Last week it was pointed out to me that my sorry reflex has got me apologising for saying sorry.. and that’s when I realised it was out of control. At first I thought perhaps it was an overly British, ‘polite’ response to other people’s rudeness and lack of manners, you know the one where you apologise for another’s wrong? A bag laden woman whacks into you with almighty force, and you apologise for being in the path of the bags….or you walk up to a till and a member of staff is carrying on their inappropriate conversation and you apologise for waiting to be served?! It started as this admittedly, but now I find myself apologising for everything and it’s not just self-loathing it’s become a habit and a learnt response. When I was younger I used to apologise for everything under the sun as my Mum was nuts, but after moving away from all the craziness I became confident and strong, and now since I have moved out on my own (admittedly it’s been 4 years), I have found myself trapped in the sorry cycle again.
- Being swallowed into depression and anxiety sometimes everything really does feel like your fault and you’re too blame. I almost feel like I am apologising for existing and being such an annoyance to everyone. Once you write it out and consider it though it’s actually a really selfish thought and feeling (yes depression is selfish), but to think that everyone is THAT bothered about you and your actions….are they really? No. So don’t apologise for being yourself, just own it, you can’t be anyone but you, and if someone doesn’t like you for you then don’t apologise.
- Sometimes I apologise when other people are rude or in the wrong, mainly because of the absence of acknowledgment or a sorry and I guess I feel awkward in the situation.
- It’s really nice to be there for someone in a difficult time/ situation, and it’s perfectly normal to express ‘I am sorry you are feeling like that’, or ‘sorry for your loss’, but apologising for something you personally haven’t done wrong is completely different and unnecessary.
Excessive and unnecessary apologies can be a sign or something more than just being polite. Mine was a sign of the aftermath of an oppressive upbringing, and now lack of confidence and nerves. It sounds weird but it’s the same as telling someone you love them, you want to wait until you really mean it and it’s special- you don’t just throw it around (or do you….I don’t know), but the more you say sorry the more it loses it’s impact and meaning.