We live our lives apologising for many things… Is it really always necessary? Most of the time it confounds us all, but the minute we normalise the way we approach our thoughts and stay aware of when we apologise often; we learn and understand our triggers. Saying sorry will shed light on the things that people make us feel guilty for feeling. It will shed light on the things that make us feel ashamed. Putting an end to these toxic ways is hard and can take one a long time to come to terms with. Just put one step in front of the other, and by the end of it you come out the other side correcting these toxic cultural repercussions.
Here’s a list of things we desperately need to stop apologising for, STAT:
1) When someone’s unrealistic expectations of me aren’t met.
Frankly, I find this one all to easy to rebel against. But I know many people out there aren’t like me and really battle the pressures of dealing with people and their expectations. It can come from parents, friends, partners and many more people. It’s worse because these people matter to you, you want them in your life and you want them to be happy so you sacrifice what you want in order for them to be happy. Here’s where the bubble burst, it doesn’t stop with just that. From there stem more unrealistic expectations and then they don’t understand when you walk away or have a drastic reaction. This is where it helps to set up boundaries but don’t apologise for wanting to follow what makes you happy.
2) Stop apologising for your emotional forms of expression.
This one I find absolutely frustrating. I have been accused many times of being emotional and expressing my emotional feelings on a subject. Well, the truth is I wasn’t born a robot and I’m sure many of you weren’t born robots either. And if that is, in fact, true then you have feelings. So why should you apologise for something that comes naturally to everyone? It’s as good as saying sorry for having to go take a leak. Know what I mean?
3) When someone asks for something I can’t give them.
No, is a full sentence and I don’t know when we as a collective are going to understand that. You can’t ask me for the world and expect that I am going to just hand it over to you willingly. You get to say No, without being sorry about it. Humans desperately need to hear that word more often, start by teaching your children because that’s the best way to tackle something that is so ingrained within all of us.
4) Stop apologising for not being okay.
This one really has to stop. People have feelings, some days are good and some days are just bad. If it was something a human could control, I bet you they would because we are control freaks. How else do you explain borders and countries? Anyway, it’s perfectly normal to feel a wave of emotions and not understand where they’ve come from or how to respond to them. The best way to deal with this is to sit with your emotions and take time to yourself. When you take this time you don’t need to apologise for pulling a disappearing act. Let’s normalise that one already.
5) Don’t apologise for standing up for the things you believe in.
If you believe with every fibre of your being that an atrocious act is being committed, then stand up, raise your voice. The collective voice always wins. But if you cower in the presence of a bully and refuse to stand up then that’s where you’ll always remain stuck. You’ll move on wondering if you could have or would have made a difference. Don’t live with any regrets. Stand up and don’t apologise for having a voice that doesn’t sound like the others.
6) Stop apologising for not knowing the answer to a question.
Many times I find myself in the midst of a conversation that I have no idea about. Yes, I have on occasion felt stupid and like I’m not well-read enough. It is ok to not know the answers to everything in life because you cannot know it all. Interests vary and that is the best part about being human. Conversations are actually a great way to learn about something new. Be open about not knowing and don’t apologise for it. People will surprise you with how open they are about teaching you about something they are passionate about.
7) Don’t apologise for disagreeing with someone.
I mean why should you? You are entitled to your own opinion and they are to theirs. If you find yourself in a situation like this I find the best thing to do is respectfully disagree and change the topic. There is no need to expend one’s energy on a subject or topic that is triggering another person and causing a fight.
8) Don’t apologise for needing time to yourself.
You are the most important person in your life. Say that over and over again now… If you need to take a pause, ask for it. No, because no one can read your mind. Or find ways to decompress and peace out. If you need space, take it and don’t apologise. Like I said you need to take care of yourself first.
9) When you cancel a hangout session with a friend.
This is a hard one. Ditching a friend or backing out from a plan can be hard because you love them so. But sometimes, you just need to be home and maybe lay in bed. Maybe you have just that day to relax and get some alone time. If you’re close to this friend, telling them you need the day should not affect your friendship. And if it does, then you can honestly say it’s time to check out of the friendship. Regardless of the reason, don’t feel bad about cancelling plans if it helps you feel happy.
10) Stop apologising for who you love and how you choose to love.
While there may be countless people preaching otherwise and I can’t claim to understand the pressure you must feel because the world doesn’t make it easy. I just want to say that your happiness is worth fighting for and if people in your life don’t want to stand in your corner right now that’s alright. Part of the problem is that we want to feel a certain sense of validation when we fall in love but the truth is only you need to validate that equation. Beyond that, you have made an external problem yours because it is not your business on how other’s perceive you.
11) Don’t apologise for not wanting children or wanting to be married.
You are free to be in love, in a relationship, in an open-one or whatever you wish for it to be. Stop looking down on people who don’t wish to conform. Live and let live should be our motto in this time and day. So if a person doesn’t wish to have children and give you 1000 reasons to support their thoughts then you need to be ok with it. Firstly, it is not your business even as their family. Same when it comes to getting married. A lot of Indian parents just want to see their children happy and safe before they pass on. But that kind of pressure is not fair. Let your children decide what they want from themselves. You want them to be happy? They will be happy when they get to exercise their free will.
12) Don’t apologise for having an opinion.
Unfortunately, this one is mostly targetted towards women. I mean humans and I’m taking gender out of the equation here because humans have brains. So the only logical thought here would be that opinions form over a period of time. You should be free to express your thoughts. Yes, they might stir up controversy from time to time but that is alright because no 2 humans can be alike.
13) Don’t say sorry for wanting what’s best for you.
The many times I’ve heard people say they are scared to do what’s best for them because they fear being labelled selfish. Listen this situation was created to favour people getting the best from you for themselves. And when you stop being of use to them they walk away. So why not instead, stop the people-pleasing and please yourself because at the end of the day you only got yourself.
14) Stop apologising for the way you look.
White, brown, short, tall, big, small should we even care for these descriptors? Some words have gone on to destruct us from the inside and we have a warped perception of what is culturally normal or acceptable. Just remember the business of businesses is to sell you products. In order for them to do so, they have to create a problem first to then create the need. Do you understand the vicious cycle here? So, to sum up, there is nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful and if someone can’t see it—you say, Bye Felicia! And peace out.
15) Don’t apologise for not being available all the time.
There are many more things we need to stop apologising for but I can’t list them all out because that list would be long AF. But if you ever feel confused then this tip helps me recognise this toxic trait of saying sorry all the time. I always ask myself, if what I am about to do is going to make me happy. Then I also think of how happy on a mental scale. If I feel right about my actions in my gut without truly offending and hurting someone then I definitely do not say sorry. So ladies and gents please know that every time you say sorry for something you really shouldn’t say sorry for, you’ve given away some power of your own free-will.
What are some of the other things you apologise for? Share it with us in the comments below!