How to Stop Saying Sorry • Open Yourself Up to Possibility


I've spoken a bit about my "Disease to Please" and how I'm (trying) to break up with it in How I'm Breaking Up with Guilt, but I'm finding this "disease" is much deeper engrained in my conditioning and everyday than I had ever realized. Some call it the "Nice Girl Syndrome," as coined in Beverly Engels' book, The Nice Girl Syndrome. I have just about every marking of  the "Nice Girl." My high school senior superlative was "Friendliest." I mean, come on. Has this made me a door mat? Absolutely.  Most of us are ill with it, whether we notice it or not (to one extent or another). 

Let's take a look at the word "Sorry"

Can you count how many times in a day you say sorry? I certainly cannot. Am I really sorry for stepping around someone on the sidewalk? Am I really feeling apologetic for asking someone to grab an item I can't reach from a grocery store shelf? I'm "sorry" for saying no to hecklers, "sorry" for not having time to grab drinks with a stranger. How has the normalization of overusing "Sorry" affected the way we communicate, interact and remain magnetic?

I find that the overuse of the word keeps me small. I become afraid of asking for what I want or what I need and buffer each request with a "sorry." I find myself embodying these "sorrys" in my shoulders and my neck. I curl up and lower my head in submission each time I speak the word. Literally becoming small. Have you noticed this within yourself? Take a pause next time you slip the word and notice your posture, your facial expression. Movement is our first, most primitive mode of communication.

So, here we are at every corner, marketplace and meeting speaking and embodying our smallness through this one simple word we were all taught in order to "be polite," to be "Nice Girls."

I can feel how this manipulates my manifestation process. Using "sorry" in relation to what I want from The Universe communicates that I believe I am unworthy of asking such a thing. It closes me off from the space of possibility as I physically close my body off to anything that could come through.

Inappropriately apologizing deters magnetism because it is just another form of staying small.

Now, to be honest I feel a bit like a hypocrite writing this piece as I have not yet fully learned, or at least put to practice, how to STOP saying SORRY. But, I have become more and more aware of when and why I speak this word. I thought I'd share those with you, as well as some lessons I've picked up from The Nice Girl Syndrome

i. Take inventory of when, where and how you use the word "sorry" • The first step is awareness. Catch yourself each time you say the word and keep tabs. Are there patterns you're recognizing? This is a signal as to where you're feeling small.

ii. Ask yourself why • Why are you apologizing in that moment? Keeping asking yourself why for each answer you come up with, like a pestering child. This most always leads me to the root of my smallness within that moment.

iii. Support yourself with an UNBLOCKED • Working through UNBLOCKED NoUNBLOCKED Shadow and UNBLOCKED Reparent can support you on your person inquisition. Unearth where and why you were conditioned to spit this word out with every request or step along your path. Why are you feeling small?


iv. Put it into practice • Stop saying Sorry! It's as simple as that (although, I know it doesn't feel like it). Have you ever tried to stop using the word "like" while speaking? It's similar. When you feel "sorry" bubbling up from inside your chest, stop. Swallow it back down and reword your sentence without it. What will happen? (Spoiler: you will begin to step into your power).

v. Calm your anxieties • Stepping into your power can be scary - at least it is for me. Anxiety still kicks in after I send a text without my little buffer pal or out right ask for what I want without first prompting a "sorry." Treat yourself kindly and remind yourself you are worthy. Take some CBD or drink some of your favorite tea.


There's really no secret method or hypnosis to snap you out of the depths of the "Nice Girl Syndrome." All you need is awareness and the willingness to ask why. Before you know it, you'll be strutting down the street, head high and open to all possibilities. 

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Share this piece with someone under the spell of the "Nice Girl Syndrome."

They'll thank you for it.



A California creative with a passion for travel, art, frothy lattes and extra cinnamon.

Manifestation with Lacy Phillips