Sorry, Not Sorry. What Happens When You Stop Apologizing

“Excuse me,”

“I’m sorry for slightly bumping into you,”

“Why yes, I’ll move aside for you even though you’ve completely cut in front of me rudely and I’ll apologize to you for it.”

This is Part I in how to not stop aologizing: Stay tuned for Part II, explaining it will change your life, coming soon.

Does this sound like you?

I’ve always been the polite girl.  Never one to step on any toes (figuratively or literally), cut in front of anyone, anywhere-except for the occasional road rage pull out, and certainly not one to expect more than what I give.

It has served me well in my past 28 years, and I am proud of the girl I am.  The lessons I’ve learned from both my mom and dad in that I should respect everyone equally-janitor and CEO, has paid off and has earned me kindness and a certain respect in return…for the most part, and that’s what we’re going to talk about!

However, in the past four or so years I’ve recently come to a concrete ambition to stop being the most polite person I know. 

Why, you may ask?

I realized I have been putting others before myself every single day, and simultaneously put my needs, wants, and physical self as an afterthought until everything and everyone else was happy and content.  But, I was too exhausted afterwards to take care of myself.  Go figure…

In addition, like most residents on the East Coast with a head strong and balls-to-the wall mindset, I’ve put way too much on my plate and have Just. Burned. Out.

So burned out to the point that it’s been extremely difficult to get out of bed in the morning and have the energy to enjoy a lazy Sunday-much less a full day or week of work.

After my Dad died I didn’t get the care I needed so desperately which allowed resentment to fill my heart and soul, and I stopped enjoying all things in my life: the people, the coffee trips, waking up each morning, even my home.  The more I served others, helped others, listened to others at work and other social situations, the more I wanted to crawl into a deep hole somewhere and not see a human face for a very long time.

Please, don’t take me wrong.  I love my family, my friends, and this crazy world we live in-and you should too!  It’s a gift that is intended to be enjoyed, which is why I came up with a practice I now see benefit from.

And I want to share it with all of you!  Because I want you to be happy and get happy in return.

See, I know what it’s like to be stepped on each and every day simply because I want to please others and make them happy.  But my Dears, your own happiness is worth more than what you can give to others, and this I promise you.  How will you take care and give love to others if you’re not looked after?

And who better to look after you, than you yourself?  That’s right, Love.  It’s time to put yourself first.

FIRST, realize what you are unintentionally doing that’s holding back the respect and confidence you deserve.

  1. Saying you’re sorry for EVERYTHING.  This includes but is not limited to: 
    • Bumping into someone.  Come on, unless you really hurt them or make them drop their phone, a little bump is harmless and could actually spark a conversation and who knows?  Maybe a friendship!
    • Beginning a conversation the same time someone else does.  I’m all for saying “excuse or pardon me” if you interrupt someone (you should never interrupt someone intentionally!!  Manners, people) but if you don’t mean to cut someone off, saying “you’re sorry” shows that you don’t value your words as much as the other person, or make you look weak.  Harsh but true, sorry, not sorry.
    • Taking time for yourself.  Never, ever, EVER apologize to anyone, I repeat, anyone (especially yourself!!) for taking a 20 minute-or 3 hour nap, an extra long lunch break, eating the entire 2-3 rows out of the Oreo package, or for not having life together exactly how you want it.  Live each moment how you see fit as much as possible, and that’s it.  No explanation necessary.
  2. Saying thank you for things that don’t make sense.  Look, I’m all for politeness-my whole life has basically been dedicated to being as polite as possible so believe me, being polite is a great attitude.  However, this doesn’t mean you should be a pushover, and being too polite allows for others to, well, push you over.
    • Stop saying “thank you” excessively.  Yes, say thank you to servers, to your doctor, to your mom, and to those who are doing things for you, and etc, but once is enough.  Seriously, they only need to hear it once and get that you mean it.  Saying it too much may make you look overzealous, too eager, and fake.  I’m not saying that you are, but speaking from experience, I don’t receive the respect or seriousness I’m after the most when I thank too much or act as if they are better than me.
      • NOTE: By all means, say thank you!  Just not excessively, and certainly not to those who don’t respect you and shove work on you just so they can browse Pinterest.  I get it if you’re trying to impress and gain credibility, but know that you’re placing yourself on a lower pedestal by putting others ahead of yourself.
  3. Looking down, hanging your head low, and purposefully subtracting yourself from conversations or social situations.  You are your most important relationship, and you shouldn’t hide your opinions, ideas, or spunky personality.  People that care for you and those who don’t yet, love and will love you for who you are, and will only motivate you to a better version of yourself.  Let them!
    • Stop looking down.  Keep your head high when you walk past others you may know or complete strangers, and be proud in your stride.  Not feeling attractive?  Smart? Successful?  Looking down and hanging your head low only accentuates these negative vibes to others, and if you don’t yourself seriously or feel proud, how do you expect others to?   The saying, “fake it till you make it” encompasses this, so go for it!  Be proud!

Stay tuned for Part II on how it has changed my life, my attitude, and how others have treated me-both friends and strangers.

I hope my tips help you get back the respect you deserve, and give others the chance to see how confident, smart, and respectable you are, because you are!!   Let me know how they inspire you in your life.  I believe in you and am here to help in anyway.

Get out there, girl (or guy), and show ’em what you’ve got.

Love <3

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  1. Julie @ Millennial Boss says:

    When my boss asks me to do something ridiculous or gives me emailed feedback that is harsh, I’m always like “Absolutely, thanks!” You’re totally right! I need to leave out the thanks because in my head I’m thinking the opposite of that haha! Great post.

    • Leighann says:

      Hi Julie! Right? Isn’t it curious how we learned over time to thank others for things we normally wouldn’t? It takes some work, for sure, but not saying it has made me feel so much better in these situations. Hope it helps you! Thanks for your comment.

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