I often catch myself apologizing for something I can’t control, like someone accidentally walking into me, or a tornado destroying a small town in Oklahoma. I decided to try not to apologize for anything at all (even if it was my fault) for one week, hoping that I would transform to Beyonce in the end (SPOILER: I didn’t).
The following is a daily documentation of the experiment.
I didn’t apologize for shit today. It was great! I’m a boss. I feel amazing. I should definitely do this more often. This must be what it feels like to be Meryl Streep.
I said “sorry” about five times in a row tonight. While waiting in line for a burrito from a food truck, my coworkers stood with me. It was probably a 40 minute line (the burrito was worth it, you guys) it was getting chilly, and they were nice enough to wait with me even though I was the only one ordering. The feeling to apologize built up inside of me. I tried to swallow it, but I couldn’t. It felt unnatural. Finally, it happened. “Sorry, guys!” I shrieked. “Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.” It was done. I had already ruined my Meryl Streep streak.
Today, my apologizes got creative. At work, I handed a paper to be edited by a coworker. I noticed that on the paper there was a spacing issue, and I tried to fix it in the Google Doc, but I couldn’t (because something so simple suddenly becomes the most stressful issue for me). I gave up. I wrote on a sticky note and slapped it onto the paper: IDK why I can’t ever fix the spacing, but I will figure it out, i’m sorry.
Later in the night, I was helping my roommate decorate bags for her super cute family event in Vegas this weekend. My task was to write on each bag, labeling it as cute as I could. The first three bags went alright, but the fourth one was my death. I don’t know what happened, but I managed to write THE WRONG WORD on the very last bag. I stared at it for a second, then turned to my roommate. “OH…MY…GOD” I shrieked. “I RUINED YOUR BAG! I WROTE THE WRONG WORD, I AM SO SORRY! I DON’T KNOW WHY I DID IT! I AM SO SORRY!” She laughed it off (she’s the sweetest) and I sluggishly walked back into my room feeling like the worst person in the world.
I don’t think I’ve apologized yet this morning, but I’m not sure. I can’t remember. I mean, I made my coworker wait for me while I ran back into my room to grab a hat that I apparently have to wear to watch the musical WICKED tonight, so I should have. I hope I did. Oh my god, did I not apologize to her? Gotta check brb
(later that evening)
I actually did the opposite, I said “thank you” a lot tonight. Too much, actually. There was a lot of wine involved. I thought I lost my phone but the lady sitting in front of me at the theatre spotted it. I went on a minute long rant “Oh my God, you are the best, thank you so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Add about ten more “thank yous” and then that might be half of how many times I actually said. It was probably really embarrassing, but wine makes you feel witty and classy so in the moment I’m sure I thought it was cute (it wasn’t. It’s not). I’m still going to take today as a loss because I feel like I was still doing the same thing, overcompensating for no reason.
Applying for a CLEAR membership at the airport, my finger prints wouldn’t scan very well. So what’s a gal to do? Apologize profusely to the CLEAR representative? Of course! It’s totally my finger’s fault, those lazy bastards. Once I was in my middle seat, the guy in the window spot next to me asked me if I could switch with his boyfriend (one row ahead in an aisle seat! SCORE!) No need to apologize here, right? Wrong. “Oh, sorry,” I mumbled as I scurried out of my seat. “No no, it’s okay” he laughed. “In fact, you’re getting the better deal, just don’t tell my boyfriend.” He shrugged off my unnecessary apology with a chill attitude, but I still don’t know why I said it.
I got to spend the weekend with my boyfriend, so nothing happened here because I don’t apologize for shit when we’re together.
Psyche. I lost count of how many times I said “I’m Sorry,” but I know they were all uncalled for. Actually, I think I remember one instance where he said his phone wasn’t working. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I responded.
“I don’t know. Because it sucks?”
I never realized how much I mutter those two, painful words. I call them painful because in these instances, they don’t mean at all what they’re supposed to me. No, I’m not truly sorry that you’re offering me a better seat, I suppose I was just feeling in the way. And that’s where the problem lies.
I feel that sometimes, just existing feels inconvenient.
Well, that’s not good – or even practical. It’s unfair to me and it only causes unnecessary anxiety and stress. If you find yourself doing the same, maybe you need to take a step back and understand why you’re saying it. This is what I’m going to work on. I’m going to self-evaluate and progress, apologetically.
We’re all just going through life together, no need to feel sorry for that.