The Future is #FeministAF
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From the Blog
Have you ever made a perfectly reasonable request— for a raise, or for help with a project— and been met by a ridiculous, blustery, over-the-top negative response? Did it go so badly, in fact, that you felt stupid and wrong for having dared to ask in the first place?
Now, maybe the person you were talking to was just a certifiable jerk.
But— and I say this with love— it might have been your apology energy.
I know you’ve heard this before, but while our words are important, much of the communication that happens between humans is actually nonverbal.
Our posture, our tone of voice, the clothes we wear, the way we stand or sit, our eye contact, even our heart rate— these are powerfully communicating all sorts of things to the people around us.
Many people (but especially women) are shocked to learn that they’re accidentally communicating something that’s costing them: costing them raises, promotions, credibility, and support.
What are they communicating?
A nonverbal apology.
In fact, they’re broadcasting, “I’m so sorry!!! For everything!! Please don’t be mad at me!!” so loudly that it drowns out their actual words.
Apology energy is when we ask for something or declare something, but because we are inwardly conflicted, we project a nonverbal apology along with it. It sounds like this:
“So, um, I thought I’d maybe try to take a little time for myself? Just, like, half an hour? If it’s okay with you? Do you mind?”
When we do this, our voice, body language, and whole demeanor telegraph (much more loudly than the words we use): “I AM DOING SOMETHING WRONG! I BET YOU’RE MAD AT ME FOR WANTING SOMETHING SO TERRIBLE AND SELFISH! I AM SO BAD! YOU SHOULD BE APPALLED AND HORRIFIED!”
If you’re getting a lot of pushback from people around you, check your apology energy. (Then check to see if they’re jerks, or toddlers.)
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