Stop Saying You’re Sorry!

by Carol Hess on June 13, 2011

Women have to stop apologizing so damned much.  We say sorry so much that it starts to sound like we are apologizing for existing.  And maybe we are.

Have you ever noticed the way many women enter a room?  Kind of sidling in sideways, hugging the walls, not making eye contact, sitting down in the first empty seat in the back?

We sit with our legs drawn close together, preferably pulled in close and even under the chair – just like our mothers taught us to do.  Our shoulders are slightly rounded and our arms held close to our sides so as not to bring attention to our breasts or take up too much room. 

We are shouting silently, “Excuse me.  Please don’t notice me.  I’m sorry I’m taking up space on the planet.  I apologize for disturbing you.  I apologize for me.” 

We’ve got to stop doing that!  We’ve got to enter a room and take a seat like we belong there, because we do.  Like we are allowed to be noticed, because we are.  Like our presence and existence are a blessing, because they are. 

We’ve also got to stop doing it when we speak and write.  Our communications are peppered with apologies, either direct or indirect ones. Don’t believe me?  Here’s proof. 

I like to think I’m fairly straight forward and sometimes even outspoken in my writing.  But the first sentence I typed for this post (and then erased) was “Warning: This is a rant!” 

My words were an indirect apology.  It would have been more honest if I had just written, “Please excuse me for voicing an opinion.  Please don’t hate me for speaking my mind.” 

I know there are a gajillion and one reasons why women apologize so much.  I also know there are times when “I’m sorry” is exactly the right thing to say.  But most of the time apologizing is a bad habit we need to break.  When we find ourselves apologizing to the furniture when we bump into it, then it’s time for a change! 

It’s time to go on an apology strike.  Don’t use the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” or “Excuse me” for two entire days.  That includes all the indirect ways you say (or write) it too.  If you knock down a little old lady, then you can give her your best I’m sorry face (you know you have one), but don’t say the words. 

I know it’s going to be difficult, but we need to break this bad habit.  Oops!  Is “I know it’s going to be difficult, but” a half-assed apology?  I think it is.  Let me rephrase that. 

We need to break this bad habit.  I’m sick and tired of apologizing for my existence and the space I take up on the planet.  Aren’t you?

by Carol Hess


Categories Personal Empowerment, The Mind Game

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Lisa MB June 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Sign me up!

I LOVE this, Carol. When I finally realized what they wanted out of me at my old job was to apologize for having an opinion and calling BS, well… bullsh*t, I knew I had to leave. I do realize that sometimes I still shrink when I enter a room or start to write. Ewww…

No more. I have every right to be here, have an opinion, and pursue my dreams.

Thank you!


avatar Carol Hess June 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I do my fair share of shrinking too, Lisa. I think it’s a pretty natural reaction when we feel vulnerable or in danger. But we still enter the room and we still write despite the shrinking — and that’s a giant victory. We grow larger every time we do it.

I for one am very glad you are here, have an opinion (or several!), and pursue your dreams. I’m especially grateful for your presence here at Star Polisher and your opinions. Welcome to the apology-free zone! :-)


avatar Vicki Gianakos-Griesel June 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

Absolutely true! I am laughing because before I read your blog, in the FB message I sent you this morning … my first sentence was, “I owe you an apology”. Hmmmm! After reading your blog I realize that I think I do that often. Rather than just say, “Hey, I haven’t had a chance to …”, I open with placing blame on myself.
Thanks for the eye opener. I need to work on that!


avatar Carol Hess June 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

You’re welcome, Vicki! Know that you aren’t the only one working on this. I think I wrote the blog post to remind myself more than anybody else. :-)


avatar Free Spirit August 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Thank you so much for writing this. I was just thinking that I’m pretty fed up with hearing myself say “sorry”. When I read the part about putting your legs under the chair, and rounding our shoulders I busted out laughing. It was though you saw me. Thank you again for writing this. It’s an awful habit and truthfully, I’m not sorry so I need to stop saying so.


avatar Carol Hess August 10, 2013 at 6:45 am

I think the effects of retraining ourselves not to say I’m sorry (unless, of course, we really need and want to make an apology to someone) can be profound. It’s really an act of self-love, isn’t it? We’re each magnificent children of God. We have nothing to apologize for! Thanks for joining the discussion here at Star Polisher. I appreciate it!


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