Sometimes, Withholding Apologies Can Be Empowering!

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Sometimes, withholding apologies can be empowering!

Sometimes, withholding apologies can be empowering!

We all have been grown up listening to the quote "Apologizing doesn't mean you are right or wrong, it just means you value your relationship more than your ego. But the truth is apologizing for behaviors or circumstances that do not warrant an apology, or when you haven’t made any mistakes can lower your self-esteem, diminish your self-worth and can make you look weak and easy to dismiss. This isn’t to knock the value of owning our errors and making amends if we are obviously in the wrong. But oftentimes that’s not the case, yet we still utter, “I am sorry.” Over-apologizing can stem from being too hard on ourselves or beating ourselves up for things, rather than recognizing everyone makes mistakes and no one expects you to be perfect. The consequence of apologizing without any fault (to the person that hasn’t been harmed) is taking the risk of reinforcing an erroneous belief that we’re inherently worthy of blame. Don't get it twisted - apologizing is a good thing that thoughtful, mature, and considerate humans do. But we should only be apologizing when we've done something wrong or hurt someone.

For who you are and what you feel

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

You are who you are, Why would an apology be necessary for who you are, what you look like or what you feel? Even if you think you are not perfect, imperfections are what makes you beautiful and unique. They should be embraced. Never say you are sorry for a quality that makes you imperfectly perfect or for preferences or actions that define who you are as a person. You are loved just as you are. Also never apologize for what you feel or defending your values, morals, ethics, religious or spiritual beliefs. Be yourself! Go forth and conquer the world. No apologies required.

For a little "ME" time

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Everyone needs a little "me" time every once in a while. You should never feel guilty or ashamed for requesting some room for yourself to mentally breathe. Solitude needs no explanation.

For your past

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Sometimes the past is this beautiful, bright place filled with joy and happiness. Sometimes it’s dark and could be part of a horror movie. But the past is gone by and no longer exists. We all had our happy days and we all had moments when everything was broken. The past serves us with lessons and reminders. The past is a path that has lead us to this moment. So it should not be on your list of things to apologize for.

For saying No

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Saying no is not something to be ashamed of. If you’re not sure about something, say no to it. If it’s not really what you want, say no. If you’re hesitant because you know deep inside your heart that you’re not too thrilled about the idea, say no. If your gut tells you no, then just say no and do not apologize for saying the same, you are not really obligated to do something to someone. Your happiness will be made up of the choices that you make in life. You don’t owe anybody anything. Don’t sweat this small thing.

For deleting toxic people

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Don’t ever apologize or feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, a childhood friend, or a new acquaintance – you don’t have to make a room for people who cause pain or make you feel small. You should never say that you are sorry for letting go of someone who hurts you. Be proud and surround yourself with people who celebrate you as a person.

For being honest and speaking your mind

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind? And as long as your opinion does not dehumanize a person or a society, you are free to say what you think. Never apologize for being honest and speaking your mind. Be true to who you are and don’t worry about what other people would think if our beliefs don’t coincide with theirs. Because the reality is truth does hurt, but the benefits of honesty far outweigh the initial sting of the truth.

For your sexual preferences and relationship status

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

If you're happy on your own, then own that. If you prefer to be in a relationship, own that. Their's no right and wrong answer to your own happiness, so there's nothing here to apologize for. Your relationship status is not the only factor that affects your happiness, and it's not fair to impose a societal expectation to be coupled up on anyone. Likewise, your sexual preferences are your sexual preferences. You should never apologize for what you do and don’t like when it comes to sex.

For someone else's behavior and circumstances, you can't control

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Everyone is responsible for their own actions and behavior. You should not apologize for something someone else did. We can certainly sympathize and express understanding with someone without saying "I'm sorry" especially when we had nothing to do with the situation. An apology should be a heartfelt feeling and not just an automatic cliche.

For not responding immediately to text, emails, or calls

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Nowadays, technology surrounds us and with communication being simple, fast, and ubiquitous, it is often difficult to resist the urge to respond to all messages that bombard us. It may feel a sense of urgency at every beep, ring, or alarm but however, in reality, you can't always respond right away to every message. Apologizing for taking more than a split second to reply can imply that your own needs aren't as important as the other people.

For following your dreams

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Feel free to follow your dreams. Never apologize for following a dream, you have to live your own life the best way you can, and there’s nothing noble or self-sacrificing about resigning yourself to being miserable just because everyone else is doing it. If someone else isn’t following their dream and you are following yours, that’s not unfair and you should not feel sorry. You can’t live anyone else’s life for them, yours is the only dream you can bring into existence. Your dream just needs time and hard work to grow and be called a success. It’s not a smooth sailing, there will be many obstacles, guilt-trippers, naysayers to overcome. Don't let anyone apologize you or stop you from following your dream.

sometimes withholding apologies can be empowering

Do you over apologize? It’s not easy to suddenly shift your behavior. So next time you find yourself inclined to say sorry, pause, take a deep breathe and ask yourself whether you are real to blame. If not, no sorry necessary. Save “I’m sorry” for when you actually make a mistake and do remember sometimes, withholding apologies can be empowering.

What things do you apologize for when you are not actually sorry? Share your experience in the comments below. 

Abhilasha Sidana

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Abhilasha Sidana
About Author
A girl with Atlas in her hands, adventure in her eyes, wanderlust in her blood. Professionally, she creates and curates socially relevant viral-worthy content. Abhilasha's life and work led her to her current role as an Entrepreneur. 
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