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12 Things You Should Never Apologize For

by Ashley on July 10, 2013 · 33 comments

12 things you should never apologize fo

You’ve really dropped the ball again.

You’re behind on that super important work project, you forgot your best friend’s birthday, and you’re feeling the worst about the hurtful things you said to your boyfriend in the middle of that nasty argument last night.

You know what you need to do.


Saying you’re sorry is the most common way to express regret for a mistake you’ve made and communicate kindness toward whomever may have been hurt in the process.

It shows others that you want to right your wrong.

And that’s what you’re going for. You feel horrible about what you’ve done and you hate that you’ve hurt people you care about.

When you apologize from a place a sincerity and openness, wounds are mended and broken hearts are healed.

However, there are certain things that you don’t need apologize for. Ever.

12 Things You Should Never Apologize For:

1. Trying something new

When you begin trying new things, people close to you may become uncomfortable or concerned. Wearing a leather jacket? Rock climbing? That is so not you! But the thing about new experiences is that they allow you grow and peel back the layers to reveal the most authentic version of you, so I say, own them with all you’ve got!

2. Telling the truth

It is important to be honest and truthful in a kind way, however, there is no need to feel guilty or apologize for telling someone how you feel. It takes courage and strength to take down those barriers and share the truth in some situations.

3. Saying no

We often play nice and hide our true feelings because we don’t want to be perceived as a jerk. We feel like we have to please everyone and saying “yes” is usually much easier than saying “no”. But it’s okay to stand your ground and say no when you’re completely swamped and don’t have time or aren’t just aren’t interested.

4. Wanting to be alone

As an introvert, I need more alone time than most people, so over the years, I’ve had to learn to stop apologizing for it. I mean, why should I have to apologize for who I am and what makes me happy? We all need personal space.

5. Ordering dessert

So many women apologize for ordering dessert, as if it’s a huge mistake or faux pas. You’re a grown women, you’re allowed to eat whatever you want. When you apologize for it, what’s actually happening is that you’re trying to find a way to make yourself feel less guilty. And if you’re feeling guilty about dessert, there’s something else much deeper going on that one little apology is not going to fix (but a dose of self-love might…).

6. Putting yourself first

The most rewarding thing to do is to prioritize what’s important to you. It’s the first step toward that self-love piece we just talked about. I know it can seem selfish, but when you feel fulfilled, you’re in such a better place to give back to others. You don’t need to apologize for wanting the very best for yourself, because you are worth it.

7. Asking for what you need

If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. A little help fixing dinner? A ride to work because your car is in the shop? A judgment-free vent session? You know what you need, and asking for it will only make your life easier. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

8. Someone else’s bad day

You just left an amazing yoga class, your bills are paid, and you’re still on a high after getting a raise at work last week. Your life is awesome! But your friend isn’t so lucky. You meet for coffee and she spends the entire hour complaining about her crazy day at work.  Of course you don’t like seeing her in this bad mood, but apologizing for her bad day isn’t going to fix it. Instead, let her know that you’re here if she wants to talk.

9. Passionately going after what you want

I believe the point of life is to be happy. Simple as that. And the best way to make that happen is to find what lights you up and fill your life with those things. Apologizing for going after your passions discredits their value and is totally unnecessary.

10. Changing your mind

You’re not a robot and you’re allowed to have thoughts and feelings. You’re allowed to change your mind if you decide that situation no longer serves your or lines up with your personal values.

11. Staying in bed all day

Obviously this is not something you want to do every day, but spending a Saturday lounging in bed with a good book or a marathon of Pretty Little Liars is an indulgence you deserve once in a while. Treat yourself!

12. Being happy

If being happy is the point of life, you should never have to apologize for it. When you’re happy, you’re living your life’s purpose, you’re  connecting to your higher power, and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. And there’s nothing better than that.

What do you need to stop apologizing for?

[photo credit: shironekoeuro]

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber-Rose July 10, 2013 at 7:17 am

This is a lovely post Ashley!

The only one I’d disagree on however is “apologise for someone else’s bad day” Whilst I’m sure you mean that you shouldn’t feel bad that your life is awesome because someone else is having a bad time – but if I’m having a moment when I know I’m going on-and-on about having a bad time, someone saying “Awh, I’m sorry you’re having a bad day.” really makes me feel like it’s ‘allowed’ to vent sometimes, and is a subtle way of saying “I don’t mind that you’re being whingey and annoying – go for it, you need it!”


Ashley July 10, 2013 at 7:34 am

That makes sense, Amber. You’re right, I only meant that you shouldn’t take responsibility and apologize for someone’s bad day, as if you had caused it yourself. I definitely think it can be helpful to let the other person know that you’re there for them and will listen as they talk about it. :)


Twaambo July 10, 2013 at 7:42 am

Need to stop apologising for not being where some people thought I (including myself) should be in life right now.I am not.So there.
I want to be in a particular place doing a particular job,I am happy there and that is what matters!


