Twitter Taught Me to Stop Apologizing

“Well, I was thinking that we should…”

“I believe that we could…”

“I think that it might be better if…”

Do any of those sound like statements that would stop you in your tracks?

My name is Niki, and I am an apologist. Actually, a reformed apologist. I would couch my statements with about 15 more words than they needed, often using “I think” or “I believe” as a way of saying, “Well, this is just my opinion, but…” I remember getting a paper back eons ago, where the professor slashed through the “I think” with red ink, adding, “We know it’s your opinion. You don’t need to remind us.”

I have spent many years, many faculty and staff meetings, many presentations, trying to erase the uncertainty from my statements. Then along comes Twitter, and “I think” and “I believe” are a waste of characters. You cannot present a disclaimer and a statement. 140 characters is just enough space for the presentation of the idea.

In addition to brevity, Twitter offered me a fabulous network of professionals that supported my voice, and the apologies fell away.

So, make a statement. We value your opinion.

14 thoughts on “Twitter Taught Me to Stop Apologizing

    • Very important to consider in negotiations of any kind. Efficiency with words can underline your point more strongly than any other practice. Looking forward to seeing what you learn from the book!

  1. I can totally relate! I used to not do that and then a supervisor told me that people were intimidated by me and that the way I spoke sounded like I wasn’t open to suggestions (I still wonder if HE would have said that to me if I was a man) and that’s when I started adding the “I think, etc” to my statements to “soften” them. I’m moving away from it but it’s a hard habit to break!

  2. I had the same experience as Jenny, by using direct, concise, statements and eliminating the “couching”, I was told I was being “too direct”. Balance is a positive thing, but apologizing for well articulated and contributing thoughts is like apologizing for who you are – and I’v learned from #WLsalt & experience, that is not the way to go through life! Thank you for such a great post!

  3. Pingback: Sorry | Niki Rudolph

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