You know those people that say sorry for everything— even for things that aren't that fault, or that don't have anything to do with them?
Yeah, I'm one of them. And I'm friends with them, too.
We're working on it.
My mom turned to me recently when I apologized (for something that didn't need an apology) and told me something that went like, Erika, don't say sorry. You are in this space and you are here to be.
Man, my mom is a good woman. And she's right. I'm here to be. I deserve to exist, and I shouldn't feel like I'm an inconvenience to the lives of others, ever. Because people aren't inconvenient, myself included.
Oftentimes, it seems that my frequent apologies come from a place of feeling inadequate, and maybe if I apologize enough for the little things, the Big Things about me won't seem quite so detrimental. Quite frankly, I think that sort of thinking has produced a serious lack of confidence in myself, and I can see it almost every day now.
At work this summer, there is a lot of movement at the front desk, and as a new intern, I mess things up sometimes. Which, a la Erika, means I apologize a disastrous amount. One of the other staff members keeps saying you don't need to be sorry.... and I'm wondering if I'll ever start to believe her.
It's a goal of mine to apologize less because sorry should really be reserved for occasions that require an apology. It is one thing to be humble and accommodating. It is another to make yourself smaller by apologizing your right to just be human away from under your own feet.
Women especially seem to apologize all the time. We are taught from a young age to serve and take care of other people, which of course isn't a bad thing at all, it's awesome— until we throw our own wellbeing and assertiveness down the drain to head every beck, call, and complaint of the world around us. And that's really no human's job.
I think I personally have a ways to go to grow in confidence of who I am, what I'm capable of, and what I deserve. I believe really deeply in my value and worth, but I guess what I know in my head is taking a long time to get through to my heart.
I'm going to try to make it a concrete goal to hold myself back from letting the "I'm sorry"s slip when I haven't really done anything wrong. I know I'm not the only one who does this— maybe we can start together.Maybe this change will grow our hearts in a way that allows us to take responsibility for our actions without believing too much in the weight of our mistakes. Let's say I'm sorry when it's necessary. Let's also believe we deserve to let ourselves be human.