New Year's Eve has come and gone, we've said farewell, and another year has gone by. Although we may not know what 2016 holds in store for us yet, one thing's for sure: 2015 was the year of identity. Last year was all about holding on as tightly as possible to what makes one unique and having pride in being different. From Amy Schumer's preachings on being confident in your own skin to Malala Yousafzai's belief in the power of education and intellectualism, there was definitely no shortage in the area of great female influences this year. Being surrounded by so many inspiring and confident women encourages a new goal for 2016, which is to empower more women not to apologize for who they are and what they want out of everyday life.
We're all guilty of this bad habit, whether it's saying sorry for trying to get past someone who may not even be in your way to simply asking for a glass of water at a restaurant. Apologizing is so second nature that women don't realize what kind of power follows the word "sorry." Ultimately, what's being downplayed in these situations is a woman's ability to empower herself. By not apologizing, she has the capability of normalizing what are considered as demands, to simply being what she needs. Saying sorry has become a way of defining politeness--if it isn't said, women are perceived as too aggressive or b*tchy. As a society, we move forward by encouraging others not to care what people think of them and dismissing the need for this word should be no exception. All it does is show people that being liked and pleasing them is a higher priority than simply claiming what a woman so rightly deserves: the ability to be herself.
Yes, this habit is not one to be gotten rid of easily. I've been on both sides of the table, as a server, telling other women they shouldn't sorry for wanting extra napkins and as a customer, being told not to be sorry for wanting a Venti caramel macchiato instead of a Grande. It's a matter of starting to look at how much time we waste saying sorry when we could already be at the part where we have what we sought to get. It's also important not to let this word make us feel like we are any less of a genuine person for not saying it all the time.
This one word should not be the difference between being seen as bossy or nice, and its only power really comes from how much women give to it. People won't ask for you to be sorry first before asking if they want to sit down or if you want to ask a question, so what's the point?
It's OK to not say sorry and furthermore, not feel sorry for not saying it. And being a person who isn't one for resolutions, it doesn't seem like such a bad thing to exclude one word when we make perfectly legitimate requests this upcoming year.