By Michaela Del Viscovo
Just take one day. Look around. Eyes open and ears peeled. Be observant. How often do you catch not only yourself, but other women around you saying sorry unnecessarily? A day’s worth of observing will likely reveal that we say it way too often. It’s become creature of habit for us to say sorry after accidentally bumping into someone else in line, asking the Starbucks barista to redo the order he/she got wrong, or giving the incorrect amount of change at the cash register — all done unintentionally. Key word: unintentionally.
The majority of instances we catch ourselves saying sorry for don’t warrant an apology. We have somehow become programmed to apologize when we simply don’t have to and only have come to realize this flaw within the last few years. Upon observing also be sure to take notice of who you’re saying sorry to. Is it usually men older than you, men younger than you, women, children? Who? Are you saying sorry out of fear of the consequences for not apologizing? Out of fear of being disliked or seeming selfish? If we didn’t care about those things, chances are this issue wouldn’t be an issue. We’d go about our days standing strong and affirmed caring less about what others thought.
Habitually saying sorry only feeds society’s inadequate image of women that we’re trying so fiercely to break.
Even in times when sorry seems appropriate, think of an alternative response. Consider saying “thanks for waiting” rather than “sorry I am late” at the next party you show up late to.
Though this issue has been pervasive for quite some time, it is especially vital in a pivotal point in history like today. This past Saturday, January 21, 2017, 2.5 million women attended Women’s Marches in their respective cities across the nation. An event that outnumbered the inauguration the previous day by a threefold proves just how many women aren’t afraid of being heard, assertive, and unapologetic. Saturday was a testament to the powerful number of women who are reacting to larger, more consequential issues in our society largely as a result of a newly inaugurated president with radical stances on rights for LGBTQ, women, abortion, healthcare… shall I continue?
We cannot forget to take charge and altar smaller inadequacies we have complete control over- like this whole ‘sorry’ habit. If enough of us succeed, it will be sure to prove just as important in having our voices heard and respected.
You’re not sorry. You’re empowered.