Stop Over-Apologizing at Work

Stop Over-Apologizing at Work

Over-apologizing at work is a plague among our core demographic of readers (young people, women, judgmental introverts).

If you’re anything like me, you were raised to apologize way too often. I grew up in the American Midwest, Land of the Rising Ope. Socially, we value politeness above all else (corn subsidies and casseroles excluded, obviously). I never thought critically about how much I was apologizing. Until, without realizing it, “sorry” became my default response to every conceivable situation, whether positive, negative, or neutral.

  • Me, when I’m five minutes late: “Ope, sorry!”
  • Also me, but when I’m five minutes early: “Ope, sorry!”
  • And me when I’m exactly on time: (Okay, this has never happened to me even once in my life. But if it did, I would absolutely apologize for setting incorrect expectations of future punctuality.)

This habit was especially noticeable at work. For years, I unconsciously gravitated towards soft, supple, accommodating language in every communication I sent, lest my coworkers find me bitchy and unlikable. It was tedious, but I truly thought I was being a polite, flexible communicator.

In reality, I was sabotaging myself.

Now that I’ve recategorized “being bitchy and unlikable” from fears to goals, I have embraced a more authentic communication style. And that’s allowed me to express myself more easily and effectively than I ever thought possible.

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I Now Make More Money Than My Husband, and It’s Great for Our Marriage

For years my husband Bear and I toiled away at low-paying non-profit jobs.

For the most part, our salaries were pretty comparable. With every raise or promotion, we’d leapfrog each other by small degrees. We both had side hustles, too: me as a freelance editor, him as a bouncer at a nightclub. (Which… sucked.)

Slowly, things changed.

My raises and promotions weren’t keeping up with his.He was outearning me, and able to quit his side hustle (which was great, because getting puked on is no fun). Whereas I had to freelance more to bring in even close to what he brought home. It was one of the first signs that I needed to quit my job at a non-profit publishing house. So I did. I left for a higher-paying job in the for-profit sector. And I was back on track, making a salary equal to my husband’s! All was well in the land of Equal Division of Labor!

But then things changed again.

I got a newer, better, cooler day job.My side business took off, too. And suddenly, I now make more money than my husband… by a lot. Which has given me a lot to think about what a truly equal marriage looks like.

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How to Get Married: Bureaucracy, Finances, and Legal Paperwork to do before “I do"

How To Get Married: Bureaucracy, Finances, and Legal Paperwork To Do Before “I Do”

Every once in a while we Bitches are asked marriage or relationship questions. And it amuses me to no end that we are seen as ADULTS with STABLE MARRIAGES and HEALTHY LIFESTYLES. Because we live in keen awareness that we’re floating slowly down a river of Parmesan cheese straight into the yawning mouth of the Ninth Gate of Death, just like everybody else.

Not that’s it’s necessarily wrong! My marriage with Bear just feels like such a humble, natural thing. How could it possibly be instructional to others? He’s currently listening to a podcast in the shower while I do blog stuff from the couch and I love him so stupidly much. 

Yet our loving relationship has much more to do with why we got married than how. Being in love and wanting to spend your life with someone is, sadly, not the only requirement for getting married (common law marriages notwithstanding).

So today I want to talk about the logistics of marriage: the paperwork, the bureaucracy, and the legal gauntlet you must run to get hitched.

In this era of modern romance, it’s pretty common for people to move in together before getting married, even to combine finances or buy property together. We did! That gradual combining of lives makes things pretty painless. But let’s say you’re doing it all at once around the time of the wedding! With that in mind, here’s a list of the steps you need to take to get married… punctuated with gifs from the wedding of John Legend’s dogs.

This is the slippery slope: dogs getting married.
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Be Somebody’s Eliza with a Simple Yet Life-Changing Act of Kindness

Piggy and I are going to take our annual short break. Running BGR is always hard work, but this has been one for the record books! We’ve absorbed a lot of confusion, panic, and sadness through our inboxes this year. So we’re going to do our best to unplug and mentally refresh ourselves with a nice long vacation.

… Hahaha psych! We’re gonna use that time to catch up on tedious admin work. If anyone tells you blogging is an easy way to get rich quick, kindly punch them in the chest. Aim for the heart.

It’s been a helluva year, y’all. I wanted to leave you with a story to contemplate over the holiday. Given how shitty everything has been, I felt compelled to make it a happy one. Or at least a hopeful one. In fact, I’m gonna give you the most hopeful story I’ve got.

Today I’m going to tell you about a person who changed my life.

It’s a true story about how our everyday actions have wider and deeper impacts than we can ever know. It’s a little star that’s always helped guide me, especially in moments of personal cynicism and despair. When I feel powerless, it reminds me I’m not. As we face a winter that feels magnitudes longer, darker, and more isolated than usual, I thought everyone could use a story like this.

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If someone else's generosity makes you uncomfortable, dig deep and figure out why. Your gut may be telling you something your brain ain't ready to hear.

Ask the Bitches: “How Do I Put a Stop to Unwanted Monetary Gifts?”

Since we’re all living through fairly doomy and gloomy times, I want to occasionally slip in a question that’s firmly in the category of a nice-to-have problem.

Just such a question appeared in our Patreon inbox this week. (Patreon donors get direct access to the single glowing brain that Piggy and I share, and can ask us questions directly, which we are guaranteed to answer!) Since this question involves some venting about their family members, I’ll protect their identity by calling them Fran.

