I used to say sorry for the things I wasn’t even sorry for.
My worst nightmare was having confrontations with people I cared about the most only because I was always afraid of losing them for good. It was either I said sorry for having this confrontation in the place, or I was sorry for even having an opinion or say in the fighting subject at hand. I was always sorry, but the people I was saying sorry to never thought it was enough, and at every chance they had, they would make me feel bad enough to the point where I needed to say sorry.
Hi, my name is Liz, and I’ve stopped saying sorry for the things I’m not sorry about.
A lot of my “saying sorry” habit developed a lot during my teenage years; there’s a lot of trauma I came to face during those important years of my life and the aftermath of all of that caused me to become extremely anxious around people. It later in life became social anxiety disorder and depression.
It wasn’t even the fact that I allowed people to step all over me when I was younger, it was the fact that I never had any self-confidence, and I always believed that if someone was mad or upset with me, it had to be my fault even when I knew I was in the right in some situations. I could name dozens of scenarios where I knew I was in the right in some arguments, and I still said sorry.
Don’t get me wrong: this isn’t my Capricorn stubbornness speaking and saying “I know I’m always right”, because I’m not – but I wasn’t always wrong either. The thing about saying sorry is that it takes a person to see past their own emotions and prides in order to make things right with the person you want to resolve things with. Of course, saying sorry too much loses its meaning, and because I was saying sorry even when I actually meant it, “sorry” began to become something that no one believed with me.
So, I stopped saying it whenever I didn’t have to say it.
And that’s how I started to see the weeds in my garden full of beautiful flowers.
With the help of my therapist and just simply being tired of the outcome of the relationships in my life, I started to challenge myself and those around me who always thought that they would get an apology out of me. No longer was I apologizing for causing the confrontation or being the stimulus of them, I was apologizing for the things I was able to control, which was the behavior I showcased during the confrontation and anything hurtful I said out of anger. Again, things that I’m able to control.
What I couldn’t control anymore was the feelings and behavior of the other people in these confrontations with me. I couldn’t help how people felt about me, and I couldn’t change their minds about me no matter how hard I wanted to.
And that’s been one of my toxic traits: wanting people to feel the same way about me the way I felt about them.
I’ve always wanted people to get past the confrontation and just move on from it because it was either something not fighting about, or it was something I couldn’t control or change. You could only say sorry so many times before you’re tired of doing so because getting the person’s forgiveness seems to become more difficult as time passes. So, I stopped and started to speak up for myself.
Not saying sorry all the time allowed me to prioritize my feelings and let the other person in the confrontation know how I felt. I started to call people on their bullshit because, well, people would call me out on mine and I’ve learned to adapt the fact that honesty is the best policy, even if things don’t always turn out in your favor. If you could be understanding of the other person’s feelings but that understanding isn’t reciprocated back, then that’s not a relationship you want to have in your life.
One of the very last conversations I had with someone close to my heart was me not being sorry about how I felt. It was how I felt, and I wasn’t apologizing for my honesty. Because that’s the thing, one person’s honesty about something is another person’s answer. In this case, it was my honesty towards my previous relationship. I was sorry that it took me so long to take the rose-colored glasses off and be honest about how I was feeling about some of the issues we both put under the rug. I wasn’t sorry for being honest with my feelings, even if it resulted in a break-up. In the end, I believe we’re both in better places now in our lives, and just want nothing but the best for each other.
Sorry for once being your go-to sorry girl in the past. This woman ain’t having it though.