I remember as a child having a super guilty conscience. I have no idea why. I have a very vivid memory of me weeping in my bedroom one night because I had made Ken make out with Barbie and I felt so guilty for it. (I no longer feel guilty for that. It’s literally the only make-out opportunities that I have in my life at the moment.)
Growing up in school and college, and even in my 20’s, I found myself saying sorry all of the time, sometimes to the point that people would say, “Leah, stop apologizing so much!” I couldn’t help it. I had this weird need to make sure that my every action was known to be good and my intentions pure. If I disagreed with someone in a meeting, I would apologize later. If I told one of my interns what to do, I would follow it up with an apology for “maybe sounding too bossy?” (Which was weird because, well, I was their boss….so…)
I was in a constant state of wondering if I had done something to offend somebody. I think that it’s good to have an apologetic mindset, where we can easily admit our wrongs, but I think when you get too extreme with that mindset, you suddenly find yourself apologizing for simply being, well, you.
I recently was chatting with a guy and ended up cutting him lose. That makes him sound like a desperate dweeb…he wasn’t. He was awesome. The reasoning wasn’t drastic. He didn’t ask me to perform some weird sex act on a third date (I’ve had that happen) or tell me he loves me just two weeks in (That’s happened, too). The reasoning was that it was long distance, and with our schedules it just wasn’t going to work. I let him know, and found myself apologizing profusely and second guessing my decision. Was I being mean? Was I being too quick to act? I was telling my Aunt Linda (The wonderful, bold, intelligent, fabulous Aunt Linda is her actual name but we call her Aunt Linda for short) about this relationship ending apology vomit and about my discomfort in ending things with guys, and she made a really funny statement:
Guys do it all the time. Funny that it’s something that we need to get used to!
It’s so true. As women, we apologize for the dumbest stuff. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes! (Disney reference. Either you got it or you didn’t). But really, don’t believe me that we overdo it with the apologies? Well boo, you’re wrong. Here are a few of the many things that we needlessly apologize for.
“Sorry if I’m too dressy…”
“Who are you trying to impress?” I can’t tell you how much I hear this, especially from other women. It’s ridiculous to me that we are made to feel weird when we put the time in to look like a total dime piece. Yup, I did my hair today. I put my makeup on and contoured my face. I put on heels to go to the grocery store because I wanted to. I put on fake eyelashes for a Red Wings game because I like fake eyelashes. I don’t need to explain this to you or feel bad that you’re not looking as fly as me (a very common occurrence).
You never, ever, everrrr need to apologize for taking the time to make yourself look nice. There’s no shame in your game, and the people trying to throw shade on you are just mad because they ain’t got no game! (A direct quote from an ex-boyfriend).
“Sorry that I’m wearing sweatpants and no makeup.”
What’s the first thing that we do when we are meeting a friend out somewhere and haven’t showered in 3 days? We shoot them a text that says, “Hey sorry, I look like a total homeless person tonight.” Why. Why do we do this? Why do we feel the need to apologize for the fact that we didn’t feel like putting makeup on our blow drying our hair, something that I literally never do. Why do we feel like we need to explain why we’re in sweatpants or leggings or a hoodie?
I’m busy. Sometimes I go right from the gym to the grocery store to dinner with a friend, and I am wearing the same thing the entire time. Sorry that I didn’t put on my prom dress to meet your for dinner, Brittney, but you’re not Gerard Butler and this isn’t the Oscars. We don’t need to preface our face-to-face moments with an apology for not putting on an extra coat of mascara, especially considering men don’t need to do a single thing to get ready for us. Get real.
“I’m really sorry, I just don’t see this going any further.”
Sometimes, we just don’t like a guy and don’t want to date him. Sometimes, there is no reason at all. Unfortunately, we’ve trained ourselves to feel the need to provide a thought out, carefully articulated reason to give him about why we don’t want to keep dating him when the answer is pretty simple: I don’t like you. There’s no reason why or why not, I just don’t.
