Sorry. Sorry sorry sorry. Sorry can be such a powerful word. The ability to know when we are wrong, to make a heartfelt apology and make appropriate redress is fundamental to a life well lived. It’s important to know when to apologise, to take responsibility for our words and actions, and say sorry if we are in the wrong.
However, I’m of the opinion that for some of us sorry is overused. We are often apologising for things that we shouldn’t be apologising for. Over-apologising has been linked to low self esteem, and it can become an insidious and unhelpful habit. Here are three things we commonly apologise for that we can stop asking forgiveness for:
1. Stop apologising for having a different opinion. It’s okay to have a different opinion to someone else. We don’t all have to agree, all the time. It’s okay to have a different point of view. It’s okay to speak your mind and highlight a difference. I see so many people apologising for having an opinion or the temerity to voice it. This does us no favours. You are a completely unique person with a unique set of preferences and opinions. You don’t need to apologise for that, you just need to own it. It’s not about never compromising, it’s about recognising your truth and owning it. Your opinions are what makes you, you. Nothing to apologise for.
2. Stop apologising for putting our body and health first. It’s okay to put your body first and look after it. You don’t have to apologise for this. It’s actually one of the most profoundly powerful ways you can look after your family and loved ones. Prioritising your physical and emotional health so that you are energised and strong enough to care for the people who are important to you is not something we should be apologising for when we start taking our wellbeing seriously. It’s a positive and conscious choice to put on your own oxygen mask first.
3. Stop apologising for wanting what we want. It’s your time. Your life. Your right to set your own priorities. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to want what you want even if it doesn’t make sense to everyone else. You can own that choice and create what you want in your life. Do it respectfully and compassionately with awareness of the impact on other people but don’t apologise for wanting what you truly, deeply want.
If you are wanting someone’s permission or approval and are using the platitude of sorry to get it, stop for a minute and consider that perhaps, you don’t actually need it. When we overuse sorry in instances when we have not done something worthy of apologising for, we are generally trying to gain approval in some way. This devalues a real authentic sorry. If we say sorry for stuff that is unnecessary then what is our real sorry worth?