Up until a few years ago, I was an obsessive over-apologizer. Whether I thought I was really at fault or not, I’d say “sorry”, just to avoid the guilt that went along with it. Over time, I realized that there were definitely some times when you shouldn’t say sorry – and I started using better strategies to decide what I really apologizing for, and when I was just filling holes in conversation.
Through all this, I learned these 10 things you should never say you’re sorry for – even if you feel guilty about them. (Which, FYI, you really shouldn’t, but that guilt takes some time to un-learn.)
1. Never apologize for needing alone time.
While humans tend to be social creatures, most of us are recharged by periods of stillness and silence. Your alone time gives you time to process life, and it helps prevent you from burning yourself out.
2. Never apologize for speaking your mind.
Women are socially conditioned to hide the things on our minds, especially when those feelings might hurt someone else’s feelings. You shouldn’t have to hide how you really feel, though – and no one should make you feel bad for being honest. Don’t be rude, but don’t keep your mouth shut just to please others.
3. Never apologize for taking your time to reply.
With the age of technology exploding all around us, we’ve gotten all too used to an immediate response. Truthfully, though, your smart phone exists for your convenience – not the convenience of others. Very few things that we treat as “urgent” actually are, and rushing your response takes away your time to think things through.
4. Never apologize for asking for help.
Admitting you need help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Even Batman needs a partner sometimes, and – sorry to be the one to tell you this – you are most likely not Batman.
5. Never apologize for your past mistakes.
You can’t change who you used to be – you can only change who you are now and in the future. No one worth keeping around will bring up your past mistakes and hold you to them. Have you learned and grown from it? If yes, then remove yourself from the guilt – that’s not who you are anymore.
6. Never apologize for putting yourself first.
In the spirit of giving, we tend to think that we can’t make ourselves a priority. However, this leads to setting un reasonable expectations from ourselves, because human nature is, in fact, very selfish. You can’t do everything, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why. It’s 100% okay to say no to things.
7. Never apologize for telling the truth.
When we stop ourselves from telling the truth because we’re worried about how it’ll affect someone else, what we’re really telling them is that we aren’t there with them in the rough times. The truth might hurt, but a lie will hurt way more, and for way longer. And besides, honesty is hard enough to come by – why withhold the truth within you?
8. Never apologize for being messier than other people would like.
When I was a kid, I always thought it was weird that we’d get more cleaning done in the few hours before company came than we did in the week before we found out they were coming. It’s okay if life gets busy, and you don’t have as much time to clean as some random outside person thinks you should – unless, of course, those other people are responsible for cleaning up after you when you don’t do it yourself.
9. Never apologize for being successful.
Three mottos to live by: You deserve happiness, you deserve success, and you deserve everything you’ve worked for. If you’ve earned it, it’s yours forever – be proud of your achievements!
10. Never apologize for how you feel.
Your emotions are a natural part of your human experience, and in most cases they serve a useful purpose. Hormones, other people, and the stresses of daily life can do some major damage on those emotions, but you’re only responsible for how you react to your emotions – not how you feel in the first place.