Apologizing when it’s necessary — when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, violated a rule, or did something wrong — is obvious to repairing social guilt we feel if we’ve wronged someone + reinforces our likeability//morality. But when did we start being *sorry* for not going out on a Saturday night because we’ve had a crazy week or apologizing for not wearing makeup? Sorry? What exactly are you sorry for? Why should you be apologizing?
Research shows that women are much more likely to automatically apologize than men. Unnecessarily uttering the words *I’m sorry* is directly linked to being overly hard on yourself. A lot of the things we are apologizing for are not worthy of blame, + it’s time to realize that no one is perfect.
If you can relate, listen up — *I’m sorry* is a powerful + overused statement that can be replaced with a much more empowering [+ accurate] phrase while still remaining *likeable* to others. Here are 15 situations where you should bite your tongue + try an alternative phrase rather than an apology.
1] PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST
*Me, myself + I, that’s all I got in the end,* Beyoncé circa 2009 understands putting yourself first should be your number one priority. I’m sure a lot of you have heard the saying *college is your time to be selfish,* which is actually true to an extent in regards to putting your health + happiness first. College is a time when you are able to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it + who you want to surround yourself with. Utilize this time in your life to it’s full potential — putting yourself first is always encouraged!
2] NOT BEING AVAILABLE 24/7
You can’t always immediately reach for your technology, ++ you’re certainly not an on-call doctor ; ). Apologizing for not responding in a split second is unnecessary. Instead, if you are slammed with classes, work or other activities, respond with *Hi Girlie, I have a lot on my plate today + really need to focus on getting things finished. Is there something you want to chat about? Xo.* This is an alternative to an apology + lets your friend know that you are not purposefully ignoring her.
3] LETTING GO OF WHAT IS NO LONGER NEEDED
Everyone has had to encounter a time where they realized things just weren’t working out — an unhappy relationship, negative friendship, or unhealthy habit, for example. You should never feel sorry for letting go of something you no longer need. There is a reason you no longer need it in your life, + explain the reasons why instead of impulsively apologizing. Being honest by offering an explanation for why you are letting go of what you don’t need can be empowering for you + if another person is involved, it could spark a positive change in their life, too!
4] NEEDING *ME* TIME
The amount of personal time needed varies for everyone. For example, I am an only child, + my *me* time in college has been like gold to me. You should never feel guilty for needing *me* time, or not going out on a Friday night when you have had a hectic week + need to decompress. If you had plans + need to cancel, offer a respectful desire to spend time by yourself. If the person gets upset, don’t feel guilty. His//Her reaction is based upon their internal issues. *Me* time is critical to our well-being, so never underestimate the power of what a night in with a good book//Netflix series, pizza + a glass of wine can do for your vibes.
5] REQUESTING WHAT YOU DESERVE//ASKING A QUESTION
Whether you’re asking for a promotion or your morning coffee, never feel like you are inconveniencing the person you are asking. Be confident! Saying *I’m sorry for asking, but..* is totally counterproductive + sets the wrong tone for the conversation. Walk into any situation regarding a specific request//asking a question with a positive attitude + a confident demeanor.
6] YOUR SUCCESSES
You should never be sorry to share your successes during a time in your life where successes are plentiful. Share your accomplishments with the people who genuinely care about your happiness + success — these will be the people who empower you to shout from the rooftops when you’ve done something amazing. *Bragging is not condoned.*
7] CHANGING COURSE WHEN YOU HIT A FORK IN THE ROAD
Our 20s are a time in our lives where things are constantly changing. You hit bumps in the road + you eventually change course. Whether this means changing majors after trying one you didn’t like, realizing an old relationship//friendship isn’t working out, or finding a part-time job//internship when you hit a financial change. Don’t apologize when your path of life changes + you swerve to miss hitting the potholes.
This does not mean gushing your heart out whenever + wherever, but instead having conversations starting with *I am upset by XYZ* or *I feel XYZ when XYZ happens* rather than apologizing for being *oversensitive*. When you apologize for feeling a certain way what you’re really doing is minimizing your feelings in an attempt to protect others. Own #TheFeels + know how to properly explain them rather than apologizing for them.
9] WHAT YOU’RE WEARING//NOT WEARING
We immediately jump into an apology frenzy when we have a bad hair day, don’t have makeup on, or are wearing a outfit that causes stares. Why is an apology necessary for what you look like? You are who you are! Embrace it + love yourself! Unless you stroll into your workplace//class in your outfit from last night [+ that you wore yesterday], an apology for your appearance is uncalled for.
10] SITUATIONS OUT OF YOUR CONTROL
You know the drill — a friend, significant other or boss starts complaining about XYZ + your response is *I’m sorry.* Next time this happens, use a phrase like *that must really be hard for you* — it will show your sincerity, while not placing any blame on yourself for something that is totally not your fault.
*I’m sorry,* has become a reflex, but it doesn’t need to [++ shouldn’t] be. The overuse of the phrase has diluted it’s powerful meaning — are you actually sorry, or are you just using it as an impulse conversation filler? Next time you are feeling inclined to apologize, pause, take a breath + ask if you are truly to blame. If not, no apology or *I’m sorry* is necessary. Don’t allow this phrase to rob you of your basic rights — to live, be + receive everything you deserve. You have the ability to empower yourself!
++ Delaney [@delaney_inchaarg] // UC CHAARG