Throughout history, we can see a continuous cycle of women apologizing for things that don’t need an apology. This cycle is so integrated in our society that companies have started to build campaigns that promote the ending of “I’m sorry” amongst women, for example, Pantene’s 2014 campaign “Sorry, Not Sorry.”
Why do women apologize so much? I believe that, along with a constant desire for acceptance and affirmation stemming from a long history of the patriarchy, there is a mold that women feel the need to fit themselves into. As women, we feel as though everything must be done correctly or else we are seen as inferior
Here are the 12 most common things women apologize for:
Speaking about yourself/selling yourself to others. We tend to downplay who we are and don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we do. Remember, no one else can sell you better than you.
Doing your job/asserting your authority
If Tommy is doing something wrong, CORRECT HIM. Don’t shy away from your authority.
Choosing a path that works best for you and your life is nothing to be ashamed of. If you want to chase your dream of becoming a CEO before having children, DO IT. You only have one life to live.
Don’t obsess over how you look to others. Your dress looking too short or your shoes looking too raggedy is nothing to stress over. The paparazzi is not following you.
Showing your emotions
When you are upset about something, you have the right to your own emotions. Worrying about how someone else might feel about your display of emotions is not your problem.
No one should have a say about the way you look. To shave or not to shave, that is your choice.
Accidental physical touch
There’s no need to apologize for something you couldn’t control. A simple “excuse me” will do just fine.
Passionate about a belief
If you believe something to be true, speak up. If you feel strongly about something, don’t hold it in for the fear of rejection.
Being too busy
There are only 24 hours in one day. If you can’t respond to an email right away, don’t apologize.
Needing some “you time”
Needing time to yourself to reflect or process your day is critical to your well-being. Be intentional and schedule an hour for yourself.
Seek clarity when you don’t understand something. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Apologizing all the time
If you find yourself saying sorry throughout the day, look at where you may feel disempowered and make changes where they’re needed.
As women, we are natural born leaders. We are made to be simultaneously fierce and empathetic and at other times powerful and vulnerable. Our power comes from using these dualities to carry out the task at hand.
Nevertheless, sometimes these spaces and feelings can get the best of us. But don’t doubt yourself—stay focused and trust your instincts. Don’t shy away from who you are, be proud of the woman you have become.