Apologies are necessary. Playing scapegoat is a game with too many players, and as imperfect beings, we honestly should be more in the habit of admitting guilt.
Especially with the divisiveness in our country today.
With that being said, there are certain things that we should never apologize for, whether it’s because of who we’ll offend or how we’ll feel after.
Standing up for yourself is not stressed enough.
Out of all the values and “golden rules” I was taught growing up, defending your basic and fundamental truths was never one of them.
Simple things, too. Like putting yourself first and always remembering to factor yourself high on your list of priorities. Never feeling ashamed of your passion — in all its manifestations.
Getting rid of toxic people in your life. Making sacrifices for your happiness, and saying no.
It’s one thing to be empathetic to the next man, and even more so to your brother. But we mustn’t compromise ourselves in the process.
As important as it is to extend good will, so is it to be vigilant in it’s defense. If we lose ourselves in sake of not stepping on someone’s toes, we’ll end up being the real ones getting hurt.
The time, dedication, and commitment taken into knowing oneself intuitively, shouldn’t be at the expense of protecting someone’s idea they had of you.
It’s not only your responsibility to understand the essentials it takes for you to be the best version of yourself, it’s also up to you to stand up for them. And if that means not apologizing for putting extra time in the gym, then so be it.
If that looks like less apologies for what you say, because it’s what you meant, then it has to be that way. If you distance yourself from someone that you once closely associated with, they’re going to have to understand.
Only you can really answer which areas in your life you feel you’ve over apologized for. But I made a list of five things that no one should ever give an excuse for.
Putting Yourself First
This is tough. You cannot put a price on time and you cannot measure memories.
So when someone gets upset about not seeing you as much and they’re asking why you don’t hang as often, it’s never easy to explain.
A lot of friendships spawn out of nowhere, unplanned and unpremeditated — which are often the best ones. As you go throughout life acquiring these different friends, varying in levels of depth, you end up stretching yourself in order to accommodate them all.
A famous contemporary poet by the name of Aubrey Graham once said in a ballad called “The Calm”: “Feelin’ so distant from everyone I’ve known. To make everybody happy I think I would need a clone.” This is so true.
If you want your life to be one big agreeable “yes” fest and your friends all do the same things you’ve done your entire your life, then fine.
Go ahead and make every decision you make with them in mind. Same thing goes for family.
At some point in your life you’re going to have to make decisions and accept opportunities that make you less available. And if it’s the best decision for yourself, you have to see it through.
Passion is something you can’t help. Think of that impulsive fist pump that Tiger Woods is so famous for.
As calm as the sport of golf is, when he putts a 30 footer you can see — in almost an knee-jerk instinctive fashion — his fist ascend, his teeth clench, and all his passion flow through his being.
It’s almost as if you felt that magnitude of the moment with him.
Like Tiger, we have passions, too. His is shown on the golf course, but yours may be in startups and entrepreneurship.
Maybe you we’re in horrible shape and crossfit saved your life. Why should you have to suppress the elation of shedding pounds and being able to deadlift a car?
Whether it’s your obnoxious laugh, your intensity in Wednesday Night Trivia or the fact that every other thing you talk about involves your kid, or your significant other, it’s your prerogative, and you should never have to explain that to someone.
Letting Go of Toxic Relationships
One of the hardest things to do is choosing to let go of a relationship, romantic or not.
It’s never an easy thing, but it’s a part of putting yourself first. The next hardest thing in that process however, is having to explain to everyone why you had to let that person go.
If we let the judgement of others keep us from getting rid of toxic individuals in our life, we’d be causing ourselves stress and unhappiness at the sake of others.
If anything, because it’s a decision of great magnitude, instead of scrutiny, we should receive understanding and support from the people around us.
Once you understand the value of your happiness and its importance to your well being, you’ll do whatever it takes to obtain and sustain it, even if it means having to let someone go. If people don’t understand that, maybe it’s not meant for them to comprehend.
Happiness is underrated. It’s grossly taken for granted, and maybe, because a lot of us experience bouts without it, want to steal it when we see it in others.
You should never have to apologize for your happiness.
Yet for some reason, time and time again, I see people, whether online or in person, attempt to ruin the happiness of others.
They will have something to say about the God you worship, the job you get, the clothes you buy, to even the music you listen to; nothing will ever please your critics. So defending what makes you happy is a waste of energy.
To even recognize what it takes to make you happy is a task in itself. So many people go through life playing trial and error with substance after substance, relationship after relationship, trying to fill a void they feel within.
Being happy is a privilege, a privilege you must protect.
Whether it’s a school choice, relationship decision, or even what color you dye your hair, ignore whatever voice that comes in opposition to making you smile.
Saying no is probably the number one thing you should never have to apologize for.
No is empowering. No means you are in control of yourself. No is taking a stance. Yet, saying no is something we relinquish far too much.
Take the abhorrent rape culture for example. The fact that ‘no means no’ is even a campaign slogan says enough about the disregard around the word ‘no.’
We cannot be afraid of disappointing people. Once we shake the fear of letting people down and start making more decisions that make us happy and in our best interest, we’ll become more confident and people will respect us more.
Confidence is one of the things that makes us who we are. We must always stand up for the truths that define us.
If we forfeit these impulses, we forfeit who we are.