Frenchie Friday: Things I Will No Longer Apologize For

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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!

Unapologetically Yours,

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Tonya

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47 Responses to Frenchie Friday: Things I Will No Longer Apologize For

  1. I will not apologize for being ambitious. It’s who I am and because of it I get to help a lot of people and live my purpose.

    I will not apologize for loving my work. I love my work! It doesn’t mean I love other parts of my life, namely my kids, any less.

    I will not apologize for refusing to drink. I am a better person when I don’t. I won’t apologize if that makes you uncomfortable.

    I will not apologize for being pretty. If that makes you feel bad it has nothing to do with me.

    Love this post. Got me thinking. You GO Tanya.

  2. I will not apologize for disagreeing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I will respect your opinion, but I will not apologize for having a different view.

    • Oh, I’ve done that one so many times.
      Sounds like: “I’m sorry, but I don’t agree.”
      Adding that to my list!

      Thanks Barbara!

  3. I agree with all of them, Tonya. At age 58, I have learned to no longer apologize for anything that I am not sorry for, especially for being myself and wanting what I want. In saying that, I am really polite and considerate. Us northern girls were taught manners as well.
    I have been to France a few times and found most people very nice. However, while waiting for the one and only tiny elevator in a small Paris hotel, at least six Parisians, men and women alike, pushed past our weary group waiting to take our luggage to our rooms and jumped into the elevator ahead of us! We were appalled. Finally, one muscular man in our group blocked the way so that we could get in or we would have been waiting all day! Bienvenue en France! I have been all over Europe and the Mediterranean and this was the only time this has happened to me. Can you explain this behavior?

    • Even thought I often write about the French culture, I try not to overgeneralize. I find the French to be extremely polite. With that said, they also don’t mind breaking line, pushing their way into a metro and doing whatever needs to be done to convenience themselves. They also don’t take it personally. It’s just what they do.

      Thanks so much for stopping by Jo!

      A Bientot!

  4. I love this. Thank you for the great Friday insight. I needed this today…because I almost apologized for taking a sick day – when I really needed it.

    Therefore, I will not apologize for taking a break. If I’m exhausted (or sick), I can take a break and the world will not come crashing down around me.

    There is a Dayquil commercial that says something like “moms can’t take breaks…” What a travesty. 🙂

    • Yes, I’ve definitely apologized for taking a sick day before! Yikes. Without even thinking about it.

      I wish there was a better phrase than “I’m sorry.” No, we shouldn’t apologize, but I wish there was a special code word to express that “I care about you and wish YOU didn’t have to be inconvenienced but not at the expense of MY health/wealth/life/liberty/pursuit of happiness.”

  5. Tonya, I’m relatively new to your blog, but I’ve found myself printing hard copies of almost all of them to read again!! Great insights, reminders, and just plain beautiful fun!

    Thank you so much for sharing the gift that you are.

    Julie Masters

  6. I love your way of viewing the world, yourself, and that you share it with us. As always, perfect timing. I loved the post and have made a commitment to be aware of when and why I’m apologizing. And if it’s not relevant to not do it!
    And I’m sending forwarding to some dear friends right now!
    xoxo

  7. Hi Tonya,

    This is tripping a lot of triggers for me. I apologize for needing an equal exchange of energy between myself and “friends,” when that is what is normal!

    Also, I’m done with feeling apologetic about what I do for a living, it’s not mainstream, but it’s still contributing something positive to my clients. Nothing to apologize about there.

    No more apologizing for getting upset when someone is disrespectful or hurtful to me. I like to be above it all, but I’m not, of course. No more apologizing for calling someone on their crap.

    And, no more apologizing for being a woman, a feeling-centered creature who is and has different needs than a man. I need to process my feelings in a different way than a man would. I can be just as logical, and I do apply when it’s appropriate, but I am a feeling-centered creature and my feelings are just as important, if not more important, than my thoughts!

    Look what you’ve unleashed with your article, Tonya! 🙂

    Thank you!

  8. That Southern girl thing really does have us apologizing when we shouldn’t. Thanks for giving me something to think about. I loved your list and will be thinking hard and taking note of where I’m apologizing when I shouldn’t.

  9. Well timed, as over the holidays my brother brought the fact that I say “sorry” way too often. He said that it’s not sexy at all, and as a single girl, that was a big “ah ha!” to me!

  10. Thank you for this! What a revelation for me to realize how much I have been apologizing for my happiness, my lifestyle and who knows what else. Starting this moment I will no longer apologize for being me. 😉

  11. Thank you for this eye opener.
    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said ‘sorry’ in my life, I’d be a wealthy woman. I’m writing down your list and keeping it with me as a reminder.

