Stop Apologizing

Stop apologizing for every damn thing you say in the name of love for yourself! Why, as women, do we apologize for things we say and do? Do men go around apologizing for things randomly? Do men think they have hurt your feelings then immediately apologize? Women want to make things all better. Diffuse a situation, and calm everything down so there will be peace. These are great virtues, but when these virtues cause harm to ourselves, they are no longer of value. This behavior is one more thing we as women have been cursed with due to our gender roles.  

We are expected by most, not all, to fix problems, take no credit, and remain anonymous while doing all of this. If you are a mom, the task becomes infinitely worse; you cannot be human. You are not allowed to make mistakes. You must act like an adult at all times, never cry, lose your temper, and you must have all the answers. And, let us not forget to take all blame and wrongdoing while not letting it hurt our feelings or making us feel like we are a bad mom. 

We do this by apologizing, but why must we apologize? There is not one perfect human on this earth. I researched why we apologize for this blog post and found some interesting things that hit home. 

  1. You might be feeling inadequate or not good enough. 
  2. Maybe you were raised by a parent who had overwhelming needs. 
  3. You might over-apologize because you want to be seen as a “good person”.
  4. Over-apologizing comes from wanting to “avoid conflict at all costs”. 

I started to notice myself apologizing for everything, and it was driving me crazy. I sat back and looked at the people I was apologizing to and the things I was apologizing for, and it occurred to me that I threw in words “I’m sorry” so much it started to have no meaning. I was using the word sorry to end an argument or start a conversation. I was using the damn word to keep me in contact with someone. I needed to create some distance or find a better way to express myself. It became a word, maybe even to get some sympathy. I can tell you the people I said it to were not saying it back to me. There was no apologizing back and forth. We weren’t taking equal responsibility for a situation between two parties. Houston, we have a problem!

I am not sure when the light bulb finally went on. Maybe I ran into a brick wall, or a friend said something that clicked in my brain. What I do know is that I consciously started to restrain myself from saying the words “I’m sorry”. I carefully chose when I would take the blame for something. This tiny change has made a considerable difference in how I feel about myself and how I handle the relationships I have with other people. I feel empowered, stronger, and better able to manage my emotions. When I find myself wanting to say I’m sorry, I stop and reword my sentence. There are other ways of communicating without feeling like everything is a problem, or I am the cause.  

Even at my age, I am learning new tricks and making changes. My grandma used to say, “You can learn something new every day.” Granny was a smart cookie! Life is challenging enough, and although I am a strong woman, I don’t need to make life more difficult. So I will keep doing what I need to, to be the best version of myself.

“Every next level of your life will demand a different version of you.”

 

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