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RELATIONSHIPS

Your Feelings Are Valid

And other reasons to stop apologizing all the time

BY Joan Thatiah

Feb 19, 2021, 06:05 PM

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Don’t you just hate it that an apology seems to be the first thing a woman grapples for when the room gets awkward? That sorry is the one word she goes for when she isn’t quite sure what to say? I do.
 
When you are apologizing all the time, all it does is downplay the other things you say and erode your self-esteem. Here are things you need to stop apologizing for.

For Other People’s Behavior

There is a couple I know. He is a proud, loud, unpleasant man while she is small, quiet, and almost timid. Their relationship is interesting because everywhere he goes, he picks up a fight and if she is present, like clock-work, she apologizes for him. “Don’t mind him. He has diabetes, it’s his blood sugar making him behave like that. I’m sorry.”

Kenyan women have a long way to go with this especially when it comes to their men. If he goes and embezzles public funds, or God forbid physically assaults someone, you can stand next to him at the press conference while he tries to talk his way out of it but don’t apologize for him. 

Let the people in your life learn to take responsibility for their actions. Let every man carry his cross.

Not Having It Together All The Time

Easter is just a month away. It’s almost time to see some of those aunties and uncles you have not seen in a while. You are probably bracing yourself for those questions about why Freddie hasn’t proposed to you yet or why you do not live in a better part of the city.

Resist the urge to apologize because Freddie turned out to be a cheat or a deadbeat with a whole bunch of kids running around. That’s on him, not you. So what if you don’t have the funds right now? Or the house or the job? No one has their lives figured out.

For Speaking Your Mind

Aren’t you miffed, when in the middle of an important discussion, a woman is asked for her opinion she begins with, “I am sorry but I think…”, then she goes on to give the most mind-blowing opinion? 

If you think that something is trash, own your opinion. Stop apologizing for your opinions and beliefs because this only downplays them. If you start your statement with an apology, whoever is listening is biased even before you have uttered the next word. 

You might as well say whatever you want to say without apologies because guess what? There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you.

For Your Feelings

If you find a woman who tells you that she has never put on a brave face only to go and cry in a toilet stall, you have found a liar. Women hide when they cry because they feel like their feelings are something they need to hide or apologize about.

Maybe you need someone to remind you that all those other feelings you have besides happiness are valid. They are yours and they are valid. It shouldn’t matter that no one can understand why you feel like this. It doesn’t matter that someone else has it worse than you.

You are allowed to break down if you need to. To complain when need be. Stop worrying too much that you may be labeled hormonal, emotional, or crazy. 

Find Alternative Language

This may not be something that you change overnight. You can start by changing your language. Instead of apologizing for being late for your date, thank him for waiting for you. Instead of saying sorry for your emotions, ask instead to be excused. Before you utter it, think if there is something else you can say instead which befits the situation.

I am not anti-apologies. If you have broken a rule, deliberately hurt someone or your actions have negatively affected someone else, by all means, apologize. But stop saying you are sorry just to stop people from yelling at you or to ease awkward situations. Say it when you mean it.

Read: Take Care Of Yourself First