You are walking in the store shopping. As you go on to the next aisle, you noticed that you and another customer are dancing with each other. “I’m sorry.” You said as you move out of the customer’s way. Now it is fine to say sorry when you are in someone’s way, but why do we say sorry for being ourselves? We want to be liked by people, and there is nothing wrong with that, but everyone will not like us. For every 100 people that say that they like you, there will be 1 that will find something wrong with you. Here is a story about figuring out why saying sorry is not needed all the time.
I have been told that I have a tone that can be read as “unfriendly.” Every time that I would say something at work, someone would get offended and say that I was rude. I would instantly say that I was sorry. The last thing I wanted to be was rude and unfriendly to people. I would try to change my voice and slow down my speech; nothing worked for them. “Ariel, you have to change how you speak to people,” My manager said. “Say it with a smile on your face.” I asked myself how can I make them see me as anything but unfriendly?
I started smiling, still was not friendly enough. My manager brought me back into her office. “Ariel, I am still getting emails from other employees about your tone.” My manager said as she shook her head. I could not handle it anymore. “What do you want me to do?” I asked my manager. “I am not going to say sorry because they cannot deal with my tone.” “Ariel, you have to try.” She said. “I did, and it is not working,” I cried, “I cannot help it if my tone makes them feel uncomfortable.” That was the first time I did not say sorry. I could not keep beating myself up for something that I was not doing. I was not rude or unfriendly; they just wanted me to do what they wanted me to do. I had to remind myself that I am at work to be productive, not to be the popular girl.
Is it going to be easy breaking out of the habit of saying sorry when you did nothing wrong? No, but we have to remember that we are not on this Earth to please people. We cannot control people’s feelings; we can only control our own. You do not have to apologize for being you. You do not have to apologize for making moves for yourself. Do what makes you happy, and as long as you are not doing something disrespectful to someone, keep the word sorry out of your mouth.