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No Woman Should Apologize for These 8 Things Anymore

No Woman Should Apologize for These 8 Things Anymore

To be fair, no woman should have to apologize for a damn thing. Of course, as women, we all have those things we continually feel we should apologize for in our daily lives: speaking our minds, reading trashy novels…maybe watching the Twilight movies.

However, there are some big picture things we continuously apologize for that we shouldn’t have to apologize for at all. Ever. Again.

Our lifestyle choices

Some of us want kids. Some of us don’t. We shouldn’t have to apologize for choosing one or the other. Or for changing our minds about it. And there are those of us who choose to be single and still find ourselves apologizing to people for that choice. Why? It’s our choice.

What about our living arrangements? I own my house and live by myself. “Don’t you want a roommate?”  Nope. Not sorry. “You’re single, and you live with a guy who’s not your boyfriend?”  Yep. Not sorry.

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Whatever lifestyle choices you make, from your diet to your friends, never apologize for them.

Career choices

We shouldn’t have to apologize for our career choices. We can choose a career in a male-dominated field like law enforcement and swell the ranks of women police officers in the country. Or we can choose the career of stay-at-home mother. And if you think being a stay-at-home mother isn’t a full-time job, maybe you should be apologizing. It’s not a regular full-time job, but it will keep you busy as hell.

No more apologizing for asking for promotions or raises, either. If we’ve done the work, we deserve them. Ask for them with confidence. No sorries necessary.

Swearing

Oh, bloody hell. Just did it again. It’s long been argued that swearing is the sign of a weak mind. This ex-English teacher (who never swore in the classroom — I swear!) disagrees. Words obviously have power, but if you’re not swearing at someone, go for it, and don’t you dare apologize for it!

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The British Psychological Society conducted a study regarding swearing. It found that groups who used swear words during stressful situations were able to cope better than groups who were not. That’s right: Swearing is good for you!

Swear away, and never say you’re sorry after you do so!

Liking “guy” things

I like the classical “guy” things. Cars, sports, beer . . . I owned a 1971 Chevy Chevelle in high school and can talk about my favorite muscle cars for days. I once put a guy in his place at a bar when he mistook a Lotus Exige for a Lotus Elise. Wrong car, dude. I apologized for it. I shouldn’t have. Will I ever apologize for my car knowledge again? Hell no (not sorry!).

I will never (again) apologize for knowing about baseball or hockey or soccer or any other sport I love. Sports are becoming less and less the exclusive territory of “the guy,” but society still feels the need to compel us to apologize for liking sports, wanting to participate in them, or wanting to have any part of the world.  I’m still not apologizing for knowing about and loving sports!

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Liking “girly” things

On the other side of the “guy” coin are the “girly” things. I like beer or whiskey and an occasional cigar with said whiskey. But I also like wearing a skirt and my four-inch booties while I drink my booze and smoke my cigar. And I’m no longer apologizing for it.

I’m also not apologizing for being tall and wearing my high heels. If I tower over you, so be it. If I look you in the eye, deal with it. Don’t apologize for wanting to be feminine. And don’t apologize for not being feminine.

Saying no

Don’t apologize for saying no. To anything. Don’t apologize for saying no when someone asks for your number and you don’t want to give it to them. You don’t have to explain why. A simple: “No thanks,” or, “I’d rather not,” should suffice. Hopefully, the person asking will have enough tact to back off.

Don’t apologize if you want to stay home for a night in with a bottle of wine, your dog, and an NCIS binge. You don’t always have to hang out in the bar with your friends. Or go to the party with all your married friends. It’s okay to say no without saying you’re sorry. I’ve done it. I love going out or hanging out with my friends and their families. But sometimes, I need alone time, and I won’t apologize for it.

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Our sexuality

Don’t apologize for your sexuality, whatever that may be. And don’t apologize for expressing it. If you like sex, stop worrying that you will be stigmatized for your desires. If you don’t like it, the same can be said. Women’s sexuality can be affected by the expectations we set regarding it, and when we apologize for it, we are setting the expectation that we can’t be sensual or sexual beings.

Anything and everything!

Like I said at the beginning, just stop apologizing. Women seem to apologize for everything. We apologize for being in someone’s way at the grocery store. We apologize for expressing opinions to each other!  Stop it!  We certainly shouldn’t be apologizing to each other!  Women need to stand together and say, “I will no longer apologize for making a choice and having an opinion!”

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H. E. James

Writer and researcher

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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