As humans, we naturally have an inherent sense of empathy and sympathy for others. When in a situation where we infringe upon others’ trust, loyalty, understanding of our own self, it’s natural to need to apologize, and work to make a wrongdoing right. However, as a society, I notice that we apologize far too much. Even though we may think this is an act of kindness, sympathy, and generosity, it often solicits on our own self love and self confidence. When apologizing for being ourselves, for simple, everyday things, we quietly demean ourselves, in order to show sympathy to someone else.
Photo: Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash
Instead of simply apologizing for being late, try apologizing, then giving the situation a sense of understanding and acknowledgement of gratitude by saying something along the lines of, “thank you for waiting up for me,” or “I appreciate the time you spent waiting for me.” It may seem silly in a situation like this, but finding gratitude even in little things like this is a huge step in self-care and appreciation. It's natural to feel bad or guilty in any situation where you have to apologize, but don't let it pick at your self worth. We're human, we make mistakes, but all we can do is give genuine appreciation, gratitude, and sympathy to those on the opposite side of that apology, as well as ourselves.
However, in a situation where we feel the need to apologize for being ourselves is almost never appropriate. You should always be unapologetically you, wholesome and true. If you do feel the need to apologize to your friends, family members, or acquaintances for putting up with your goofiness, shenanigans, love for others, need for love, or any trait in between, stop yourself right there. Find gratitude in this moment as well, such as “thank you for being such a great friend,” or, “thank you for always being there for me,” “thank you for listening,” anything like that. Forgiveness and communication are key factors in any relationship, but don't let a doubt about a personality trait, or thing you love to do get in the way of that - find what you're grateful for in that relationship and moment, and use that.
We spit out everyday apologies far too often. Sympathy and empathy are incredible things to have, but the people we see everyday can see that and hear that from you in many other ways than apologies; ways that are more fulfilling to your own well-being as well.
Jorgie Ingram is a seventeen-year-old artist, activist, writer, dancer, and choreographer, currently living in New Hampshire. Finishing her high school studies online as a senior, she looks forward to continuing her studies in college, majoring in dance. Jorgie's passion is to inspire - whether that be through her artistry, writing, or everyday interactions. She loves to give back, and aspires to do so throughout her life. Apart from dancing all over New England, choreographing for the stage and film, painting, writing, baking vegan goodies, and spending time outdoors with her family and friends, Jorgie is the founder of local environmental group, Kearsarge Changing Climate Change, and one of the lead organizers for NH for Humanity's performance art events.