10 Things to Stop Apologizing For
Dec 9th 2015
While apologizing can make us feel better in the moment, there are just some things that should never need an apology
We live in a world full of apologies and platitudes. I learned the hard way that apologizing for every little thing is not only unnecessary, it’s unproductive and only brings you down. While there are certainly things you should apologize for, it can be easy to over-apologize. Putting everyone else's feelings above your own doesn't make you a saint; it just makes you unhappy. Here is a list of 10 things that I've learned to stop apologizing for, and you should too.
1. True feelings
Benjamin Disraeli said it best: "Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth."
Apologizing for how you feel is like apologizing for who you are. If people in your life can't accept you and your feelings, and help you work through the less-than-positive ones, then they are not the right people to be around.
Be proud of your thoughts and feelings. They make you human.
2. Saying "No"
This is a big one, for me especially. With our hyper-connected world, it can be really difficult to handle the constant barrage of texts, calls, emails and Facebook messages from people demanding your time and attention. Saying no doesn't make you a bad person. It helps everyone see that you have established boundaries for yourself, which is healthy.
Try it out. Say no and don't feel guilty. Your happiness is worth it.
3. Asking questions
Everyone has been the "new kid" at some point in their lives. Chess master and author Irving Chernev stated it plainly: “Every chess master was once a beginner.” Once I stopped apologizing for asking questions, I was so much happier. I learned so much more too.
So embrace what you don’t know. You just might learn something.
4. Having high standards
Everywhere I look, I see people lowering their standards to make others feel better. Instead of apologizing for having high standards, I have learned to maintain my expectations as an act of love.
If you care about someone, you want them to succeed. Holding them to a high standard can help them on their journey to become their best self.
5. Someone else's behavior
I always feel responsible for the people I'm with. I know you may feel embarrassed by someone else's behavior, but it is not your job to apologize for them. They are responsible for their own actions, and apologizing for them just puts the blame on you.
Be graceful. Be tactful. Be unapologetic. People will see the difference in your behavior and respect you for it.
6. An honest answer
Honest answers, even when they are uncomfortable or against the grain, should never be apologized for. I understand how uncomfortable the act of being tactfully honest can be, but it is actually good for your health. I was shocked to learn that honesty actually leads to less tension and anxiety—even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.
Tell the truth without apology. Your body and mind will thank you.
7. Disagreeing with someone
Disagreement, like honesty, can be uncomfortable. Trust me, I've been there too. However, you should never feel like you have to apologize for respectfully disagreeing with someone, no matter who it is. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Stand up for what you believe, even if it's unpopular. You'll be happier for it. I know I am.
8. Taking time for yourself
Remember those boundaries I mentioned before? It can be hard to not feel guilty about taking some time for yourself, but it's necessary for a happy life. Self-care is never something to apologize for. If you don't care for yourself, who will?
9. Your Dreams
Our dreams are uniquely ours. Nobody else can be me, just as nobody else can be you. Dream big and never apologize for it. The world needs dreamers.
10. Falling in love
Whether you're falling in love or out of love, there is nothing to be sorry for. While it may not please everyone, remember that it is your heart and your decision.
Your heart wants what it wants. So does mine. Let's embrace that unapologetically.
Apologies are definitely useful, but some things in life just don’t require them. So be true to yourself and never apologize for it.