Ladies... we need to talk. Have you ever taken a moment to consider how many times you say the phrase "I'm sorry" in a day? I'm guessing it's a lot more than you realize. This first was brought to my attention by a video narrated by Barbie (apparently she's a feminist youtuber now and I'm here for it). It made me realize that I apologize... like a lot. Now, this isn't specific just to girls, of course. That being said, I do think as woman we are quick to apologize for anything, whether we mean it or not. For example; I'm standing in a crowd and someone bumps into me and I'm the one saying "sorry.". Or I go to ask for help at a store and I say "sorry, can you help me with this?" And every time I say it I'm making myself smaller and smaller without even realizing it.
And there's another big problem with saying "sorry" as often as we do. It takes the meaning out of the word! It's like when we all started saying "literally" all the time and suddenly "literally" didn't mean something that actually happened, it meant we were exaggerating about something, which is pretty much the opposite of the definition of literally. When you overuse a word it means less to you when you do use it. That means the next time you're apologizing to your friend you'll be saying "sorry" when you don't even mean it because you're conditioned to. Now, don't get me wrong, it's super important to be conscious of other's feelings and when you hurt them, apologizing is the right move! But I am totally guilty of apologizing for things when I'm not sorry about them simply because it's easier than standing up for myself. And I justify it by saying it's because I'm "easy going" when really I'm just scared to speak my mind at times. That's not okay! And I bet a lot of you out there do the exact same thing. I even apologize if I feel like I'm talking too much about something I'm excited about or I'm complaining too much about something I'm sad about. None of those are things I should feel responsible for apologizing for.
This problem isn't going to disappear overnight. And, if I'm being honest with myself, I'm not sure I'll ever fully break the cycle of sorries. But I do want to put more effort into it. As we grow older a lot of us are going to eventually start raising girls of our own and I want to be able to set an example of confidence and kindness to my future daughter. That needs to start now by being more aware of how I speak and present myself. So start thinking of other things you can say to replace some of your sorries. If you're late somewhere, thank the person for waiting for you. When you're venting about a situation you're sad about, thank your friend for listening. Or when someone bumps into you in a crowd, say "don't worry about it!" Start considering the words you're using before you use them. It's a tough habit to break, but imagine how awesome it would be if we managed to break it! That's something worth fighting for if you ask me.
So here's my challenge to you. Team up with your friends and get everyone aware of this problem. Then, hold each other accountable! When you hear your friend apologize for something that she has no business apologizing for, remind her to use a different word. If we all come together on this issue we can help each other to make a positive change. And that's what friends are for, amirite?!
I know this post is a lot different than the normal content I produce on this blog, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. Let me know in the comments if you would read more posts about how we can empower ourselves and each other. I would love to share some more of my thoughts!
I hope this helped you to take a moment to consider how you're contributing to this problem and inspired you to be less apologetic when it's not called for. Also, be sure to check out Barbie's vlog if you haven't yet! A lot of the info in this piece was inspired by it. Until next time!