woman in white dress shirt wearing eyeglasses standing near red leaf tree during daytime

We Need To Stop Apologizing For Just Existing

Something I’ve noticed lately—and for a long time, to be honest—is how often we say we’re sorry. Looking at you, female-identifying population.

We’re not even apologizing about important things, like when you said something mean to your friend while hammered. Or when you forgot someone’s birthday due to a lack of checking your Facebook every day (you are freakin’ lying to yourself if you say that’s not how you remember people’s birthdays). Or when you ignored a text message for what is certainly not considered a socially acceptable length of time because you were busy.

We’re saying sorry because we expressed ourselves to our friends. We’re begging forgiveness for bringing up the fact that our grandma died yesterday because we don’t want to bring down the room. We’re apologizing for stating our opinion at work when we are literally asked for it.

Where did this sheepish style of communication come from? Why are we apologizing for simply existing?

When you put it that way, it sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it?

I’m not preaching the death of the true and legitimately warranted apology. We all know there is a time and a place. What I am saying is we need to stop apologizing for being alive and the things that happen because of that.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t need to apologize for expressing your emotions and verbally processing things with people. You don’t need to feel bad for something busting out because you physically couldn’t contain it anymore. You’ve got to have a little faith that the people you’ve chosen to exist around truly do care enough to listen.

Quit making unnecessary apologies. Start thanking people for listening. Start reveling in the feeling of calm that washes over you after you’re finally able to express how you feel. Be proud of your ability to confidently state your opinion and don’t apologize for having one in the first place.

Replace these apologies with gratitude, with confidence, and with the expectation that others should follow suit. Save the ‘I’m sorry’s’ for when they’re truly and honestly relevant.

You’d be surprised at how seldom that really is.

About the author
Good person, messy eater, notorious plant killer. Follow Shelby on Instagram or read more articles from Shelby on Thought Catalog.

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