Stop Apologizing

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How often this week have you found yourself apologizing for your behavior? How many times have you said the words “I’m sorry“? (and I”m not referring to when it was in response to bumping into someone, making a mistake at work or at home, or after a fight with a partner or friend).

I can count at least 16 times.

I apologized for not doing my hair. I apologized for not taking down my Christmas decorations yet. I apologized for wanting to get a fattening appetizer AND an entrée at dinner. I apologized for wanting to talk about something that I’m excited about for longer than 4 minutes. I apologized for wanting to go to bed super early. I apologized for wearing leggings. I apologized for needing to work on some writing on Sunday. I apologized for not being able to hang out with a friend because I had errands to run, laundry to do, and a house to clean. I apologized for having a green smoothie for dinner last night. And many more.

Why am I apologizing for actions that do not harm other people? Why am I apologizing for actions that I enjoy and that make me a happier and healthier woman?

By doing so I’m selling myself short. I’m downplaying my self-worth.

I’m telling the world to not take me seriously.

I’m telling the world that I’m not good enough.

We women live in a judgemental world. Believe me, I can be as judgemental as the rest. The reason for our female to female judgements is an entirely different blog post. But, I think we have a hard time validating our life choices and behaviours because we ourselves are so quick to judge others and in turn we believe others are judging us just as quickly and meanly.

I know I’m afraid of being un liked. But to what degree? To the point that I’m not being my true self? To the point that people will never have the chance to know me? To the point that I’m not giving my self and my life a fighting chance to succeed?

By saying, “I’m sorry, I know you’re tired of hearing about it, but I want to talk about how much I just want to start trying to have a baby again. Just a few minutes okay?” I’m telling my friend that yes, she shouldn’t care about my feelings. That I should be embarrassed to feel like this.

By saying, “Ugh, I know I look a mess today, I just didn’t feel like putting on anything other than leggings and Uggs” I’m telling other women that we should be expected to dress up and look fashionable every single day. That we cannot look beautiful otherwise.

By saying, “I’m sorry, but I have to leave a little early. I would like to write and read a little before going to bed” I’m telling my friends and family that my goals and needs aren’t that important.

When a coworker says, “You look nice today! I really like that dress on you!” and I reply, “Oh, this is what I wear when I’m bloated, it’s just really comfortable” I’m telling them that I don’t deserve a compliment.

I may not always be using the words, “I’m sorry” but I am apologizing for who I am.

It’s time to stop apologizing, to stop being afraid to express who we really are, to stand up for ourselves. 2014 is the year I vowed to respect myself. We deserve to respect ourselves enough, to know that we are enough.

I was inspired to write this blog post after reading this article,written by Brianna Wiest, that has been floating around social media last week. Wiest list 18 things women shouldn’t have to justify.

Below are my favorite 6 things from the article:

Putting themselves first. When Barbara Walters asked Michelle Obama if it were selfish that she openly makes herself her first priority she responded: “No, no, it’s practical…. a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we’re so busy caring for everyone else. And one of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others.”

How little or much they’re eating, especially if it’s “unhealthy.” You can eat a big lunch without having to say “I haven’t eaten anything all day” or have some delicious ass nachos without saying “I totally deserve this, I was so good this week, I’ll start the diet again tomorrow.” More importantly, you shouldn’t have to always be interrogated with “that’s all you’re having?” or “you’re going to eat all that?!”

 Not having baby fever. You aren’t more or less of a woman– or person– if having a child isn’t for you now or ever. You shouldn’t have to back it up with the reasons you’re not maternally inclined but will maybe consider it down the road because “who really knows– maybe someday!” when you do really know that you don’t want kids but don’t want to be glared at like a heartless monster.

Enjoying what would otherwise be called guilty pleasures because they’re “girly” things. They don’t have to be “guilty” pleasures, they can just be pleasures. You can enjoy getting your nails painted and wearing a skirt and re-watching 13 Going On 30 a thousand times without floundering in stereotypes.

Amount of makeup worn on any given day. If you want to rock it au naturale, you do that, you beautiful little thing, and if you want to work it like you’re in a drag show, you can do that too. Your face. Your rules.

Being upset about something that warrants an emotional response. You don’t have to apologize for feeling something or acting out on it if it’s real to you. The people who judge you for being a human being, and not being ultimately demure and emotionless and in your place, are the ones who need to apologize.

 It’s time to stop apologizing for who you are.

So what if I like wearing leggings as pants (Blair Waldorf isn’t going to come and chastise me and ban me from NYC). So what if I could watch teen dramas all day every day, they make me feel all the feelings and that makes me happy. So what if some days I eat super clean while the next I want to eat a giant plate of nachos and that’s it? It’s my body and I’ll face the consequences.

It’s time to own up to your actions and stand confidently in front of your choices and the things that make you happy. Don’t put off your happiness because you are afraid.

Respect your choices and they will respect you in return. Happiness and freedom will follow.

