The next time you’re about to blurt out the words “I’m sorry,” stop yourself. Did your actions really justify those feelings of guilt you’re experiencing? Probably not. Indeed, if your actions sound anything like the ones I’m listing below, you really have nothing to apologize for!
1. Declining a social call.
Sometimes, you just want to be left alone, even when a friend wants to hang out. But, more often than not, we guilt ourselves into either attending that social event, or feeling depressed over having let our buddy down. It’s time to choose the third option: enjoying what you want for a change, and not letting others’ opinions affect that.
2. Telling people “no.”
It’s hard to turn people down, especially if you don’t like displeasing other folks. But sometimes, you just gotta do it. Whether it’s shooing away a solicitor at the door, or saying no to an acquaintance who asks for your last piece of gum, sometimes you have to draw the line.
3. Giving yourself a break.
Most people feel like they don’t work as hard as they actually do, which leads to many guilty thoughts entering their minds whenever they’re on a break or vacation. But here’s a fact: you deserve a respite. You shouldn’t beat yourself up for giving yourself a day or two to do what you want.
4. Holding a door open incorrectly.
There’s a ton of weird social protocols that exist around opening doors for other people. It’s usually seen as a courtesy, but, more often than not, something goes wrong.
You know what I’m talking about. You’ll kindly hold open the door for someone, and they’ll either take an inordinately long amount of time to reach you, or you’ll mistime your gesture, and accidentally slam the door on them while they’re walking through.
It’s time to stop being so hard on yourself. You went into the whole process with good intentions; just because it went down in an awkward way doesn’t mean you should feel bad about your attempt!
5. Not checking your email.
With the advent of the smartphone, it can feel like you’re obligated to check your emails and messages for important memos every few minutes. All this does is spike your stress levels. Instead, check your email at specified, spaced out times during the day, and give yourself some breathing room.
6. Your living situation.
It can be easy to feel guilty about where and how you’re living, especially if you are being judged about it by another. The truth is that only you know what’s best for you. There’s no reason to feel bad about what works for you.
7. Telling people off.
Sometimes, you have to stand your ground. I’m not saying that you need to be a jerk, just that you shouldn’t be afraid to let people know when they’ve wronged you. Don’t feel guilty about preventing others from taking advantage of you.
8. Not pleasing those you care for.
Whether it be your mom, dad, or boss, sometimes you can’t please everybody. It’s important therefore to not feel guilty about the times that you’ve disappointed someone you care about. Remember that you’re your own person, and that your outlook on life shouldn’t be based on others’ opinions.
9. Binging on Netflix.
People (and I’ve seen this in myself and others) generally get this hollow look in their eyes after binging on Netflix, as if they’ve done something unspeakable. Stop it. There’s no reason to feel bad about providing yourself with some entertainment, even if it is for hours on end.
10. Your food choices.
I know that certain kinds of foods are called “guilty pleasures,” but really, if you enjoy them then that’s all that matters. You shouldn’t let feelings of guilt drive what you eat.
11. Your career goals.
Misinformation is rampant, so don’t judge your career goals on what other folks say, and don’t change them out of a sense of guilt. Do your own research, and pick whatever feels right to you.
12. Your personal life choices.
Whether or not you choose to find a girlfriend or boyfriend, get married, and have kids, you don’t have to feel bad about whatever you decide to do. You shouldn’t be guilted into living your life a certain way.
13. Your political views.
Whether you think of yourself as a conservative or a liberal, you shouldn’t get down on yourself just because someone criticizes your point of view.
14. Being single.
So what if you currently aren’t in a relationship? Don’t let others guilt you into feeling bad about that. Instead, take the opportunity to do more with the alone time that you have.
15. Your religious views.
Whether you are devout or an atheist, you shouldn’t let public or family opinion make you feel guilty about what works best for you. If you want to make a change, do it for your own reasons, not theirs.
16. Not accepting a friend request.
Don’t feel bad about declining a friend request from an acquaintance on Facebook. If you want to keep certain things private, that’s your right, and they probably won’t even notice.
17. Your imperfections.
So what if you’ve got a crooked nose or one leg that’s longer than the other. They’re what make you a unique person! You don’t have to apologize about what makes you different to other people.
18. Not being able to answer a question.
Nobody knows everything. We all have gaps in our knowledge, and when you find one yours, don’t feel guilty about it. Just take it as an opportunity to learn more!
19. Spending money.
Now, you shouldn’t go too overboard, but it’s very unhealthy to beat yourself up about every single dime you spend. In the long run, as long as you haven’t spent an exorbitant amount on something frivolous, it won’t matter anyways. What really matters is that you’re happy with what you purchased, and the reasons that you did so.
20. Sending someone a late response.
Sometimes life takes over, and we can’t respond to a text or Facebook message for a couple days. There’s no need to apologize to that person, you’re busy and you have a life of your own! Best of all, they probably won’t notice as they too have a busy life.
Are there a few things in life that you used to feel guilty about, but now no longer do? Please share your stories in the comments below!
Featured photo credit: A young woman is sitting by the water’s edge in a harbour via shutterstock.com