This one’s for the ladies. The women out there (like me!) who keep apologizing to the world for existing. I’m here today to tell you why I’m quitting the words “I’m sorry” and you should too.
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I’m taking notes from Queen Bey (Beyonce) and telling the world I ain’t Sorry. If you haven’t listened or purchased her amazing album Lemonade, I’m not too sure what you’re waiting for. She is the queen of female empowerment.
I first noticed my habit of saying sorry when my boyfriend was texting me about something bad that happened him at work. I being miles away at my own desk, clearly had nothing to do with the bad things happening to him at work, yet my reply? “I’m sorry.”
Not your fault, don’t apologize” he replied. And that’s when it hit me. I constantly use I’m sorry as a placeholder for so many words. Words that would have much more meaning and be more genuine. Words that make sense and don’t invoke an apology for my existence.
Are you guilty of saying I’m sorry too much? Why do we women feel like we are always in the way or need to apologize for simply existing and taking up the space that we deserve in this world? Below are a few examples of when I say I’m sorry and what I am going to start saying instead.
Walking through the door at the same time someone else is coming through
“I’m sorry!” I chirp on autopilot, whenever I am crossing the threshold of a doorway that someone else wants to come through from the opposite direction. What?! I’m not sorry! I’m allowed to go through that doorway just the same as the other person is entitled to walk through the door. I need to stop apologizing for taking up space in the doorway.
Try instead: Excuse me, pardon me, after you
Dropping something that a kind stranger nearby picks up for you
“Sorry!” I reply, when a kind stranger hands me the scarf that I dropped on the ground or hands me my keys that I’ve dropped while fumbling with my bag. Why am I sorry?! I dropped something, it was an accident, and the person was kind enough to help me out in my time of need.
Try instead: Thank you!, I appreciate it, That was very kind
When your friend or family member shares a story with you about something bad that happened
This is one I encounter on an almost daily basis. A coworker shares a story about there horrible trains delays on the subway (I live in NYC… this is a DAILY thing.) Or a friend shares a story about how she locked her keys in her apartment and had to wait for the landlord before she could get in her apartment. Or your mom/sister/aunt/cousin/brother/dad tells you something that went wrong in their day, because we all know misery loves company. What is the canned response that comes out of my mouth? “I’m sorry.” What!? Again, does it even make any sense?
Try instead: It sounds like you had a rough day, is there anything I can do to help?
Don’t get me wrong, there is totally a right time and place for an “I’m sorry.” Like when you really did mess something up and are acknowledging the you take the blame for it. But I think that cutting out the extraneous and meaningless “I’m sorry’s” will make the real ones even more meaningful. Once you start being mindful of the S word, you’ll be shocked how many times you and others around you say it.
So, I challenge you to quit saying “I’m sorry.” Will you join me?