I am noticing in my own life, as well as in the lives of other women around me, that we tend to apologize too much for our feelings. Whether it’s with co-workers, significant others, friends or family; we as a gender are so quick to say “sorry” when someone doesn’t react well to what we have to say.
A study done the by the University of Waterloo in Ontario found that women actually have a lower threshold for what qualifies as “offensive behavior”. Should we raise this threshold when it comes to this subject? I say, yes! It’s time that we stop asking for forgiveness, start standing firm in what we feel and demand the respect that we deserve.
When we’re in this this situation, I urge us to remember these six reasons why we should bite our tongues and suppress our yearn to express regret for speaking up.
- Once our feelings have been rejected, we may feel as though we are being oversensitive. One might even tell us that we are being too sensitive. We’re not. Our feelings are important and if someone in our lives dismisses them, that is not our fault. We should try our hardest not to let this rejection make us feel bad about ourselves. Continue to speak up.
- Remember that feelings are uncontrollable. We don’t get to choose the way we feel, as much as I wish we could. If we do not express them out of fear, we’re not being true to ourselves.
- If we do choose to hold our hurt or bruised feelings in too long, we may cause an even bigger problem by blowing up and communicating them in a completely incorrect way. At this point, we would be in the wrong and should apologize for not communicating our feelings effectively. It’s much better for both parties to put out small flames as opposed to one huge wildfire.
- Sharing our feelings shows people what we will and will not put up with. I’m not saying to aggressively demand a certain kind of treatment from others. Merely informing someone that their words or actions hurt or bothered us could prevent them from doing the same thing in the future. No one can read minds. They will not know unless you tell them.
- Are we even genuinely sorry or are we just afraid that we pissed them off? This is something I personally need to ask myself.
- Telling someone how we feel, simply, just is not something we should apologize for. We’re not intentionally wronging anyone by doing this. The fact that we are sharing these feelings shows effort to want to make this friendship or relationship work. It shows that we want to clear the air and work through a potential issue and I don’t see any harm in that.
I do want to mention that I am not encouraging anyone to nitpick others unapologetically. While this may not be a conflict, we still have to use the “pick your battles” mentality. Take time to yourself and if something is really weighing on your heart and mind, speak with that person. If they dismiss you, do not apologize. Give them some space. Hopefully, they will realize that you meant no harm and reach out to you to repair things.
We shouldn’t belittle ourselves and minimize our feelings to please others.