Sorry, Not Sorry || Things We Should all Stop Apologizing for

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Shame & Guilt.

It's an epidemic in our world. All the time, I hear people {MYSELF INCLUDED} apologizing for things they should NOT be apologizing for. 

Of course, it is always right to accept responsibility when we know we have wronged someone, and to ask forgiveness for our wrongs. THAT is an appropriate and necessary apology. But there are so many things that are just so silly that we feel so guilty for, and so compelled to apologize for!

What's actually happening here?
You're apologizing for *EXISTING*.

Whether you are aware of that or not. That's what you're doing.

Again, myself included. I find myself constantly apologizing about one thing or another. Even though I also spend a lot of time telling others around me, "That's okay!" and "No need to apologize!" or "What in the world are you apologizing for?"

I'm so quick to see the good in everyone else, and so quick to pick out all the negative things about myself, and I forget that I don't need to feel so guilty all the time either. I know a lot of others can relate to this.

We so often sabotage ourselves from good things, from success, because we are too busy apologizing for what we assume are weaknesses.

{{I wrote about distorted perception and shame RIGHT HERE}}

I've spent some time thinking about all of the things that I apologize for on a regular basis.
All things I don't really need to be sorry for because they are just...well...ME.

And I've made a list.

And from this point on, I'm going to start retraining my brain to not jump right to my go to phrase, "I'm sorry." every single time.

Join me won't you!

1. Passion
When I feel strongly about something, I want to share it with people. But I often hesitate because I am afraid that people either don't want to hear it, or that it will bother someone who doesn't agree with it. But now I'm taking a step back and thinking, wait a minute! People know me! Have I ever been mistaken for a mean or hateful person? People know that just because I don't agree with someone else's stance, or someone else's passion, doesn't mean that I don't like them. I would never cut someone down for putting the things they feel most strongly about out there...especially through social media outlets. Granted, I don't always like how heated, rude, and spiteful things can get, but I do understand, and advocate putting your passions out there. Even if I don't agree with them. So I expect that if I choose to do the same, I won't have to say I'm sorry for it.

2. Being Right
Thinking that you have to apologize for being right, implies that you're not actually confident that you're right. Granted, I don't want to be known as a know-it-all, but I also know that if I feel I'm genuinely right, I don't need to change my opinions or feelings to suit other people's opinions and feelings. Similar to what I said above, I know that not everyone is going to agree. But for my own emotional sanity, I need to stop feeling badly that someone may not agree with me. Because it can turn into a vicious cycle of guilt.

3. Not feeling good
Everyone knows...and I mean everyone, whether you know me personally, or if you've ever read my blog at all...everyone knows that I go into down phases sometimes. And when I do, sometimes it's bad enough that I don't want to go out, don't want to be around people, and don't feel like talking. It's nothing personal, but still sometimes people take it personally. Which is a problem because guilt finds me a lot faster when I'm feeling bad, and it makes me feel even WORSE. I work really hard to make the choice to not apologize for feeling bad. Please don't expect me to.

{While you're at it, check out my post about things you should avoid saying to people with depression.}

4. Saying No
I am a busy lady. And I enjoy being busy. I fill my time with things I love doing. But a person only has the brain space for so many things...and I tend to overfill my brain with entirely too many things. I feel like I am completely powerless to say no to people sometimes because I just want to make everyone happy. But if I have too much going on, I'm not going to have the time to devote to whatever extra commitment I made that I really shouldn't have made. That's not making anyone, including myself, happy. It's okay to say no if you feel you are too swamped already. And if people are not understanding about that, well, that's their issue to deal with.

5. Asking for help
It's not just that I want to try and do everything by myself, which I often do. That's a control thing for me, and I'm trying to work on that too. But it's that I'm always so afraid to approach people to ask a question. Especially if it's a person in authority, or someone who is obviously smarter or wiser than I am. I'm afraid it makes me look weak for not knowing what I'm doing, or not doing something exactly right the first time. So I don't ask...I stay in the dark, so to speak, too afraid to grow.

6. What I wear
I have always been a very "girly girl", and I enjoy dressing the part. Don't get me wrong, I don't constantly walk around with my belly button showing, or shorts that barely cover me...but I am not opposed to wearing a pretty little "spaghetti strapped" top in the summer. I'm comfortable wearing v-neck dresses. I do not consider myself to be an immodest dresser. But I refuse to change things about my appearance and how I dress because someone else thinks I am still "showing too much." Believe me, I understand that men are visual, but if they cannot control themselves, that is NOT my fault. Nor is it ANY woman's fault, no matter how much she is showing.

7. Doing something well
If I have a success...if I've put together a great show for my students, or I've had a great performance myself, I have earned the right to revel in that, be happy about it, and be proud of myself without having people think that I'm just self absorbed. Without having people think that I "lack humility". Feeling good about a success is perfectly legitimate, and no reason to feel ashamed.

Now, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are many things that absolutely warrant an apology! And those times tend to be very discernible. The point I'm trying to get across here is, that when you feel the need to say, "I'm sorry," give it some thought. Are you actually just apologizing just for BEING? Just because you ARE? 



  1. my pastor's always tellin me not to apologize for things i shouldn't be apologizing for in the first place

  2. This was such an amazing post, and it certainly speaks to me. I always find myself apologizing for every little thing. I'll even apologize if someone bumps into *me* in the hall. My best friend always tells me that I need to stop, because I should apologize for existing. I'm so glad other people are posting things like this and encouraging people to break free of the "sorry for breathing wrong" mentality.

    PS. Your blog is adorable.

  3. This was excellent and so true and it reminds me of people who would always apologize for everything! (and I mean, everything!) When I would hang around with them, I started doing it too. Ugh.
    But this, this was good, and you are right, you shouldn't apologize for being yourself!

  4. I definitely needed to hear about passion! When I like something, I fully like it with all I have and I've had people say negative things about it. But's it's okay! I should we allowed to be passionate!