Will you join me?

xoxo Katie

 

 

 

 

  • Oh girl- I am so much with you on this!! I catch myself apologizing all the time for things that I have NO reason to apologize for! It’s normally in the work place and I feel like I need to say I’m sorry because someone else made a mistake…why am I the one apologizing??

    Great post!!

    • kwalshmac

      Yes and Thank you! I feel so strongly about this. Why do we continue to put ourselves down. I say I’m sorry for the stupidest things and no one is going to do anything about it except for me. Every time I say “I’m sorry” I’m basically saying “I’m not important”

  • This is so great! Completely, totally agree with you on all counts! It’s so tempting to apologize but by not doing so, you get so much more respect, often times. One of my friends is a server at a restaurant and people are often rude – he stopped apologizing a long time ago for things that are out of his control (i.e. all tables are full or the kitchen is slow) and he found that people stopped being total assholes to him and complaining all the time. I think the same goes for all of the apologizing we do – more respect comes our way when we own our actions/decisions instead of apologizing for them.

    One major pet peeve of blogging in particular with this idea – bloggers apologizing for not posting. Nobody’s making you do it, so it’s so unnecessary!

    Anyway, great post. Loved all of it!

    • kwalshmac

      wow, that’s so interesting about your waiter friend, but makes sense when you think about it! People model behavior and will treat us based on how we treat ourselves.
      And the whole blogging thing – I ALMOST did that this week. I’m not posting today and I was going to make all these excuses (work caught up to me, I was barely home, I’m getting over a cold) etc but who cares? I do this for me, I’m not going to lose my blog because a miss a day!

      Thank you so much!!

  • I am on board 100%!!!

    • kwalshmac

      Glad to have you with me! We women can do this!

  • My post today was about being enough, too! I totally see your point – apologies on things like that are like an admission of wrongdoing and who is it hurting besides me if I eat like a horse? I think we are just in such a habit of trying to be everything to everyone that it’s hard to break out from using that language. Great reminder!

    • kwalshmac

      Loved your post Lauren! And exactly, I hope that in time not apologizing for things that are not problems will help me and my relationships grow. It’s so hard to put ourselves first, above worrying about everyone else.

  • THIS. I apologize all the time for dumb things that don’t need to be apologized for. My husband used to ask me, every time I said it, what I was sorry for. And I didn’t know. It’s just what’s drilled into us, by every other woman we know, that you say it or mean it whenever you’re inconveniencing someone else, or putting yourself ahead of anyone. And that’s MISERABLE. Good for you. I’m going to try to be more conscious of this.

    • kwalshmac

      Oh Allie, thank you so much! We have to start taking care of ourselves more (at least I know I do!) And you are right, we women are so trained to observe and worry about everything else – to the point that I think we perceive ourselves has always intruding or messing things up. We have to meet every single person’s different vision of “perfect”. No way!

  • I constantly apologize about everything. My husband is always telling me I say “I’m sorry” too much…which I reply with “I’m sorry!” I don’t really know why I do it, but this post makes total sense!

    • kwalshmac

      hehehe I know I’ve said “I’m sorry” for saying “I’m sorry” too. It needs to stop!! It also makes the words “I’m sorry” not as serious – for when we really really need to apologize.

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  • You are AMAZING.

    • kwalshmac

      I’m blushing 🙂 thank you, you’re amazing too. let’s celebrate that fact rather than hide it!

  • what a great post. inspiring and empowering!
    i love all the “by saying… means…”

    • kwalshmac

      Thank you so much Kelly! I hope it helped you stop and think about anything you may find yourself apologizing for! After writing that I find that I say it much much much more than I ever thought!

  • Hey Katie! I totally agree with you.:) I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the queen of the ‘I’m sorry’. *sigh* I’m also stuck on saying ‘yes’ but this year I’m really making an effort to say ‘no’. There’s no reason why I need to go out for drinks with friends (especially in this freezing weather) if I’m really not in the mood to do so. If I’d rather stay inside, cuddled up on my couch, and having a Hills marathon then that’s what I’m gonna do! Thanks so much for this inspiring post.:) – Donna

  • Oh I forgot. I dunno if you checked out my post on “The Conversation.” It’s an interview series hosted by Amanda de Cadenet and topics include: love, sexuality, body image, relationships, insecurities, etc. I think you’ll really enjoy it. You can watch the episodes online. Here’s my post with a link to the episodes: http://donzwebb.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/new-obsession-the-conversation/

    Happy watching.:)

    Donna

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks Donna! I LOVE stuff like this. Thanks for sharing and reading. 🙂

  • Rachel G

    It’s very true that we need to be aware of what kinds of things we’re apologizing for. Are we apologizing for real hurt that we caused, or like you said, are we apologizing for the quirks that make us the people we are? There’s a big difference–some apologies are appropriate while others aren’t.

    • kwalshmac

      Yes, so glad you agree. We need to realize the importance of our words. “I’m sorry” should be a powerful statement for something we did wrong, not just to cover up shame or to hide our true selves.

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