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9 Things Women Need to Stop Apologizing For

9 Things Women Need to Stop Apologizing For

Women have the tendency to apologize—for everything. A good example of the constantly apologetic nature is found in the viral YouTube video “Shrinking Women” where Lily Meyers passionately makes a case for why women tend to feel like we need to say sorry all the time. These are some of the things we tend to apologize for, but really need to check ourselves and stop doing.

1. Stop apologizing for your body.

Whether big or small, round or straight, there is no reason to apologize for the way your body is shaped. Women are criticized for bodies that are too large (for “health reasons”) and too small (for “health reasons”). The fact is, we all have a different healthy weight and comfortable size. Your health is determined by your doctor, not someone who can only look at your body from the outside.

2. Stop apologizing for the way your home looks.

Whether off the charts clean or looking like a tornado has gone through the house, do not apologize. If someone is coming into your home, of course you can try to tidy up a bit, but your guest will decide if he/she wants to come back again regardless of your apology. Most often, the person does not even notice the supposed “mess.”

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3. Stop apologizing for your age.

Whether young or old, women can never seem to be satisfied with their age. When we are young we slather on lipstick, put on high heels in an attempt to look “more grown up.” As we get older, the number of face creams, gym memberships and hair coloring trips increases in order to fool those around us of our age. Why does it matter? Why not embrace where we are in our life and forget about trying to be an age that we are not?

4. Stop apologizing for having feelings.

Whether you are weepy or overjoyed, it is okay to have feelings. Women typically have a wider range of emotions due to something called hormones that we tend to explain away with being “tired” or “emotional” or having “PMS.” Sure we can try to control these feelings and it is more appropriate to cry in private rather than in public, but when it happens, resist the urge to say sorry for the way you feel.

5. Stop apologizing for your achievements.

Whether we have great achievements or none at all, it really is no one else’s business. Sometimes we feel that if only we had this degree or that career or a husband and a small bunch of cherub-like babes at home we will finally be happy; finally be respected. The thing is, there will always be more to accomplish in life. Be happy with where you are right now and stop keeping that secret tally between you and your friends.

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On the other hand, if you do have those tangible successes under your belt, no need to say sorry. You can be proud of what you have accomplished without feeling like you are hurting others.

6. Stop apologizing for what you are wearing.

Whether someone thinks what you are wearing is too revealing or more suited for playing BINGO on Saturday afternoons, do not apologize. Who can judge what is too much or too little skin to be showing? It is all opinion. Wear what makes you comfortable.

There is also the issue of what is stylish in terms of clothing. Some women chase the latest fashions and must have the trendiest clothing available. If you are one of those obsessed with fashion, do not apologize. Every woman has a right to her interests, so embrace your love for clothing.

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If you are one that does not care for fashion, do not apologize for what you are wearing. Chances are very high that you bring more to the table than your outfit.

7. Stop apologizing for wearing (or not wearing) make-up.

Whether you feel better with a clean slate or a painted face, that, my friend, is up to you. I personally enjoy getting glammed up every once in a while, but appreciate being able to go to the gym with a bare face.

8. Stop apologizing for your occupation.

Whether you stay at home with your kids, work a desk job, write novels or own your own company, never apologize. The amount of money you make or the amount of time spent working is your own business. You should not care if others think you work too little or too much; if your job is menial or not. Your occupation is up to you and you alone.

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9. Stop apologizing for what you eat.

Whether you are a super healthy salad-loving gal or burgers and fries are your thing, do not say sorry. You have the right to put what you want into your body. If others are concerned about your health, they can speak with your doctor.

We might feel the need to try to be accommodating and to be friends with everyone, but the truth is that we will just drive ourselves crazy. There is no way to please everyone, so your best bet is to be yourself and stop apologizing for it. When we stop saying sorry for silly these things, we can grow into the most confident version of ourselves.

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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