I Am Sorry But… Sorry for What?
Have you ever started your comment at a meeting or with a friend with: “I am sorry but… “ What exactly are you sorry about? Are you sorry you happen to have a very beneficial comment to share with your group? Are you sorry that you are not valuable enough to add your thoughts or provide a possible solution? How about, “This might be a silly question but….” Here again is a way to set yourself up as not being smart enough to be present at the meeting. Become aware of the use of self-deprecating comments. Remember,” No question is a silly or stupid question.” Those who ask questions learn and when we learn we can offer valuable in put.
If you are in a leadership position, I offer that you have ground rules that mention the importance of everyone’s questions and input. I also recommend that it be widely acknowledged that we all have valuable information to share and bring our own knowledge from all differing experiences.
Women have a tendency to be unable to take a compliment when someone admires something they have ”Oh, this sweater. I have had it for years.” “Oh, yes, I did the report, but it’s not really that good.” The habit of self-deprecating behavior starts in childhood. It acts as a defensive protection against criticism. As teenagers we are under pressure to be part of the crowd, so being smarter, or prettier makes us stand out. As we age, we continue to use negative comments to justify our accomplishments as being mediocre. We then find ourselves with low self-esteem. This behavior, as stated in a Princeton University study, creates neural pathways in ones brain and soon we believe all the comments we have made to others about ourselves.
Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, and Woody Allen made lots of money using self-deprecating comments. They are comedians. People can relate to their negative comments about themselves. In actuality, is that really funny when we stop and think about our own behaviors and how they have played a part in our lives and careers-a part that may have been quite negative?
I recommend you lose the self-deprecating comments and take on a belief that you are perfect as you are. The only thing to change is your thinking that you are not good enough. If this is the case, you CAN do something about it.
Check out my Coaching Tip: Self- Deprecating Behavior-What to know and how to change it