Unless you are perfect (and let’s face it, who is!?) apologies are a necessary part of life. It is important to be able to admit our mistakes, and to know how and when to offer a heartfelt and meaningful apology. But, in my opinion, it is equally important to know when an apology isn’t necessary.
Here are seven times that you should absolutely stop being sorry for:
Your Feelings: Having feelings, whatever they are, is not something that we need to apologize for. What we do with those feelings may require an apology now and then, but having feelings in and of themselves is not right nor wrong, and it is absolutely okay to express them in an appropriate way. Don’t minimize yourself by apologizing for what you feel.
Your Appearance: You are who you are. What is there to apologize for? Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Needing Time Alone: Taking time for yourself is healthy and necessary. It is an act of self-care, not selfishness, and it does not require an apology.
Asking a Question: We invalidate ourselves when we apologize for posing a question. And this is silly. No one expects you to know everything. If you want or need to know something or you need clarification, just ask.
Other People’s Behavior: We cannot control the actions of others. Therefore, what people say and do is not our responsibility (unless, perhaps, they are our children – then this is parenting). As such, if someone behaves in a less than desirable way, it is for them to be sorry for, no one else.
Not Responding Immediately to a Text, Call, or Email: We are busy people with full lives, and our time is precious. Do not feel sorry for having a life. If you need time to get back to someone, for whatever reason that may be, take it. Perhaps explain these priorities, if necessary, but do not feel badly for having them.
Circumstances You Can’t Control: Again, much of what happens in life is not within our control. If it were, things would not go wrong nearly as often as they do! So, when these situations arise, acknowledge it, but do not take responsibility for something that was not your fault.
Letting go of the impulse to apologize can be difficult, as it can become habitual. However, it is important to know when it is okay to not be worry. For when we apologize excessively, we invalidate our own feelings, experiences, and sense of worth.