Stop F-ing Apologizing
There is a time and place for a good apology. You slam into someone. Spill whiskey on their shirt. Accidentally break their Creed CD (oops, hehe).
But, when you’re simply BEING YOURSELF — that is not the time to apologize.
I lived an “I’m sorry for existing” life, for decades. It was nobody’s fault…just who I was, and how I interacted with people. It was hard. Full of doubt. Fear. Paranoia.
I’d apologize in meetings, in bed, during dinner, on the street to strangers, heck…even to INANIMATE OBJECTS I’d bump into.
“I’m sorry, but…my opinion is…”
“I’m sorry, I just…” (you just what? You’re just EXISTING? GOOD! Keep being alive!)
“I’m sure you hear this a lot, but…”
“I’m not sure if this is right, but…” “I’m sorry to bother you…”
Wait…you are sorry…for BOTHERING someone?
By saying that, you’re pretty much announcing, “I think less of myself than I think of you. I don’t have the confidence to talk to you. My head is down.” Now, chances are — that isn’t TRUE. But, perception is reality for many.
To talk to someone as they’re looking at the floor, is not fun.
Why? Because as the other party, you’re distracted. You’re not mad, no way — but usually you’re concerned. All you want to do, is HELP them — so much, that you barely hear what they say, because you’re too worried about them.
The thing is — most of us do this without even realizing it. And because of that we give off a vibe that really misrepresents who we really are, and how much we know/understand.
At one of the last corporate jobs I had (I own a company now), I asked for some feedback. My boss said,
“You need to work on your confidence. I THINK you know what you’re talking about, but it’s not believable. That means people won’t trust you. Improve that.”
WHAT THE!!!? I was so mad. Because, he was right — I was an expert on the topic, and I FELT really confident about it. So, how could he possibly get that impression?!
But, the more I thought about it — the more I realized, he was taking my, “I’m sorry but…let’s think about…” statements, as actual apologies — instead of the niceties I was intending/thought were needed.
Lights on, no apologies
The same can hold true, in the sack (if you have a problem talking about sex, skip to the end — grown ups should be able to be honest -but, I get it, so skip away).
I used to hide.
Anytime things got awkward, I’d apologize. I’d apologize for shifting the wrong way, I’d apologize for my body. I’d apologize if I couldn’t get my damn clothes off fast enough. A cramp in my back? Yup, apologizing — over and over. Constantly putting myself down.
THAT IS NOT SEXY.
Then, embarking on a body empowerment journey — I decided to let go of that need to apologize, hide, and to be worried about what the other person was thinking. It didn’t happen overnight, it took years of intention and hard work, plus having a great support system of friends, sexual partners who were all about empowerment (thanks dudes), and a supportive family. It was tough, and still a work in progress. But — it’s paying off.
Recently, I was cuddling with a partner — and said,
“Ya know? This is awesome. The lights are on — I feel beautiful, and I don’t CARE about if anything jiggles. We laugh if things are awkward, too. We talk calmly about what we like or don’t like— never apologizing for having different preferences — and the “I’m sorry” isn’t needed.”
“It’s sexy. Allllll of it. You have NOOOOOO FUCKING IDEA how sexy that is. To just, own it. You shouldn’t need to apologize, anyway — because I like you. The you you are, now — not someone you want to be. This is great.”
It’s not easy, but it’s possible
Tearing yourself away from living an apologetic life, is tough at first. But, it’s SO doable. If there is one thing I wish I had known earlier in the journey…it’s this:
We become the words we hear. Even if those words are from our own lips. If you are apologizing for being yourself, it’s hurting you.
Shifting this behavior will make you an easier person to be around, and bonus: people will be able to hear your words — for what they ACTUALLY are, instead of the apologetic tone they’re being delivered with.
YOU ARE A FABULOUS HUMAN — NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE FOR THAT.
Thanks for reading :)