Hey Powerful Sunflowers, 

I’m a financially secure adult in my late twenties. My husband and I are homeowners and prolific savers. We’re doing great! However, my parents still insist on treating us like kids.

My father loves to give me money anytime I go to visit. It was awesome when I was in college, but started to feel infantilizing as I’ve grown. So I started to refuse to take his money, but he sneaks it into my purse!

It’s always more than a hundred dollars. Sometimes much more. 

I donate it when I find it, but it’s still frustrating! I really do not need or want my parents’ money. So it’s partially a money question and partially a relationship question. Is there anything I can do to stop taking the money? And if not, is there a better way to be using it? 

Thanks Bitches.

– Patreon Donor Fran
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It is NOT normal for parents to hang the threat of homelessness and poverty over their teenage child's head.

Ask the Bitches: “I Just Turned 18 and My Parents Are Kicking Me Out. How Do I Brace Myself?”

Today’s question is from a Patreon donor I’ll call Star. It will include a lot of discussions about abusive parental relationships, so please be forewarned.

Star is in a Patreon tier that guarantees we will answer one question. We often do so privately, as the circumstances are often quite particular. But sometimes we post them publically as articles if we think they would be helpful to others. That’s the case with today’s letter.

Hello! I just became a Patron. I’m currently in a situation where my family has been threatening to kick me out of the house. I just turned eighteen two weeks ago, so my adult legs are a bit wobbly. I’m trying to save up for a car, as that’s most important to me right now. My question is: Do you queen genius bitches know if there’s any way I could get government assistance? Or any advice as to how I can move out from my abusive home on my own terms, but as soon as possible? Thank you in advance.

We’re so sorry you’re in this situation.

Eighteen has to be the most fraught age for the relationship between children and parents. It’s normal for once-loving family relationships to feel strained as you all struggle to adjust to the transformation from dependent child to independent adult.

But it is not normal for parents to hang the threat of homelessness and poverty over their teenage child’s head. I really wish you weren’t going through this.

Piggy and I are here in your corner with you, Star. And so is every other BGR reader. We have a substantial population of Hip Mom™ readers, and I am hyper-aware of them right now, because I can feel their simmering rage at reading your letter. It’s warming my keyboard. Ow ow ow.

I hope you have a lot of people in your corner besides us, both because you deserve love and support, and because we’re dumbasses who will probably get plenty of this wrong.

But we’re going to do everything we can to help you regardless. Let’s get into it.

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He has a college degree and is physically and mentally able, but he does not work This is crazy, right?

Ask the Bitches: “My Friend Is Going Broke Dating a Man Who Contributes Nothing. Should I Say Something?”

Today we have a question from a Patreon donor on a subject that’s always hard to answer: what can you do when a friend is doing something really, really financially dumb?

(Have you heard that we answer donor questions directly? It’s true! Find out how at Patreon.com/BitchesGetRiches!)

Donor Alyssa writes…

Here’s the situation. 

Last year, a good, long-term friend of mine (40 year-old woman) had her boyfriend (38 year-old man) move in with her. Before that they were long distance, so only recently have I gotten to know this dude and their relationship.

Despite him having a college degree and being physically and mentally able, he does not work. Not at all. Not one minute and not for one cent. He is also not a trust funder nor does he otherwise have money of his own. He is also not looking for work and he is not in school.

My friend supports him 100%. She provides all housing, food, transportation, vacations (!!!), and everything else. They do not have children or dependents to support, and neither want children in the future. He does do most of the housework and cooking. But they do not have a vast estate that needs tending. From what I glean he spends most of his time playing video games.

My friend tells me that she is declining further and further into debt. She has said, wistfully, that she wishes she could save for the future. She also says that she and her boyfriend are “great communicators,” and she likes that he is always available when she is.

So that’s the situation. Here are my questions: do I do anything/say anything about this? If so, what? It certainly isn’t my relationship, and they are both grown ass adults, but … THIS IS CRAZY, RIGHT? And just in case it’s not clear, I am Team DTMFA.

– Alyssa H.

Alyssa, thanks for this question, and for your support of this blog! I see two layers of questions here. First: is this dude’s behavior acceptable? Second: what (if anything) can you do about it as her friend?

Let’s get into it!

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Episode 006: "I lent my boyfriend money. He took it to a casino."

Season 1, Episode 6: “I Lent My Boyfriend Money. He Took It to a Casino.”



Today’s episode really has everything. Piggy and I exchanging loving compliments and deep insights—then following it up with sex jokes, and a little off-mic shrieking as this poor Redditor describes her situation.

A young college student lent her older boyfriend money for food and student loans… yet he somehow ends up at a casino.

Hmm… yes, we might have something to say about this one.

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Podcast Episode 003: "My parents have bad credit. Should I help by co-signing their mortgage?"

Season 1, Episode 3: “My Parents Have Bad Credit. Should I Help by Co-signing Their Mortgage?”



When life stresses me out beyond belief, I find nothing more soothing or rejuvenating than reading about petty dramas I’m not personally involved in.

Neighbors feuding in all caps on Next Door; running blogs dragging the shit out of marathon cheaters; Facebook mommy groups erupting into explosive schisms over international geopolitics. Ahhhh… reading them is like slipping into a warm bath. So juicy! So low-stakes! With so much to fret about in my life, it’s nice to pause and contemplate the completely optional frettings of random other people I will likely never meet.

Which is why I love Reddit! And I’ll occasionally pull random questions that feed the drama-devouring beast within me interest me! Today’s question was found on r/personalfinance, a board where I lurk on the reg for obvious reasons…

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