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Stop Apologizing for Being You

I’m going to explain a situation and you can decide if this has ever happened to you, got it? Here we go. For some reason, you apologize to someone. In this situation, the apology was unnecessary. So they follow up your apology with, “Stop apologizing, you didn’t do anything wrong.” To this, you reply with an apology for apologizing too much! I’ve done it a couple of times. I also have friends who are chronic apology-givers. But why? Why are we so obsessed with apologies and making things right? It seems like every other day, another celebrity is uploading an apology video on social media for doing or saying something problematic.

Don’t get me wrong, we all do some things that deserve acknowledgement and asking for forgiveness; however, I think that for some of us, apology culture has taken over our lives. Of course, when you hurt someone’s feelings, you should apologize and do your best not to do it again, but you should never apologize for the quirky little things that make you, you! 

I found a quote on Pinterest that really struck a chord with me (so much so that I made it my lock screen on my phone). The quote, by Christain Bosse, reads: “Start to laugh at the lame things you do. Forgive yourself for being flawed. You’re human; imperfect, yet chosen by God. Embrace it.” Wow. Even if you take away the religious part, this quote is so impactful. I have been trying to live these words every day. 

Personally, my unnecessary apologies come in a few varieties. Some of my most common are:

“I’m sorry I’m so emotional.”

“Sorry about my laugh. I know it’s obnoxious.”

“I’m sorry if I’m being too much.” 

But yours may look different. Maybe you apologize for getting too excited about silly things,taking too long to make decisions or for never really knowing what to say. To you, these aspects of your personality may be in the back of your mind, incessantly nagging and telling you that you’re not good enough. But to others, your excitement displays a lust for life, your indecision shows that you’re careful and considerate and never knowing what to say? That just means you’re a human being. Sometimes, words fail us. We’re not perfect, and that’s okay. Imperfection does not mean that we need to be sorry every time something goes a little off the rails. 

These little apologies may seem trivial at the time, but they often reveal our innermost self-loathing, the things about us that society tells us are flaws. But it’s time to take back our quirks. It’s easier said than done, but if we start loving our little oddities, then no one has the power to use them against us, especially ourselves. So look at yourself in the mirror. Love your crazy loud laugh, love the silly things you say, love how excited you get over “dumb” stuff. Love every part of yourself. Because it’s in loving ourselves completely that we find our power. So take back your power, girl. 

Anna is currently a senior at UMKC studying Health Sciences and Public Health, with a goal of working in the nonprofit world. Anna's passion is advocating for people living with chronic illnesses through her work with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. In her free time, Anna can be found obsessing over Panic! at the Disco and Queen while drinking coffee and watching romantic comedies or listening to podcasts.
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