Anyone else sick of saying “sorry” for things that need no apology? Great. So let’s stop the unnecessary apologising and save our apologies for when they’re truly called for.
Excessive apologising seems harmless enough. We think it makes us seem “nice” or “likeable.” But it’s wasteful and destructive. Here’s why.
We’ve been conditioned to feel shame or guilt for acts of self-preservation. And our apologies perpetuate this culture of shame. By apologising for resting (and by that I mean having a nap or a bath or a day off or a massage), we’re contributing to a (fear-based) cultural obsession with productivity and perfectionism that looks impressive on the outside but leaves us exhausted, depleted and depressed.
Plus, when we apologise for resting, the apology diffuses the rich sustenance offered by rest. Surrender is the prerequisite for benefiting from restful practices. And we can’t fully surrender if we feel bad doing it.
Speaking of surrender, apologising for our pleasure is also destructive. It weakens and tempers the joy available to us when we fully embrace and OWN our needs, wants and desires. By apologising for our appetites and yearnings, we deny our desires. And habitual denial of our desires stamp out the fires of passion and creative power within us.
Women, listen up. Apologising for your opinions is toxic. When we agree to soften our stance in the name of being nice, we’re re-committing to cultural conditioning that opinionated men are powerful and sharp operators while opinionated women are difficult, bossy (or worse.) Don't let the fear of judgement subdue you. Be brave enough to speak up-- judgment, labels and misrepresentations be dammed.
You are entitled to your opinion. Act like it. If you don’t, you’re implicit in your own imprisonment. We become our own captors when we agree to hide or hold ourselves back. To say nothing of the future we create for our daughters.
Speaking of holding yourself back. Stop waiting your turn. Stop apologising for your gifts and your boldness and your fierceness. Shining is nothing to be ashamed of. If you believe that your gifts are God-given, or sourced from the Universe, or a download from the divine, then who are you to dim down your light? You’re a lamp, plugged into a higher power (thank you, Marianne Williamson), so… Turn. It. Up. All the way up.
Two other common cases in over-apologitis: truth-telling and saying no. First off, your truth needs no apology. If you’re brave enough to speak your truth (thereby inspiring others to do the same), you should say “you’re welcome” not “I’m sorry.” Because we need your truth. It’s a boon to the world. As Armistead Maupin put it, “the world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.” So put a bow on your truth, not an apology. It’s a gift, not a burden.
And instead of apologising for saying “no,” wield it like the tool that it is. No is an instrument for creating boundaries in our lives. Boundaries that protect what is precious and defend against what is not. No needs no apology. No is the weapon of a warrior who is discerning enough to recognise their self-worth, wise enough to respect it, and courageous enough to protect it.
Notice how you’re apologising for shit that needs no apology. Notice how when you stop apologising you start OWNING your desires, your gifts, your opinions and honouring what is precious to you.
And now, without further adieu, a list for your adoption if it hits the spot…
1. Being bold.
2. Telling the truth.
3. Loving what (or who) you love.
5. Saying NO.
Your self-doubt shares no one. But sharing your gifts can serve many. Stop asking "who am I to..." Instead, start asking yourself, "who am I not to..."