Heather, congrats on your new baby. I hope you and your family are doing well.
Your story really rings true with me. I have been the perpetual over-apologizer my entire 40 years of life. I can sum it up by saying I’m often sorry for being alive. Not in the manner of taking my own life or suicidal idealization (that’s a topic for another day). As I stated in one of my comments, I feel I’m always in the ways. Sorry for my hair, my appearance, me not getting something done for home or work, etc…. The list is endless.
When I was 20, I was dating a fellow employee much older than myself. I distinctly remember where we were when I did my apology bit. He stopped me dead in my tracks and said stop apologizing. You did not do anything wrong. Stop apologizing for things not in your control and even if they were, most do not warrant an apology. Sadly, 20 years later, I still engage in this compulsive behavior, to a much lesser degree.
I have started to replace sorry with thank you or I hope you understand. I’m tired of owning and apologizing for things that aren’t mine. I’m trying to find the extra little pieces of gratitude hidden in every day life.
When my self-worth and self-esteem take a nose dive, the need to apologize increases significantly. I feel awkward, unworthy, and out of place. Hence my need to apologize. I am trying to break the circle.
Thank you for the reminder.