“Some days, I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologising for my wild.” – Nikita Gill
I never realized how often I say “I’m sorry” until a text conversation I had this week showed me, plain as day, just how bad it’s gotten. For five exchanges in a row, I said “sorry” in every single one.
I hadn’t done anything wrong. There wasn’t any issue or argument. A “sorry” was not needed nor was it expected from me. It was a normal conversation between two people, yet I was apologizing for literally everything I was saying.
Why? Why must we feel the need to apologize for existing? Why do we feel the need to justify who we are as people? Why are we so self-conscious about what we say before, during, and after we say it that every statement we utter includes some form of apology? Why is “sorry” the default response after showing we’re passionate about something, before sharing an opinion, in the middle of saying hello?
I came across this Pantene ad and it really hit home for me. It’s only 60 seconds, give it a watch. I’ll wait.
This is one of the most relatable things I’ve seen in a while. “Sorry” has become habit and it is severely harmful. It tears down your self-worth whether you realize it or not. I’ve been talking a lot this year about how I’ve really learned to accept myself as the person I am. How could I 100% accomplish that, though, if I still apologize for everything?
Words are incredibly powerful. I’m sure you’ve heard some lecture about how “sorry” is one of the hardest words you’ll ever have to say. These days, the exact opposite is true- it’s too easy. We immediately jump to apologize, regardless of whether something was within our control, regardless of what we said, and regardless of whether it was even our fault. Yes, you are the sole person to blame for how you react to things in life, but you are not always to blame for what happens.
Someone bumps into you on the street?
Get handed back incorrect change at the grocery store?
Have a question at work?
At the receiving end of cancelled plans?
What is your normal response to the above? I’ll tell you what I know I do every single time without fail- I apologize. I apologize. This frustrates me to no end, especially once I stopped to think about how much this one word I use so often is really saying.
It’s saying I’m a burden.
It’s saying I am unworthy.
It’s saying I don’t deserve time, attention, or thought.
It’s saying my opinions don’t matter.
It’s saying my interests aren’t important.
It’s saying I need permission to speak.
It’s saying I can easily be stepped on and taken advantage of.
It’s saying I’m not allowed to be strong or independent.
That is the message you convey when you drop an “I’m sorry” every other sentence. And that is not how I want to be perceived because it’s not true. You do not need to belittle yourself. You do not need to play defeated or give the impression that you’ll submit to whatever someone else says. You are a storm, a force to be reckoned with. You do not need to be sorry.
Obviously, if an apology is legitimately necessary and the right thing to do, say it and mean it. Admit your mistake, but you never need to apologize for living. You don’t need to lower yourself for the rest of the world. You have value, worth, and validity. Don’t let anyone, especially your own head, ever tell you otherwise.
~How have you conquered the curse of “I’m sorry”?