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Daily Dilemma - Stop Apologizing!

Dear Kelly,

I work with a gal who struggles to function in the workplace socially.  For example, she constantly apologizes for herself even when she's done nothing wrong.  If she walks by you in the kitchen she says she's sorry for getting in the way.   It's as if she's uncomfortable in her own skin and, because of that, she makes everyone around her uncomfortable.  I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to help her because her behavior is upsetting everyone and I feel bad that people are talking behind her back.


No Apologies

Dear N.A.,

Some people have extremely low self-esteem and feel completely worthless as human beings, and others have been abused as children and made to think their existence is a nuisance to others.  I recommend you invite your co-worker to lunch and get to know her.   A casual conversation away from the office could be very eye opening.  Add to that, feeling as if she has a friend at work may help her relax a little and be less stressed.  If befriending her doesn't help you're going to have to be direct and tell her that she needs to stop apologizing all of the time because she's doing a fine job and she's not in anyones way.  Every time she apologizes, tell her to stop.  Eventually she'll get the hang of it.

Take care,

Kelly McKay