10 Things You Should Never Apologize for

Sorry is a powerful word that comes easily to most of us whenever we feel as if we are at fault or have failed somehow. We are taught from an early age to apologize when we are in the wrong, but sometimes it can become an automatic response even when it is unnecessary to apologize. For instance, saying sorry to inanimate objects, for bumping into someone or something, when you need to pass by someone, sneezing, things that aren’t your fault, who you like, what you eat, or honest mistakes. We even say sorry for saying sorry.

In some cases, this kind of conditioning can be detrimental to our lives. For instance, if saying sorry is seen as a sign of weakness or lack of self-confidence and conviction. It can also result in us giving more attention to what others think of us and prioritizing their feelings and needs above our own.

Nevertheless, there are times we should apologize. Saying sorry is necessary when you have truly wronged someone or are at fault. It is a way to take accountability and show remorse for your actions and your willingness to change. However, you don’t need to apologize for everything, and this is why we have compiled a list of things you should stop apologizing for and what to do instead.

10 Things You Should Never Apologize for

  1. Your emotions

How often do you say sorry when someone catches you crying or if you are ‘too’ excited? Or you had to apologize for being too sensitive or angry? Emotions are a natural reaction to the things happening in our lives, and we should not feel embarrassed or apologize for having them. Instead, we should view them as a way to help other people understand us better.

If they judge you for being too emotional, that is their problem, not yours.

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  1. Being you

Your authenticity makes you unique and different from everyone else, and you should never apologize for who you are. Instead, embrace all aspects of who you are, including your flaws and weird quirks. Anyone who makes you feel bad for being true to yourself or tries to change you to be more acceptable doesn’t deserve to be in your life.

  1. Saying ‘no’

For some reason, we often have a hard time saying no to things even when we know they aren’t good for us, we aren’t interested in them, or they will not improve our lives. Whenever you decide to take a stand and say no, you feel uncomfortable or like you have to apologize for refusing to do something.

For instance, if someone expresses their interest in you and you don’t feel the same way, you might feel like you should say sorry for hurting their feelings. Another example is not wanting to have sex.

You do not owe anyone a ‘yes’, and you definitely shouldn’t do something you don’t want to do – and you should never apologize for it.

  1. Prioritizing yourself

You can only be in a position to help others if you help yourself first. Putting yourself first is one of the best ways to cultivate your growth and cater to your own needs. Unfortunately, many people confuse this practice with being selfish and try to make you feel guilty for looking out for yourself.

Do not apologize for wanting to take care of yourself.

If you need to take a break from work, relationships, phone, or social media, for some ‘me’ time, your privacy, or protect your mental health, then do. You are the only person who will suffer if your health deteriorates, and it is up to you to take care of yourself.

  1. Asking for what you deserve

Whether at work or in your personal life, never settle for less than you deserve. Stop apologizing for asking for more than what is being offered and knowing your worth. You have value, and if you want better treatment or more for yourself, you deserve to have it and you should never apologize for asking for it.

If that means having to get rid of toxic friendships and relationships or leaving your current job to achieve it, then do it. You should never apologize for leaving behind things that no longer serve you or for asking for what you deserve. It shows you know your value, respect yourself, and have dignity.

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  1. Changing your mind

So, you agreed to do something with a friend; but have changed your mind and want to back out of the plans, should you feel guilty about it? Nothing is set in stone, and decisions are no exception. You might feel like you have wronged someone whenever you change your mind and find yourself apologizing for it. But it is okay not to have everything figured out and you should never apologize for changing course. Change is part of growth.

By changing your mind early enough, you save yourself and the other person a lot of heartache, pain, unhappiness, or poor performance that would have probably occurred down the road if you had forced yourself to do something. Sure, they might be disappointed or feel hurt right now, but at least you didn’t go along with something you no longer want.

  1. Having an opinion

We all have minds of our own and think differently, thus having your own opinion is one of the things you should never apologize for. You should not feel compelled to agree with someone’s opinion because it is more popular, more acceptable by others, or because they are superior in position.

If yours differs from theirs, stop apologizing for having it. The person on the receiving end doesn’t have to agree with you or implement the ideas you pitch to them, but that shouldn’t stop you from having and expressing your opinions.

Instead, speak your mind and let your voice be heard. Imagine how many innovations we wouldn’t have today if their creators didn’t dare to air their ideas and opinions.

  1. Asking questions

People often shy away from asking questions for fear of judgment or because they don’t want to seem dumb for their lack of knowledge. In a class or training session, you might apologize for asking for further clarifications because you feel as if you are slowing down the rest of the group or wasting time.

But asking questions is the only way to understand what you don’t know, and you should never apologize for wanting to learn more.

  1. Following your dreams

Parents and society have expectations of what we should become, and sometimes we might feel pressured to follow the path already laid out for us or do what they expect of us. However, if you don’t want to follow this path, you should never apologize for wanting to make your own way or feel guilty for it.

Your life is your own, and you are the only person who should choose how to spend it and what path to take to get to your destination.

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  1. Things you can’t control or change

Many things are beyond your control or can’t be changed, including your race, accent, height, appearance, sexual orientation, your past, what others think of you, and someone else’s behavior. For instance, someone could complain to you about how a friend or family member is behaving, and you might feel the urge to apologize or make excuses for their behavior. But, that is not your responsibility. They are their own person, and if someone has an issue with them, they should take it up with them and not you.

Also, if you often feel like you should apologize for someone else’s opinion of you, don’t. What other people think of you is none of your business; all that matters is what you think of yourself.

Final thoughts

Apologies come almost automatically to us when we think we have done something wrong or when we want to please and be liked by others. However, we often find ourselves apologizing unnecessarily even when there is no good reason to do so. The above are 10 things you should never apologize for. It is your right to feel the way you do and want the things you want.

Do you ever find yourself apologizing unnecessarily? What are some other things you say sorry for when you probably shouldn’t?


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40 thoughts

  1. Nice list Sheri, I like the second one the most – being yourself is often the hardest thing given that everything around is trying to coach us into something else. It takes a lot of hard work – first to recognise what we truly are about, values, preferences and convictions. Once we know them, the next task is protecting them. Never easy, but always great to be mindful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree with you on that and thank you for the added insight. Conforming to others expectations is easier than being authentic but we must have the courage to be ourselves against all the odds.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t even know why we apologize for asking questions, it’s like admitting we don’t believe our questions are important or deserve the time it takes to answer them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it is such an ingrained part of our vocabularies. I think we should learn to replace the word sorry with either thank you or excuse me where applicable. Thank you so much for reading.

      Liked by 2 people

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