Kelsey July 10, 2013 at 8:52 am

Thank you for this awesome reminder this morning. You Rock!!!


Sarah July 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

Great post! My friends and I do get weirdly uncomfortable and judgemental and tend to give each other a hard time when one of us tries something seemingly out of character. It’s something I’ve been trying to curb. It’s so much kinder and more productive to embrace these little changes and celebrate the bravery it takes to try something new!


Akirah July 10, 2013 at 10:59 am

I apologize for some of these things, mainly for the staying in bed all day one. If I’m not being productive, I feel guilty. But I know I need to work on my self-love. It’s hard and I’m working on it.


Anne Brannen July 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

An excellent list!

I, too, often tell people I’m sorry they’re having a bad day. And not because I think I caused the bad day, no, no. But because it’s a sad thing that they’re having a bad day.

BUT. I always notice it. I always notice it. And it bothers me when I do it.


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GFM July 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Ahh, great post, Ashley. Twelve things I need t remember to not apologize for. Number 6 speaks to me, because I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years doing things that make me unhappy to keep others happy. It’s okay to put myself first, if I don’t, who will?


Cait July 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I stayed in bed all day a few times in the past few months and I managed NOT to be apologetic for it, even to myself. Whenever that guilty feeling starts to creep up, I remind myself that I don’t have to be “on” and productive 100% of the time. Life’s tiring! I can spend a few Sundays here and there lounging in bed.

Whenever I’m saying “no,” I am super apologetic because I want to buffer my response. I say “I feel bad, but…” or “I’m so sorry!” after the text/e-mail. It’s usually only to serve the other person – I’ve learned to let go of the guilt of saying no, but I need to take the next step of not sugar-coating my “no” with all the apologies.


victoria July 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

So many good ideas – both in the post and in the comments. I recently started claiming everything I do as a gift to myself. Saying no? A gift. Going after what I want? A gift.

It is not like we don’t know these things in the deepest parts of ourselves. And yet, we still deny ourselves happiness and then get upset that we caught ourselves denying happiness. It is a vicious circle!


Alicia Jaybird July 11, 2013 at 10:27 am

Ashley, this is one of my favorite posts from you yet! When I was growing up and would be rude/angry about something, my mom would always say, “It’s okay to have a bad day, but it’s not okay to take it out on me.” I think that goes right along with not apologizing for someone else’s bad day–you can definitely be empathetic, but it doesn’t mean you have to bear the brunt of it for no reason!


Gina July 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I agree with all of this! Great post, Ashley!


Hanna (excelsior lady) July 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

FANTASTIC, girl. Honesty might just be the most important one. I’m really glad that made the list.

Thanks for this!!


Ren July 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I noticed after I moved out of my parents’ house for college how much my mom made me feel weird for things that I discovered I loved (such as Harry Potter). If I geek out about something that excites me and she doesn’t understand the appeal, she acts like she can’t possibly fathom why anyone would be into that kind of thing, making it seem like she’s putting me down in a way because of it. I was horrified when I started to realize I was doing the same thing to other people, probably having picked it up from her, so any time somebody is into something eccentric and crazy, I’m just like, “You do you! That’s awesome.” Because I SO do not want to be like my mother…


Maddie July 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Found you through yes and yes, and just have to say you rock! This post in particular is so great to hear as a 20-something myself. Adding you to my feedly right away!


Ashley July 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I’m so happy you’re here, Maddie! xo


Marley December 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

This is a great list and helps me in alot of my current situations. I always seem to be apologizing for alot of things i do, and especially when saying “no” seems to be something ive been feeling really guilty about lately.
Me and my boyfriend were going to go to my parents for the night and his friend stopped over to pick up somethings up, but while we were all hanging out they were starting to joke around about spending the night there, and me driving his friend to his house to drop off his moms car so he can hang out. I felt bad because they haven’t seen each other in awhile, but I already had it set in my head that i wanted to take care of things at my place and already told my family i was going there. They continued to keep talking about it and poking it, so i started to feel pressured and had to leave immediately. I feel bad for making a “scene” but at the same time im just standing for what i wanted. Now i feel like im in the wrong. Im just trying to work on myself


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Chelsea December 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I actually really needed this. I just changed my mind on a friend because I didn’t want to do something in the first place, but when I told him the truth which was “No, I don’t want to go to that concert.” I immediately felt terrible and like I was being a bad friend and apologized profusely. I stood my ground, though, and now I don’t have to be in a situation that otherwise would’ve made me extremely uncomfortable.


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