My Gut Tells Me To Apologize For Writing This (But I’m Not Going To)

Apparently, I apologize a lot.

I’m not just talking about when I actually need to; when I’ve messed up and I need to own up to my own mistakes. I’m talking about all the time. The phrase “I’m sorry” is apparently one of the main elements in my lexicon, to the point that I hardly even notice how often I use it; how that phrase encompasses and follows every aspect of my life. I’ll apologize for what I just said. How I act. What I think. Things out of my control. I never realized how often I apologized, until a friend of mine snapped, “Damn, quit saying “you’re sorry” all the time.” His snap caught me off guard and I’m sure, the intuitive human that you are, you guessed how I responded. Instinctively, without a blink.

“Sorry,” I muttered.

And he just stared at me, his expression the very definition of incredulous as he responded, “Seriously?”

But it’s not just the phrase “I’m sorry” that reflects how often I apologize. I’ll say things like, “Sorry to bother you, but…” or “I don’t mean to distract you,” or “I know I’m burdening you, however…”. The most ironic thing? I usually say these things when I’m texting someone. When we’re simply talking. I never realized how often I did this, because it was so instinctual; a reflex, more than anything else.

Now that I notice, I see how harmful it is.

I’ve always struggled with my own opinion of myself, but I’ve grown and made a lot of strides in loving myself. Yet this is a very clear sign that there are still some negative thoughts and opinions rooted deep, expressed by my apparent need to apologize for my own existence (because now that I’ve noticed it, I apologize for everything). I know I’ve never had a lot of confidence, but it really shows here.

Which is sad, because I should have a little confidence. I should believe in myself more than always feeling the need to apologize for things that, half the time, I’m not even actually sorry for or ashamed about. Instead, subconsciously, I feel like I should be, hence the apology, e.g., That text was more than two lines, so obviously you’re being too much of a burden. Apologize. You’re wanting to talk about something that’s been on your mind and it’s taking up a lot of their time, so obviously you’re bothering them. Apologize. You’re eating pop-tarts they specifically bought for you because you’re hungry and they offered. Apologize. You sneezed. Apologize. 

I hope you’re catching my drift, here.

It’s a bit ridiculous, to be honest.

I’m not saying I need to become this cocky arsehole that is full of herself, but I do owe myself a bit more confidence that this meek, apologetic projection that I put off. I actually really like who I am. I like my quirks and my naivety (lack of street smarts) and my nerdiness and my traditionalist mindset and my positivity and everything else in-between. So why am I constantly apologizing for it, especially subconsciously? Not only am I doing a disservice to myself, projecting a person that I don’t want to be, but it’s also exhausting and at times, infuriating, to those who have to listen to the apologies the most. They shouldn’t have to constantly reaffirm their good opinions of me or remind me that it’s okay, I actually didn’t do anything wrong and the apology is unnecessary. Instead, that affirmation should come from within me. I should know that I’m not burdening my friends when I want to talk. I should know that when I’m texting someone and having a conversation, I don’t have to apologize for blocks of text. Hell, we’re actually just doing what friends do: communicating. So what if my humor is a little weird and my interests are a lotta nerdy? I should take pride in those things. Always.

So I’m glad I realized that this is an area of improvement that I can focus on; a lingering effect from all those years of me hating myself and thinking–and believing–too many toxic lies about myself. I know I’ll still apologize for a lot of unnecessary things, but now I can at least actively work on it as I continue to strive to love myself in every aspect and capacity. Thanks for listening, friends. (<–Last line written after backspacing a sentence apologizing for the need to write this post in the first place.)

Cheers.

Advertisements

About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

6 responses to “My Gut Tells Me To Apologize For Writing This (But I’m Not Going To)

  • M.A. Crosbie

    I was nodding my head along to this entire post. I apologize all the time too, and it becomes so ingrained that we barely notice how we’re diminshing ourselves and our thoughts by doing it. We are allowed to exist, and take up space, and speak our minds. Thank you thank you thank you for writing this ❤

    • Nicole Evans

      It’s obviously going to be a work in progress, because I still apologize a ridiculous amount. But it also actually pissed me off that I present myself as this meek, apologetic burden to everyone. I’m not a bloody burden, so I need to stop acting like I should be one. Thank you for reading. ❤

  • Marie E. Stump

    Girl, I have this same problem! I started noticing it a couple years ago. I haven’t been able to focus much on changing the constant apologies or the mindset behind them, but I certainly should! Best of luck!

    • Nicole Evans

      It’s sorta comforting to know that someone I admire as highly as you also struggles with something like this, yet I also hate that you do–you are such a fantastic person! Thanks for the luck–I need it. 😛

      • Marie E. Stump

        Aw, thanks! Likewise! 🙂 Yeah, I both love and hate that I have friends who can relate so well to stuff like this and to some of my bad experiences. It’s great to be able to understand each other so well, but it’s sad that the understanding stems from having similar struggles or bad experiences. Sending you all the luck I can spare! 😉

  • Carrie Pollock

    Wow, I do the same thing! I catch myself apologising for a joke or virtually anything else. Then I get pissed if I can’t make everything all unicorns and rainbows.I caught myself a few months ago saying something crazy. Unfortunately I said it to my therapist lol. She was at the women’s march up by crown and we saw eachother. I introduced here to my other half. She said I am surprised I ran into you with all the people here. Then I said are you scared? When that came out of my mouth I thought wtf did I say that for. I brought it up in out last session and she said that it was a strange thing to say. It came straight out of my sub conscious mind. In my life I have always been different, opinionated, outspoken, crazy, and funny. You get the point.i was always expected to embarrass everyone and or draw the wrong attention. Ok, so I am not good with punctuation and run on sentences. What I meant to say is, you never have to apologise! Everytime I have seen you, you always brighten the mood! Your smile could cause a war in many countries, lol you have always radiated positivity and goodness. I suppose if I was honest a little shy but cute as hell!

Leave questions, comments or angry remarks below...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: