You know the scenario. You have a friend that has some of your stuff, or owes you money. It's been weeks. You finally decide to bring it up, and what's the first thing out of your mouth, "Hey, sorry, but..." Next time, skip the apology.
Photo by frankieleon.
As business blog Inc. points out, we have a tendency to feel a little guilty when asking for things we're owed. Maybe we don't want to inconvenience someone, or maybe some of us lack confrontation skills. Regardless, if you're asking for something you're owed -- or even something you believe you deserve -- apologising only weakens your position right off the bat:
You're setting a precedent for future interactions, and for how your boss, customer, or business contact is likely to think about you. Do you want that to be as someone who apologises for everything, who asks permission and tries not to be a bother? Or as someone who values your own accomplishments, and knows your abilities and worth? Which is likely to bring you the next promotion, plum assignment, or business deal?
Over-apologising in general isn't great. Unless you have a legitimate reason to be sorry for something, all it does is remind the person you're talking to that you feel bad. However, when it comes to things that you deserve or are owed, apologising is just getting in your own way.