If a French woman says, “Je suis désolée (I’m sorry),” you better believe that it’s warranted.
I’ve witnessed a French woman walk out in front of a moving taxi and beat the hood of the car as he slammed on the breaks, as if it was the driver’s fault when clearly she wasn’t paying attention.
I’ve been elbowed in the metro, and never was a word of regret mouthed by the French offender.
The above two scenarios would have had this Southern girl begging for forgiveness.
This apology thing is my Achilles heel. And, even though I’ve made great strides, I still find myself apologizing for things that clearly aren’t my issue or fault.
Just yesterday, I apologized to the waiter when he brought me the wrong order. Why? It’s because I don’t like for others to feel bad.
Yet, each time I do it, I know that it’s impacting me on a deep level. Subconsciously, each unwarranted apology feeds the common beliefs that most women walk around with:
I’m not good enough.
Don’t ruffle any feathers.
Keep the peace.
Don’t take up too much space.
Be quiet and say little.
Please everyone but yourself.
I am all for apologizing when it’s warranted – if you’ve hurt someone, made a mistake, show up late or anything for which you truly feel remorse. But, I’m sick and tired of my own needless apologies.
So, I’m going to channel my Inner Frenchie and stop apologizing for the following:
My Period. Yes, it comes each month, makes me a little cranky and hurts like hell. Not sorry.
Asking the waiter to split the check. A simple “will you split the check please” is what I’ll say from this moment forth.
My love of nice things – shoes, handbags, clothes, hotels, candles, etc. If my love of luxury bothers you . . . not my problem!
Taking my time. Whether it’s in the line at the DMV or placing a complicated order, I’m going to work on those moments of panic that I’m causing others to wait because I, too, have needs.
My optimism. I tend to take things lightly, smile a lot and try to find the good in life. This has made others – those who like to wallow in their despair, complain and constantly criticize – a little uncomfortable. Yes, I’ve found myself apologizing for my own happiness. Never again.
Bad days. Generally, I am one happy chick. But, I’m also very human, which means that I have those days when the world turns dark and I’m not at my best. On these days, I may reach out to you, and if I feel the urge to apologize for needing support, I’ll take a deep breath and simply ask for love.
My femininity. I have had other women tell me that I’m too feminine. Listen up: I am a woman. And, yes, I love painting my face, wearing perfume and dressing up. Am I sorry? Not at all. In fact, see that dress above? I would wear that in a heart beat! Gloves included.
Asking for what I want. “I’m sorry, but I would like __________” will be replaced with “Excuse me. I would like _________” followed by a please and thank. Simple and direct.
My age. In some groups, I’ve felt too young. In others, too old. My age is what it is. And, I’m very thankful to have been on this earth for the time given to me. Not sorry. Grateful.
Asking for payment. As a business owner, I’ve had people owe me money. And, to that , I apologized for the inconvenience. What? If anyone has been disrupted, it’s me. I’m no longer sorry to ask you to honor your commitment.
Being who I am.
I almost apologized for offending anyone with this post.
Yes, this is going to be quite the process, but I’m up for the challenge.
Care to join me? What are you tired of apologizing for? Take note of how many times you apologize during the day. I’m sure you’ll be fascinated!
Photo Credits: (1)