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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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