  12. I will not apologize for my body being exactly the way it is right now.

    I will not apologize for crying when I am sad.

    I will not apologize for living life on fire – if me doing amazing things makes you feel like less of a person that is not mine to apologize for.

    I will not apologize for taking time off work to enjoy the rest of life.

    I will not apologize for French Kissing Life!! lol

  13. Being a Southern girl is a challenge in that we are schooled in “sugar and spice and all things nice” no matter what. I grew tired enough of that mess to leave it all behind. I almost felt I had to apologize for even existing, but not anymore. I will NOT apologize for taking care of my health on all levels while feeding my artistic side EVER again. I stopped humoring bad food choices for myself so that I didn’t offend anyone else. It doesn’t mean I am trying to push it on anyone else, but it doesn’t work for me.

  14. I love this! Women are somehow lured into believing that they need to apologize for everything, and, frankly, it holds them back. NO MORE!

    I will not apologize for my dedication.
    I will not apologize for my love of order.
    I will not apologize for choosing to spend our money the way we do.
    I will not apologize for being energetic, and I will not apologize for being tired.
    I will not apologize for needing space to create.

    Amazing.

  15. Thanks for this, Tonya. I definitely agree with not apologizing for my love of nice things. You know why I have nice things? Because I work really hard and I buy them for myself.

    I also will not apologize for wearing lipstick and taking the time to fix my hair every day. I get it from my mother. And don’t you dare say anything about my mother 😉

  16. Ahh I love this one! Thank you so much for this great post!

    I agree, I am tired of apologizing for taking my time..sometimes I rush through things in lineups and end up feeling flustered and disorganized just so that others don’t have to wait too long.

    Also, not apologizing for my femininity, I love doing my hair and putting on makeup, i love dressing up and smelling yummy!

    And I also do not want to apologize for wanting what I want, to work the amount of hours that keep me happy, and for wanting time to myself to play and have fun! Thank you Tonya! 🙂

  17. I love this post so much! I actually have been making an effort to shift my language to be less “apologetic” as you put it. I was recently alerted to the way I was coming across. I think it’s because many times, we women, are afraid to come across as “bitchy” or “cocky”. However that high pitched compliancy often makes us, in fact, come across less authoritative and can let others take advantage of us. Will definitely not apologize anymore for getting my agenda across in a conversation and expressing my concerns or needs.

    • It’s fascinating how standing up for ourselves can be called bitchy. Guess I need to be more of a bitch. God, I almost apologized for saying that…still a work in progress.

  18. YES YES YES!!!

    My biggest challenge is being unapologetic about holding up the person behind me. Or putting my ease and well-being first.

    This is very timely. I am grateful for your words and inspiration to adopt a brazen French attitude!

  19. I feel like you have jumped inside my head and speaking my mind not yours. I am so with you on everything you said. I am tired of apologizing for me. I’m with you, no more! I too, would love to wear the dress and gloves in the picture and I am not sorry!!

  20. A number of things on your list resonated with me but the one that really caught my attention was not apologizing for taking my time. I am constantly worried about making people wait as I do something. I have recently started taking tennis lessons after a lifetime of being afraid of playing sports (fear of failure). During one lesson, I was trying to serve to my opponent and missed the ball a couple of times. I apologized for making them wait. I was being hard on myself for learning which includes trying something new and sometimes failing. No longer will I apologize for that. Instead, I will thank them for their patience as I learn how to do what is being asked of me.

  21. As a Canadian, I have to add that this is a particular challenge for all of us in the Great White North, and I am definitely included in that group. However, a wonderful joke was made about it:
    One day Canada will take over the world and then you’ll all be sorry.

    I had to share.

  22. Thank you! That post was so incredibly relate-able. Something that came instantly to my mind when I read that part about being told you were too feminine reminded me of something that I have been told. It has been said in a negative rather accusatory tone that I am too prissy. But, I think I am also just feminine and particular.

  23. hello from norway 😉

    the only thing i want to say to this post is HELL YES !!

    SOO glad you brought this up, especially beacuse sometimes i feel men do whatever they like but a lot of women walk around not feeling good enough… by the way i also love dressing up, my perfume is the first thing i put on in the morning and i like wearing dresses every day to feel extra good about myself 😉

  24. Thank you Tonya for this post. I really needed to read this one. I have found myself apologizing about things that just do not need apologizing for. Being assertive and speaking your mind is more appropriate in most cases. I will need to learn and practice these skills next week, I am having major surgery and will be in the hospital for a week.

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