SEVEN THINGS YOU DON’T HAVE TO APOLOGIZE FOR
With Odongo Odoyo
We all have different principles and how to relate to others, but, one of the most important things that helps us to make and maintain relationships is the knowledge of how and when to apologise. Life becomes easier when you know what situations in your life call for you to be accountable for your words or actions. However, perhaps more important is knowing when not to apologise. Especially if you are a Black woman whom society has taught to apologise for any and everything. Part of the things we have to unlearn so we can live our best is to know that some things are not worth apologising for, no matter how the people around us may think.
To live unapologetically takes courage and a whole lot of boldness. That’s because it is often not easy at all to stand in your truth and to stand by your decisions, especially when they are being questioned.
Again, it all truly boils down to motives. What informs your decision matters because if you are ever asked to defend it, that is what makes your case stronger.
There are things that as women, we’ve been made to believe we need to apologise for, but this isn’t the case. One should never apologise for not being willing to negotiate their self-care and self-love. When you make a decision with your health in mind, that decision is the right one.
Usually, when people ask you for something, they’ve already decided that you are going to say yes. It’s easier to agree than to disagree for most people. However, you should know that saying no should never make you feel guilty. Saying no is also a valid option and you have the right to use it as and when you want to.
For your peace of mind, you need to know your limits. Your limits for how close people can get to you, how honest people can get with you, how much of your time is dedicated to working, who can get into your personal space etc. Set the boundaries and protect your peace, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
You should never apologise for knowing that you deserve more in any sphere of your life. At work, in your relationships, friendships, academic life, finances, everything! You are not being ungrateful if you want more than what you currently have.
Needing Time Out
Take a damn break when your body, mind or soul calls for it. Take time out to evaluate your feelings, your decisions or just to rest. That big work project can wait, everybody’s plans that need you to stand can also wait. It may seem selfish to them, but when you need to take it out, just do it and don’t be sorry. The world has been known to move regardless of our moves, so even if things fall apart, they’ll be fine again soon enough.
Cutting People Out
Again, prioritise your peace. Don’t apologise for cutting toxic people out of your life. If there are people who always make you feel bad or question your worth, cut them out. Even though your actions may warrant an explanation, the one thing you don’t owe anyone is an apology.