Blake Lively reveals the one word she never says on-set and we can all learn something from it
As women, we receive so many mixed messages about the way we should conduct ourselves - at home, work, in the bedroom and beyond - that it's become difficult to distinguish between what's right for us, and what has been ingrained by society writ large.
Certainly, it's no secret that women apologise more than their male counterparts, with research showing that we have a lower threshold for what we consider is worth saying "sorry" for. But while we know that apologising profusely in the workplace can be an act of self-sabotage, it can also influence our creative vision - something that was pointed out by actor, Blake Lively, this week.
Blake Lively's latest film, A Simple Favor, sees her character tell a friend to "Never say sorry, it's a f*cked up female habit" - and this is something that she has carried through to her working life.
"With age, you get more and more confident," she said when speaking to USA Today. "I spent a lot of my creative life trying to just go along with it, and when I had ideas, I felt like they weren’t encouraged. People just want you to show up, put on clothes, say words that aren’t yours and do what you’re told to do, versus actually being a creative partner."
"The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized how much better work I do when I get to collaborate, and it’s really not worth it otherwise," she continued.
"I’m most proud of the experiences in which I was valued and those are not ones where you’re apologizing — those are ones where any idea is welcomed and heard. Those experiences teach me to stand up for what I believe in, creatively."
Lively makes an important point here - constantly apologising not only renders you incapable of collaborating and sharing ideas, but it also stops you from expressing your creative vision in an assertive and confident manner.
In 2016, a Google Chrome extension that highlights keywords and phrases in your emails which could undermine your standing in the workplace was devised by Tami Reiss. Reiss, from Cyrus innovation, came up with the idea after a discussion at a networking event, wherein the women present admitted that they use words like "just" and "sorry" even when they don't really mean them.
"We edit ourselves out and we minimize ourselves… because we’re afraid of coming off as too strong, when in reality, by adding them in, we’re making ourselves come off as weak," the plug-in's developer, Reiss, later explained in an interview.
"We had all inadvertently fallen prey to a cultural communication pattern that undermined our ideas. As entrepreneurial women, we run businesses and lead teams — why aren’t we writing with the confidence of their positions? The last thing you need is to seem unsure of yourself. We want to make it easy to kick the habit by making it obvious when these qualifiers are holding us back."
So, the next time you think about apologising - take a second to consider whether you're truly sorry.