I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had girls come into my office, sit on the couch and blurt out, “I’m sorry.”
Me: “For what?”
Them: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Well, before apologizing, you may want to have something to apologize for.”
Them: “I’m sorry.”
It’s like, holy shit. It feels like I’m in the midst of a modern day, “Who’s on first?”
While I’m making a joke of it (kinda), apologizing for your presence and living with that feeling of fear and uncertainty—that comes as naturally as breathing for so many of us—is unbelievably painful and so very sad. I hate it.
The only way to overcome it is to act “as if” you deserve to be here.
Don’t tell me you don’t know how to do that.
Act outside your home the way you do inside your home. If I asked your younger brother, do you think he’d say you know how to stand in your power and take up space? I bet he would. You certainly don’t apologize to that poor kid.
This week, go into each day with the goal of not morphing for others’ comfort or for your own. Start by catching yourself. Saying, “I’m sorry” has become an unconscious habit. You can self-correct. When you say, “I’m sorry,” follow up with, “You know what? I’m actually not sorry at all. That’s become a bad habit. Sorry, not sorry.”
I guarantee you’ll walk a bit taller when you’re not pretending to be sorry about it.
Art by Gabriella Rosie.