by Chaviva Freedman
Growing up, I learned to become one of those people who felt the need to apologize for every move I made. It could be for bursting out laughing at the absolute worst time. It could be after a conversation where my friend tells me about an issue he or she is going through. And every single time, without fail, my immediate reaction is, “I’m sorry.”
The millennial generation seems to feel that we need to apologize for doing things that are deemed to be out of the ordinary for society. We feel the need to apologize when belching after a really satisfying meal. We feel like saying sorry after crying our feelings out about that boy or girl who really hurt us to the core. We act as if saying sorry is the way for our peers to accept us to their standards – and it isn’t.
So what should we do? We need to learn how to stop apologizing.
Yes – you read that correctly. We need to halt our brains from uttering the word “sorry” for the things that make each of us unique. We need to realize that speaking our minds is nothing to apologize for. Being passionate about something that gives you life doesn’t mean that you need to apologize for it. We need to stop apologizing for having an opinion that differs from the person dominating the conversation. We need to stop apologizing for not taking anything from a significant other that makes you feel inferior. Really – it’s alright to stand up for yourself and be on your own two feet.
One of my favorite comediennes, Amy Schumer, makes it clear that she will “not strive for some other version of [herself].” Why can’t we all stop and listen to what she is saying? She makes a very astute point. It’s time for us to challenge ourselves and become the person who can look anyone in the eye and not feel like we are inferior, apologizing for what we inherently feel is right. Our thoughts are beautiful and our thoughts are as valid as the people we feel are superior to us! We need to believe that within ourselves.
In a society propelled by likes and comments on social media, we need to learn to develop a thick skin and not apologize for our thoughts and feelings. We need to understand that people are not always going to like what we have to say. There are going to be times where people will become defensive because you challenge them. There are going to be times where the Facebook or Instagram comments are going to hurt. Remember that comments from people that aren’t involved in your life shouldn’t shape the way you look at the world. The planet is a beautiful place with you in it.
Here’s what we should do: take the time and make sure that the people who you call friends truly know who you are and accept who you are. Learn to love yourself and find people who love you just as much, if not more. Find people who respect your opinions and won’t feel offended by it.
Most of all – never apologize for being you!