Don’t apologize for cutting a man lose who isn’t doing it for you. And don’t apologize for not having a reason why. You are not put on this earth to provide every person you meet with closure. They can get that on their own time in their own way. #adulthood
“I’m sorry that I got so upset. Maybe I’m PMSing or something.”
I feel like when I get to heaven, God is going to pull up all of the footage of me driving and downsize me from a mansion to a 1 room condo with drywall and orange carpet to punish me for my road rage. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We, as women, feel like we need to apologize when something ruffles our feathers and we react. We expect it from men- they’re manly and tough and aggressive. But what if I’m aggressive, too? I know that I’m super aggressive with my Chipotle burrito bowl. Why not when someone says that the Backstreet Boys were better than N’Sync?
We expect it from men- they’re manly and tough and aggressive. But what if I’m aggressive, too? I know that I’m super aggressive with my Chipotle burrito bowl. Why not when someone says that the Backstreet Boys were better than N’Sync?
If you’re being a biatch, that’s one thing. But if someone has legitimately wronged you, and you’re pissed off about it, then you don’t need to keep apologizing for being upset. Upset is allowed. Anger is allowed. Frustration is allowed. Shoot, Jesus got 50 shades of irritated and flipped a bunch of tables and used a whip on vendors. I mean, dang Jesus. Emotions are what help us evaluate ourselves and help us make better choices. So be angry. And stop downplaying your emotions as insignificant by offering up an apology for them.
Emotions are what help us evaluate ourselves and help us make better choices. So be angry. And stop downplaying your emotions as insignificant by offering up an apology for them.
“I know, I’m so healthy and annoying. I’m sorry.”
I cannot tell you how much crap I’ve gotten for going gluten free and dairy free. Guys, this wasn’t a choice. But for realz, people have been brutal. People have said everything from, “You think you’re so cool? Being all trendy and healthy?” to “What, are you gonna become a spin instructor next and become better than us?” Well, first of all, I am the kind of person who complains during the entire workout, so I would be an awful (yet hilarious) instructor. Second of all, why are we criticized when we say no to a fourth piece of pizza? I don’t get it.
Well, first of all, I am the kind of person who complains during the entire workout, so I would be an awful (yet hilarious) instructor. Second of all, why are we criticized when we say no to a fourth piece of pizza? I don’t get it.
There are nights to let lose, definitely. Taco Bell FTW. But there’s nothing wrong with making positive, healthy choices for your body and not being made to feel like a pompous snob for it. No, I don’t want to eat at McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That doesn’t make me all high class in the upper tax bracket, it just makes me expressive of the fact that I love and value my colon.
“I don’t know if I want kids…sorry, I know that’s weird.”
Ultimately, do I want children? Yeah, I would say so. Do I want them now? HECCCCKKKKY NO. This doesn’t make me less of a woman. It doesn’t make me heartless or insensitive. It just makes me incredibly true to who I am, and Leah of 32 years does not want nor is she ready for children at the moment.
I don’t understand why we put pressure on women to have babies, or why, if we don’t want babies, we feel like we need to be sorry for that. Why is it so scary to say, in a public group full of women, “Yeah, I’m not sure that I want children.” My life purpose is not to have gorgeous, beautiful children (because they most certainly would be). Maybe that is your life purpose, and that’s great! But my life and your life are different. We should be celebrating that instead of making each other feel badly for it.
Here’s the thing, ladies, and not to get all battle-of-the-sexes here, but men don’t apologize for stuff like this. Why? They’re not expected to. And I want to ask you a question today: Who told you that this was what you had to do? Who told you that this what was expected of you? Because whoever told you that…whoever told you to be a quiet little church mouse in the rapid paced, loud, vibrant world, was wrong. Is that my opinion? No, it’s a fact. They were wrong.
It’s not wrong to apologize and have a tender heart towards things if that’s what you feel like you need to do. If you feel like you’re being too negative or in the wrong about something, then yes, definitely say that you’re sorry. But don’t apologize for being a busy woman, or having too many kids, or having no kids, or not having your eyebrows filled in, or wearing makeup to the beach. Don’t apologize for things that carry no substance in your life.
But DO apologize for your remarks about JC Chasez. How dare you.