Sometimes I find myself frustrated with trends. I never want the things that really, really matter to lose their weight, their impact. I could come up with several examples, especially in the emotional improvement arena, but today I want to talk about #sorrynotsorry. All of this talk about how we say “sorry” too much. It’s funny to speak your mind with complete confidence and then use the hashtag. I get it. Shit… I’ve done it. But I do not want it to take away from the fact that over apologizing is a real thing and I think it’s worth talking about.
I have a life coach that I see every few weeks. She’s this sort of zen, yogastrologer, high priestess badass warrior woman. The first time we ever met I thought to myself, surely I’ve found my spiritual soul mate. She’s sort of amazing. She speaks about Mother Nature being her badass self, day in and day out, unapologetically. How it doesn’t matter how hot or cold it is, how she shamelessly fills the air with the intoxicating aromas of floral gardens or down pours heavy rains, I mean even tornadoes and hurricanes… in all of her Mother Nature glory, no apology. She is who she is and we love her in spite of all of it. I absolutely love this comparison because aren’t we all just a hot mess of right and wrong, trying our best to be ourselves and not have to feel bad about it? Aaaamen!
Apologizing is a real thing and their are absolutely real reasons that saying “I”m sorry,” groveling even, are absolutely necessary. Trust me, I’ve had to do my fair share. In fact it is one of my favorite periods of growth in my life, realizing that my unwillingness to apologize was my unhealthy relationship with humility. It has come to be that apologizing is now just a natural part of my days living as a fallible human being. Admitting when I’m wrong and trying to make it right. It’s imperative to healthy relationships.
Let’s talk about the reasons we should stop apologizing. One reason would be because it’s not your fault. Ever notice how someone can fill the gap in a greeting by apologizing because it’s raining? It might seem silly to some, but it happens all the time. People apologizing as a matter of conversation for things they have absolutely no control of. Stop that!!
Let’s stay away from perpetuating low self esteem by apologizing, yes? Unfortunately, a classic sign of low self worth is frequently apologizing. In doing so you actually reinforce negative feelings about yourself. Where on the flip side, just by limiting how often you apologize, right now, can actually have a positive impact on your self esteem. Yes, let’s do that.
Here’s a reason to stop…. RESPECT… or loss of. Over-apologizers tend to lose respect among peers and co-workers because it really does come across as a weakness. You really must own your actions and decisions and not be sorry about it for respect to remain in check.
*There is always that disclaimer here that there are things that need apologizing for, of course, but not for doing your job or being who you are. I don’t want it to be confused throughout this entire article that I’m all “never be sorry,” not at all. Just stop apologizing where it isn’t necessary.*
There will always be people in your life, work especially, who have a higher position than you, but by over apologizing you actually put yourself in a more subordinate role automatically. This will directly affect your confidence. Really take notice of whether there needs to be an apology at the times you do. If there doesn’t then really focus on cutting those out… for your confidence alone.
Ooooo… here’s a biggy… Stop apologizing to put off conflict! No one really loves conflict, I get that, but some conflict is necessary. Working through what the disagreement might actually be is so much healthier than apologizing for it and sweeping it under the rug. What actually comes from this is growth and that is so important, especially in the way of stopping apologizing where you shouldn’t, but in general too. Growth. Sigh. YES.
Sometimes when someone apologizes over and over again, it absolutely loses it’s meaning. I often say to my sometimes too often apologizing children, “don’t say I’m sorry just stop doing it.” But it’s the cry wolf thing… eventually your apology will mean very little if it’s something that you say all the time.
Last but definitely not least… Stop apologizing for being you! Yes, we make mistakes. Yes, apologize for those things. But never, ever apologize for over thinking something, not being appropriately dressed, defending your opinion, etc. You feel me. Apologize when you screw up, NOT for what makes you you… Even if someone doesn’t like it. Losing the apologies, in and of itself, will give you back some confidence right on the spot.
I say it all the time and I will preach on…. Be unapologetically you! It is so important to live your truth, say what you think, feel out loud, be fallible, respect yourself for not being sorry for having had to be sorry, for screwing up and becoming better for it, for being authentically YOU! Be You! #sorrynotsorry