Sara Altschule
February 05, 2015 8:01 am

There are some things in life that we just get way too used to saying. You know, all those words and phrases we say without even thinking. Saying “please” and “thank you” are (hopefully) ingrained in our brains. But, there are likely also some weird space filler things we say even when we don’t really mean them like, “I’m so tired,” or “I’m so hungry.” Somewhere along the way, we also all started saying the word “sorry” a bit too much. Take it from a girl who apologizes all the time — it’s getting out of hand.

I’m truly not sure where my excessive apologizing came from. I mean, I’m really good at the board game “Sorry,” but I don’t think I can pin the blame there. I have always felt a pressure to be “perfect,” to be “likable” and I think it’s from those impulses that my apologizing began. I’d be in the grocery store and someone would accidentally bump into me, yet I would be the one to apologize. If a friend unexpectedly stopped by my place and I didn’t look completely “put-together,” I would blurt out another “Sorry!” Sorry this, sorry that. 

Apologizing was the name of my game, but unfortunately I didn’t feel any closer to winning. After a couple of my girlfriends told me that my “sorries” were not needed, I became more aware of my apology habit. I started to catch myself before saying, “I’m sorry,” and taking a moment to think whether or not this was something I should truly be apologizing for. Most of the time, the answer was no. Of course, there’s also that little reality that women apologize WAY more than men. If that doesn’t make you want to apologize less, I don’t know what will. 

Now I’m on the road to “I’m sorry” recovery. I have made a conscious effort to no longer apologize for things that are unnecessary. I’m taking more ownership of who I am, without any excuses. With each “sorry” I don’t say, I feel better and more empowered. So, sorry I’m not sorry. 

With that being said, there is of course a time and a place for an apology. But if we overuse our apologies, it waters down those real ones. You do not want to be the boy or girl who cried, “Sorry.” It doesn’t make you feel good, and it doesn’t make other people feel good. Therefore, below are a few of the things we should all stop apologizing for. Seriously, stop being sorry for this stuff! It’s not helping anyone.

For Not Looking 100% “Perfect” 

Guilty as charged. I tend to apologize for this one all of the time. I constantly say the phrase, “sorry my hair is a mess” or, “sorry I have no make-up on” and it makes me cringe. What I need to remember is that the people in my life love me for me, they could care less if my hair is perfectly curled or I don’t have mascara on. Why are we apologizing for being our natural selves? We shouldn’t have to be done up all the time, or anytime for that matter if we don’t feel like it. So let’s start by putting away those “sorries,” they’re totally unnecessary. 

For Messiness 

Life can get messy. Literally. My house can get real messy, real quick. I can barely see the floor in my room past all of the clothes. And, my car starts to look like I’m ready for an apocalypse. I’m sure if I snuck a peak at everyone’s personal spaces when they least expected it, they might all be as messy as mine. So why do we feel the need to say, “Sorry” when another person sees our clutter? It’s normal to have a little mess here and there. We aren’t all Mr. or Ms. Clean, and that’s ok. 

For Moving Your Body

I will admit it. If someone bumps into me, I am usually the one to apologize. I have no idea why I do this — THEY bumped into me. Same goes for if I am trying to move around someone. Instead of just saying, “excuse me,” I add in a “sorry.” But the thing is I have nothing to apologize for. So I’m changing my tune and I am just going to go with the classic, “pardon me” next time. 

For Having Emotions

The last thing you need when you are crying is to apologize. If you have emotions and show them, I’ve got news for you — you are human. We shouldn’t need to express remorse for any emotion, whether it be happiness, sadness, anger, etc. etc. etc. Crying shouldn’t be accompanied by a, “sorry.” So let those smiles shine proudly, let those tears run freely, and feel it all without guilt. 

For Saying “No”

I am a “yes” person, so I understand how difficult it is to say “no.” You want everyone to like you and you don’t want to cause any waves. I get it. Sometimes you are afraid that if you say “no” to someone, you will upset them. But, after saying “yes” too many times, you become exhausted. When you agree to do things you don’t want to, you are really saying “no” to yourself. It’s nice to want to please others, but you must also please the most important person: you. So next time you say “no” to someone, there is no need to ask for forgiveness. You have done nothing wrong, you’re just listening to your own needs. 

For Speaking Up 

Speaking up for yourself and for others is crucial. Yet, we still sometimes apologize when we do it. Whether it’s in a classroom, or in a conversation, we tend to say, “sorry” for using our voices. Well, I’m going to speak up right here and now and say, “screw that.” Our voices need to be heard and are important. Let’s stop apologizing for speaking our minds and just start talking.

For Life Choices

Not everyone is going to agree with how we live our lives. We can’t always please people. But the one person we should please is ourselves. With that being said, sometimes we apologize for the choices we make to others who are dissatisfied, when it’s really none of their business. Whether it’s apologizing for not wanting to have kids, or deciding not to take that job offer, or choosing to live life in a way that others might not agree with — saying “sorry” is not necessary. We are in charge of our own lives and the way we want to live them. No sorries. 

[Image via Shutterstock]

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