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Stop Apologizing

[This post was originally written on December 26, 2015.]

I’ve been trying to stop saying those two self-deprecating words, the ones that leave people shuffling their feet and averting their eyes because they don’t know how to respond. The ones that say, “I must be making you uncomfortable even though I didn’t actually do anything wrong.” Two little words: I’m sorry.

With two words, I take responsibility for something that’s often out of my control. I cast myself in undeserved negative light. I make myself an object of unnecessary, uncomfortable pity. I’m apologizing for being human, for having emotions, and it’s time to stop the madness. There is certainly a time and place for apologizing, but I’m talking about that time when I cried too much or went rambling on about my life or when I got too excited about something dorky or when I stumbled over my words.

I think we all apologize too much for being ourselves. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to look a certain way. It’s okay to mess up. Because that’s just human nature, and it’s a shame when we force people into feeling guilty about existing.

Since I’ve stopped saying sorry for these things, I’ve become a happier person. I don’t worry as much about what people think because I know it doesn’t matter in the big picture. And if something I do really bothers someone, they weren’t meant to be in my life anyway.

When I do something that hurts you, I will absolutely apologize because I am in the wrong. I will never go out of my way to offend you just for the sake of my own amusement. I won’t cause you pain just because I’m hurting, too. But I’m not going to say “I’m sorry” anymore for things that make me human. Instead I want to thank you for listening, for being patient, and for letting me be me.

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