There was a time where I found myself constantly and profusely apologizing for things, no matter how big or small. “I’m sorry” would just slip off my tongue without me really even realizing it. I get it – there are some moments where apologies are absolutely necessary, but I would routinely apologize for being introverted, not being proficient enough or being TOO proficient in a particular area, putting myself first, my views…everything! It took some time before I realized and worked to intentionally catch myself. Enough had been enough, which lead to the ongoing process of truly standing my ground.
This led me to thinking about some things one should never apologize for:
BEING INTROVERTED (OR OTHER PERSONALITY TYPES)
I’m not talking about people who are being complete jerks when I mention personalities. That’s a different post for a different day. I remember feeling insecure in social situations as an introvert, but what I’ve learned and embraced is the fact that introverts rock! There are so many strengths that we bring to the table, and although it may appear that we may not be the most talkative of the bunch, an introvert will absolutely surprise you in the most unlikely situations. One thing entrepreneurship has taught me is to stop chalking everything up to introversion and putting myself in a Myers Briggs box. I had to learn to network and challenge myself more, even if it was uncomfortable. You can still be you, but also experience growth in the process. Along the way, it is just as important to not lose your authenticity.
Meet people where they are. If they want to change something about themselves, let it be their decision and something that they actually feel confident in doing…never forced.
MAKING YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY A PRIORITY
This should be a no-brainer, but you will be surprised to know how common it is for people to feel intimidated or guilty about speaking up for themselves and putting themselves first. We are human and in giving so much of ourselves daily, we have our boundaries and breaking points. So, if you are feeling unappreciated, disregarded or extremely burned-out, you absolutely should not hesitate to call a “time-out”. In doing so, be prepared to make a few people upset that they have been reprioritized, but they will deal. It’s never a good feeling to give so much energy elsewhere with very little for yourself or your family.
“No” is the best word in the English language. It’s extremely small, yet mighty. Oh, and it is a complete sentence (shoutout to Oprah). Depending on the circumstances, you can use it with or without explanation (your choice), but don’t feel apologetic about having to say it. You will feel so empowered!
SOMEONE ELSE’S BAD BEHAVIOR
With the exception of children (and even they can speak up for themselves), everyone can fend for themselves.
NOT LIKING YOUR FOOD (OR BEING GIVEN THE WRONG ORDER) AT A RESTAURANT
This is a tough one. I used to grin and bear it, but after a few times of leaving a food establishment broke and still hungry, I said “nah”. Politely, send it back and pick something else. The same applies to returning defective clothing that is noticed after purchasing.
DECIDING NOT TO GET MARRIED OR HAVE CHILDREN
No further commentary needed. Mind your own business, folks.
OUTGROWING PEOPLE + PARTING FROM BAD RELATIONSHIPS
Many of us have been there – feeling like you are hanging on by a thread and at the expense of your well-being to give CPR to a relationship that doesn’t want to be saved or need saving. Never apologize for having the strength to walk away or for outgrowing people. You are responsible for your own happiness.
So, you’ve been working your behind off at home, work and in your business…Um, what are you apologizing for?! High-five yourself and know that you deserve to be where you are!
NOT ANSWERING THE DOOR FOR “POP-UP” VISITORS
It may not bother some, but one of my biggest pet peeves is getting a text stating, I’m in your neighborhood. Can I stop by in 5 minutes? I will literally send the kids into the basement and close the blinds to show that we are “not home”. With 3 little ones running around, my house is rarely visitor-ready. Please, for the love of God, don’t do this. Besides, it’s rude. And no, I will not feel guilty about leaving you on my front porch. *flips hair*
STANDING IN YOUR TRUTH
Our experiences and opinions have formed over many years and are unique to us. Therefore, they should not in any way be altered or made to feel less-than. Stand boldly in your truth and never feel like you have to agree with the masses; you would be doing yourself (and others) a huge disservice.
BEING POSITIVE OR CARING “TOO MUCH”
There are so many great people in the world that are making a huge impact upfront and behind the scenes. Do not become weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). Also, never apologize for being positive and hopeful…the world could use more of that.
YOUR INTERESTS + STYLE
Listen, do you and do it well. I am a self-proclaimed nerd that hates wearing matchy-matchy outfits. There, I said it. A book and some funky styling has never hurt anybody. Be true, be you.
Let’s hear from you: What things are you absolutely unapologetic about?
Valerie is the founder of Unapologetically Us. Unapologetically Us highlights unapologetic excellence and offers a diverse platform to engage women successfully in embracing the best versions of themselves. Unapologetically Us focuses on lifestyle, fashion, beauty, social culture, relationships, careers and wellness.