Would you STOP apologizing?
I’m not just talking to tech novices out there. Folks in high-tech, especially women, do it too.
A fully-grown adult will begin an on-the-mark criticism or question with an apology. “I’m sorry…” Those two little words, a short-hand for not having or using the technical terminology, are deadly. It ruins the credibility of the statement you’re about to make. It broadcasts a message, “I feel inferior, and my contributions to this conversation will be less valid than yours.”
That’s a load of crap.
There are no stupid tech comments or questions. The ideas and questions that come in from left field, from a different point of view, are often quite illuminating. Don’t apologize when you ask “Why isn’t the emperor wearing any clothes?” And if it is an issue of education, isn’t it better to learn something?
I can’t do a thing about the person on the other side, who responds to your comment or question in that condescending, let-me-teach-you, it’s-alright-dear, we-can’t-really-expect-you-to-understand tone of voice. Feed an ego, and a pedestal will naturally grow under its feet.
But I can tell you to stop apologizing.
You’re not a wuss. Don’t talk like one.