meaning, and matter less if you ever really do make a mistake.

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We teach boys and girls different things from the beginning of their lives. Boys are often praised and encouraged for being straightforward and self-confident. Conversely, we teach girls to be mainly nice, smiling, and obedient. Girls are expected to be empathetic and aware of how their deeds influence others. Their tendency to feel ashamed is due to receiving this kind of upbringing much more than men. 

For example, if a boy wins a competition, he is less likely to think about how his victory influenced his opponents. Conversely, when a girl wins, her victory may cause feelings of guilt for the defeated alongside her happiness, and lead to her playing down her success. 

 

Society has different expectations from men and women. A fearless girl is often considered bossy and self-confident, even arrogant. 

 

Look at these non-threatening strategies for women, just for fun of course, here

HOW TO UNLEARN SAYING “SORRY”

An apology may often seem an ideal way to prevent conflicts. The fact is that not everyone will always agree with you. And that is OK. It doesn’t mean you have to hate each other. If you learn to cope with disagreement, it will make you more immune and, in the end, it may even teach you the healthy habit of accepting constructive criticism. 

Learn the differences between situations when saying “sorry” is suitable and when it is only a bad habit. 
 

One of the reasons why girls say sorry so often is that it may seem polite. There is nothing wrong with being polite and decent. On the contrary! But being polite is not mutually exclusive from being straightforward. 

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Neexistuje nič také ako „pozitívna diskriminácia.“ Diskrimináciou totiž vždy označujeme znevýhodňovanie ľudí – a to sa jednoducho nikdy nedá považovať za pozitívne. Tento termín je nezmyselný, tie dve slová si navzájom protirečia.

COMPLIMENTS

When someone compliments you (e.g. for a well-prepared presentation at school), you should simply accept it, be delighted, and say “Thank you”. You do not need to say anything about the presentation that it was done “in a hurry”, that you “did not have time” and that you “do not actually like it”. A sincere and kind compliment that shows the complimenter appreciates your skills is a good reason to smile. Just accept some good feelings. 

MANSPLAINING

Some men have a persistent urge to explain everything. They try to explain to women things when they themselves know much less about it. A man usually automatically assumes that he “should” explain things to a woman. 

 

A man in a working environment can interrupt his female colleague, finish her sentences, or repeat what she has said to take her thoughts. He may also do this while undermining her authority in a team through making ridiculing or disrespecting comments on her or her work performance. Or he just simply does not let her finish when she speaks. 

 

Such behaviour contributes to creating an environment that makes women, especially young women, be silent. This environment is unsupportive. In a polite space, such behaviour demonstrates power. In an impolite space, that same power is demonstrated through violence.

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READ MORE:

Rebecca Solnit (2014): Men Explain Things to Me.