I am a chronic apologizer. I hate it. I’m sorry, but it drives me nuts. See? Can’t help it. I apologize constantly. And the worst this about it? My sweet, sweet son is picking up my awful habit.
This madness has to stop. It is something I have been working on for years, literally years. And it isn’t something that is specific to me. I find so many people have this issue – and it isn’t hard to see in the world. There are constant reminders out there everywhere, actually, if you keep your eyes open. Women specifically, although some men, apologize for everything. Oh gosh, did I bump into you in the aisle in the supermarket? Instead of a quick “excuse me”, I stumble over myself apologizing. Did I forget to respond to your text? Instead of just responding, I offer up an apology for my delay in response and then go on and explain (apologetically) why I was delayed. As Rory often reminds me, texting does not equal a consistent conversation. You get to it when you can. I am SO not programmed that way. I feel the need to respond to everything immediately! And if I don’t, I am sorry! (Oddly enough, if you cut me off or try to steal my parking spot, I will not apologize for anything. I will cut you. Which is what I find interesting. It isn’t that I won’t stand up for myself, I do. But apparently, I apologize for doing so.)
Anyway, I feel like I fight myself with apologizing – I do it way too much. I feel like I am apologizing for taking up space, for breathing air, for talking. For emails, I find myself typing out things like “I just wanted to say”, or “Just a gentle reminder about…”, then I go back and have to edit out the “just”’s and the other diminutive words that make my communication seem smaller, or less important than someone else. I mean, the other people I interact with must be smarter/better/more worthy of being heard than just me, right?
UGH! I get so mad at myself, then find myself having to remind myself (wow, all about me much? Haha!) to be kinder to me. To be gentle, and to thank myself for learning how to unlearn this awful habit. That I have been conditioned MY ENTIRE LIFE to apologize, that all women have, and that we are finally, slowly and cautiously (because, of course, we have to…we can’t take up too much space now, don’t be silly), teaching ourselves how to be unapologetic. Not assholes, mind you. But equals. And boy oh boy, does that scare the SHIT of out some people, amIright? The thought of equal pay, equal time, equal exposure, equal right to BE HERE. That is super scary to lots and lots of people in this nation, let alone other countries. But I am working on it. I have to. I do not want my son to apologize for living. If he’s done something wrong or hurtful, then by all means son – go apologize and set it right. But if he’s just eaten a carrot instead of a spoonful of eggs and rice for his next bite? No apology necessary, kiddo. As long as you are eating, I am all good.
And to all my fellow apologizers? How about we take it back. We take back the “Sorry”, and keep it for actual reasons to apologize. Like when I cut you for trying to steal my parking place.