On My Mind · Personal Growth

When To Say Sorry

Several months ago, I went to a conference lead by Rachel Hollis- she’s a sort of Jill of all trades- she’s an author, business coach, motivational speaker, social media guru, and more.  One of her most recent books is titled “Girl, Stop Apologizing” and the concept is this, “It’s time to stop apologizing for who you are.  It’s time to become who you were made to be.”  Basically, stop saying sorry for things you aren’t sorry for.  Aspirations, dreams, goals, lifestyle choices, opinions- the things you choose to think, say or be- there’s no need to apologize for them.  Just do the dang thing.

Well, I picked up a little souvenir at the conference- something I could keep with me at all times as a reminder to just be my true self unapologetically.  And I do just that.  It’s served me well, mostly.

A month or two after the business conference, one of my dear, sweet mother-in-law’s sisters passed away.  I admire their family so much.  There are 6 sisters and two brothers who have spread their families out across the country, but they have such a close, sweet bond despite their age differences and geographical distances.  

When Aunt Earline passed away right around Christmas this year, many in the family gathered in Greenville to say their final farewells and celebrate her life.  Blake and I headed north for the services with the kiddos and this was the first time for me, despite our nearly 19 years married, to meet many of the cousins and their children.  As one does at funerals, I hugged a lot of necks and expressed my deepest sympathies for the passing of their mother, grandmother, great grandmother.  She was obviously the matriarch who stitched together this tightly bonded branch of the family and they looked like a crew she was surely proud of.  It was a lovely service capped off by an accapella choir singing “I’ll Fly Away” that nearly lifted the roof off that Presbyterian sanctuary.

After the graveside service, we were invited to have lunch with the family.  We spent about an hour eating and chatting with everyone before we hit the road again.  It just so happened that we were headed north the very day of the funeral anyway on our after-Christmas getaway to Branson.  When we left, we grabbed some comfy clothing out of our suitcases to make a quick change in the car.  Changing clothes in the car can leave you looking a bit disheveled, so before we ran into the gas station for snacks I flipped down the visor to glace in the mirror.  Then, I saw it.  My souvenir.  My reminder to live life unapologetically.  My necklace that states, in bright gold script “Not Sorry” dangling from a chain around my neck.

Yep, I had worn it to a funeral.  Not the message I wanted to send at the funeral at all.  Whoopsie.  Surely no one noticed, but if they did here’s my official “my bad!” in black and white.  Love you all.  Very sorry.

There’s plenty of room in everyday life to be sorry, as well as many opportunities to be unapologetically not sorry. 

Always be sorry when you’re mean.  Now, you would think this goes without saying but some of us just don’t do it.  We assume once the moment of meanness has passed with our spouse or colleague or kiddo that they just know we regret being ugly.  Assume the opposite.  Nothing rebuilds a burnt bridge more quickly than an apology. 

Apologize for not listening.  My Luke was telling a story at lunch this past Sunday and my brain was just not absorbing it because I was tired and distracted.  I realized at the tail end of the tale I had missed the whole thing.  He realized it as well, I could tell by the look on his face.  This definitely warranted an “I’m sorry, buddy.” 

Being rude, being wrong, and forgetting important things despite everyone’s best effort to help you remember them are all apology worthy offenses.  Want to look at some things that are not?

Never say you’re sorry for being your authentic, true self.  Whether it’s your ambitions, your lifestyle, your beliefs.  You never owe anyone an explanation or apology for being unabashedly you. 

You don’t have to be sorry for not having time to follow someone else’s agenda.  Often times I find myself spread so thin and overscheduled as it is that when someone invites me to something or needs my time last minute, I am just not available.  That’s ok.  I’m not sorry.  Do you have a hard time saying no to things even when you don’t have the time or desire to participate?  It’s a-ok friend.  Just tell the truth. “I so appreciate you asking me, but I am busy right now.  Please don’t hesitate to ask next time!”  That’s fine, no apology needed.

Releasing yourself from the burden of feeling ‘sorry’ for things that make you authentic or things that are out of your control enable you to live a happier, more confident life.  Give it a try this week!

Mindy Boyd is a writer and a podcaster at SheConfidentSite.com as well as the president of Aloette Mississippi/Arkansas, a skincare and cosmetics company.  She is Blake’s wife and Lainey and Luke’s mom and resides in Pricedale, MS. 

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