We don’t always mean it when we apologize. Sometimes it’s just cultural and natural.
My goal here is to release you from unnecessary guilt in your life.
I’m guilty of this guilt as well.
We all do it, but we don’t need to.
So let’s go over some stuff we shouldn’t be apologizing for…
1. Your House
“Sorry my house is such a mess.”
Sometimes I like to say, “now it’s time for the obligatory apology for the condition my house is in” when people come over. It lightens the mood and breaks the ice, but it also shows that I don’t really feel the need to apologize for it.
We have five kids. Our house isn’t always pristine.
Your house is your house, not your guests’, so there’s no reason to apologize.
We all like to do the mandatory cleanup before people come over, and then we wonder why our house isn’t always in this “cleaned up” condition. It doesn’t have to be.
We should keep clean houses, because it boosts our mood and we know where things are when we stay organized, but if there are clothes on the couch or you forgot to wipe off the counters, no apology is necessary.
2. Your Car
“Sorry my car is such a mess.” or “Sorry, my car is older.”
It seems like every time I get in someone’s car, they say, “sorry it’s so messy.” First off, I don’t care, and nobody cares. Second, it’s almost never the disaster they seem to think it is.
A lot of us practically live in our cars, and if someone else’s car is messier than yours, there’s no problem. They’re still giving you a ride, so that’s something to be thankful for.
I’ve also noticed a trend of people apologizing for having an older car. I typically use this as a segue into a conversation about how most millionaires drive older cars.
There are typically two types of people when it comes to cars:
- Those who understand cars keep a lot of people poor
- Those who are poor because of their car
I applaud the first group, yet these are the people who apologize.
There’s no standard you have to live up to. Stop apologizing for the condition of your vehicle.
3. Your Children
“Sorry my kids are so hyper, messy, loud, etc.”
This one is my favorite. Any time you’re at a restaurant and your kids start being loud, you may feel the need to apologize to those around you. That’s your call, but the fact is, kids are loud. Not all the time, but often they are.
Everyone knows kids can be loud, messy, hyper, and plenty of other things.
You don’t have to apologize when your kids act like kids. Of course, they also shouldn’t be running around acting like they own they place. There’s natural kid tendencies and then there’s discipline. Both are natural, but if you’re doing your part and your kids are acting like kids act, no apology is necessary.
All of the parents in the room understand and those without kids will get it soon enough.
4. Your Thoughts
“I’m sorry, but I just think…”
If it needs to be said, don’t apologize. If it’s hurtful and doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it.
There’s really no time when you need to apologize for giving your thoughts if you only give input when it’s helpful and constructive.
5. Your Ability
“Sorry I can’t afford to…” or “Sorry I can’t keep up physically.”
If you can’t afford to do something someone is offering you, that’s the end of it. No apology necessary. You’re simply being responsible by not doing it.
If you can’t keep up with someone in the gym or when you’re out running, that means you’re in a different place physically than they are. You’re growing. You’re getting better. Don’t be sorry for that.
6. Your Time
“Sorry I can’t make it.”
We all like to say, “sorry I can’t make it to your party, event, etc.”
If you can’t make it to something, you don’t have to apologize for that.
Limiting commitments is a good thing.
We probably all need to say no to more than we do.
If you can’t attend something, you don’t need a reason other than the fact that you can’t go. There’s no need to make up an excuse. We’re all limited on time and we all have the same amount of it.
People understand. If they don’t, they may not be good for you anyway.
“Sorry I didn’t hear you.” or “Sorry I am so…”
If you didn’t hear someone, it’s often not even your fault.
If you are a certain way, it’s also often not your fault.
Maybe you don’t like large crowds or going out to the club with people. Whatever it is, you don’t have to apologize for it. It’s your prerogative. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to. That’s the beauty of being an adult.
We all tend to say we are sorry more than necessary and more than we even mean it.
We should use them intentionally.
That being said, it’s not always healthy to use, “that’s just the way I am” to justify something that shouldn’t be that way. This is not an excuse for being irresponsible or lazy, and I’ve heard this as an excuse for both… often.
The attitude of “that’s just how I am, take it or leave it” is still a sign of immaturity. As an adult, it’s your responsibility to figure out which of your traits are toxic and are negatively impactful towards other people and the ones you love and to eventually learn how to fix them. At some point, we all gotta start making ourselves better individuals. If you truly believe you don‘t have to change anything about yourself, even at the very least the worst in you, and that people will just have to deal with it, then sorry, you’re still a child.Mark Manson
People will say, “Sorry I’m late. I’m always late.” Or, “I don’t do this or that [insert thing they should do]. That’s just how I am.”
We justify too much by saying that’s “just how we are.” Don’t let that be an excuse.
But if you’re doing what you should be doing when you should be doing it, there’s no need to apologize.
We could all apologize less and show more grace to others in these situations.
Further Book Reading
- Your Kids’s First Car: Everything You Need to Know
- Alarming Studies That Show How Advertising Affects Your Kids (And How to Protect Them)
- Large-Family Minimalism: How We Declutter 5,000 Things a Year
- How to Travel Light With Kids (A Comprehensive Guide)
- 10 Practical Steps to Start Practical Minimalism
- Budgeting for Kids: How to Teach Budgeting From Age 3 to 18