Sorry, Not Sorry – What are you apologising for?

#sorrynotsorry , the hallmark hashtag for those moments when you express an apology you don’t mean. Generally, when your sassy self gets the best of you and you drop a truth bomb or dish out a reality check. 

But there is another, more common version … when you say ‘sorry’ because you’re made to feel uncomfortable rather than because you’re actually sorry. 


We’ve all done it.


Someone has bumped into you or cut in front of you and for some weird reason, you’re compelled to apologise to them. Or, most likely you’re stating your position or opinion to someone who feels differently.


What the!? Why do we do this? Is our fear of being rude taking hold and forcing an ingrained reaction to apologise for something that is not your fault, problem or doesn’t require an apology?


If you think about it, we’re often apologising for the most ridiculous things. 

“I’m sorry you bumped into me.”

“I’m sorry you don’t agree with my opinion.”


As women especially, we can feel that we need to apologise if we take a stance outside of the norm. But why?

It’s not poor manners or a lack of respect to not apologise when it’s not required. It’s okay. Nothing bad is going to happen if you don’t say sorry for having a different opinion. Quite the opposite!


Get ready to feel the emotions rising … not reducing your beliefs / feelings / actions to make someone else happy is refreshingly empowering. 


For those of us who do this , let’s quit the ‘I’m sorry’ unless you’re actually, genuinely sorry.


Next time you’re about to apologise… 


If you’re about to apologise, catch yourself. Are you actually sorry?

If so, cool. Apologise genuinely.

If not, figure out what you actually want to say, and say it.

Or, don’t say anything at all. Sometimes no response is needed. Don’t be drawn in to filling a silence if you don’t have anything else to add. 


If someone isn’t happy with what you’ve said or done but you are, what do you need to do to bridge the gap? Or… do you actually need to?

Be open, listen to feedback and consider other opinions or takes on a situation so you continue to grow and learn. You might end up changing your mind in future as you gather new information and experiences. And there’s nothing wrong with that.


It’s totally fine to agree to disagree. We’re not built to agree on everything all of the time. We all have very different life experiences that we’re drawing from and diversity of opinion is healthy. If we all thought and felt the same all of the time, the world would be a pretty dull place. 


Here’s the big one… stop apologising for who you are! You’re you, and that in itself is amazing. We’re all individuals with our own wacky drivers, motivators and priorities. Our beliefs and the way we think are what make us unique.  Just because your thoughts and/or actions are different to someone else, doesn’t mean that one is wrong.  


And if someone bumps into you… it’s on them. It’s not your fault they didn’t see you.


Words are powerful, so let’s be mindful about which ones we use and when we choose to use them. It’s time for us to stop defaulting to reducing our actions or opinions just because someone else doesn’t agree. 


For all of the serial apologisers out there (myself included!) I challenge you… Stop apologising! Break the habit!


Your point of view is as important as anyone else’s. 





What are you going to stop apologising for?