Sorry. This post might offend you.
I’ve noticed something about myself. I apologize a lot, and most of the time I don’t even mean it.
The other night I was at the gym. I went to the water fountain to fill up my bottle. The water was running a bit slow, and my bottle was only halfway full when a guy came up behind me. Immediately I said, “Sorry!” and looked down embarrassed to be taking so long.
As I walked away, I felt a little confused. Why did I apologize for getting to the water fountain before someone and using it as is expected? Why did I feel embarrassed for taking a little longer to get water? That’s nothing to feel sorry about.
Then it happened again. I was walking into work one morning. I was wearing an adorable pair of beige peep toe, faux leather, five inch wedges. A man walking about 100 feet ahead of me saw me behind him and held the door. As I crossed the threshold I said, “Sorry, thank you!”
What the hell, Lowery? Sorry that he is a gentlemen? Sorry that your shoes are so freaking cute it took you five extra seconds to walk to the door? Why do you keep doing this?
I’ve noticed several of my girlfriends doing the same thing. We apologize for taking up space, taking up time, and having valid thoughts and emotions. It’s like we feel the need to apologize for being treated well. I’m not sure if it’s lack of confidence, a learned tradition of submission, or over-politeness, but it’s got to stop.
If anything, apologizing for feelings and ideas makes them seem less credible. If we truly felt what we were expressing was valid, why would we apologize? When we communicate something we feel strongly about, ending it with sorry takes all its importance away.
When it comes to the way you’re treated, the things you think and feel, and the time and space you take up, you do not need to apologize. Your existence is not an inconvenience.
It’s time to start owning it! Just do your thing, and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Next time someone holds the door for you, just say thanks and leave it at that. Next time you feel like speaking up in a meeting, say what’s on your mind, and OWN IT!
Now, this isn’t me granting you permission to be a dick and not apologize when you’re in the wrong. All I’m saying is as women we have the right to think, feel, and breathe without feeling guilty for doing so. Not saying sorry for these basic rights doesn’t make you rude or entitled. It makes you confident. It shows that you expect to be treated well, and you’re not going to settle for less. Sorry, not sorry.