I was talking with a friend the other day and realized she apologized endlessly during our conversation. She was sorry for being mad at someone, for laughing too loudly, for talking too much, and a few other things. I never mentioned any of these things as she spoke, and realized many people apologize for almost everything.
I noticed this in her because I noticed it in myself several years ago.
I apologized if someone mentioned I spoke too slow, or too fast, or they clucked as I tried to carefully put my money away at the register, or WHATEVER. I felt bad if I told the truth, I felt bad if someone felt uncomfortable--even if it was not my fault. And I was not actually sorry--in fact I was kind of mad.
I decided to stop apologizing for nonsense. Here is a list of things I am NO LONGER sorry for:
~ Speaking like I have ADHD. My mind jumps topics, things remind me of other things, and sometimes what you think is a tangent is me explaining things that will eventually come together at the end. Not everyone is linear, and being creative lends itself to idea links. This is ME. Not sorry.
~ Sleeping late. I work at home, I am a writer and and illustator. Unlike many people I sometimes get a burst of energy late at night, and I have some very good ideas after the sun goes down. I am lucky enough to be able to stay up late and take advantage of the hours I keep because I do not have to get up with the birds. I am not lazy or depressed because I sleep til 9:30 am and sometimes work in my slippers for a while. Likewise--I do not think you are acting like you are six years old because you go to sleep at 9:30 pm.
~ Being a picky eater. Nope--I do not want to try organ meats, raw foods, or anything with cucumbers. I have lived over 50 years and have tried most things at this point, and will not ruin a meal because someone wants me to be adventurous and try something new. I know what I like--you can order anything you please.
~ Looking on the bright side. I regularly assume things will work out alright, because even if they don't there is sometimes nothing I can do, so I make the best of it. My attempt is realism with an optimistic bent. I almost said sorry if you don't like it--but I caught myself.
~ Living a life I choose. I spent years making everyone happy. My career and life choices were put on the back burner as I helped everyone and put my own needs aside with a sigh. Now I am busy and happy and you may have to wait a bit. Took me long enough.
~ Not being perfectly neat. I have walked into endless homes and have been astounded at the austerity or extreme neatness and organization skills the owner must have. Where is all the stuff? I don't understand how a place where someone lives can be so neat, and I spent years apologizing for having pens, pencils, books, papers and other art paraphernalia around. I like my stuff, and I don't want to put it away because someone walks through the door.
~ Liking what I like. I like scary topics and being spooked, art, pencils, pens, birds, medical , the occult, and religious conversations. No longer sorry that I don't like sports or shopping.
~ Not being good at small talk. I like intense friendships and talking until the sun comes up--but I am not great at social climbing. No interest.
~ And most of all I will no longer apologize for having an opinion that is different than someone else's.
In no way am I trying to say I am always right. If I hurt someone, or make someone wait, or feel someone truly needs an apology--I am all for it. I just wish we would all stop the needless apologizing over silly things.
Apologizing because you think someone will be mad or because your opinion is different from theirs at you can lead to lowered self esteem, and possibly make you seem like you are weak or lack confidence. Don't apologize unless you are really trying to fix something. Save it for the real thing and use it when it's needed.
So let's break the habit--I feel more genuine, and a bit stronger too since I have changed that habit. We need to stop being sorry for being ourselves.
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