People have a way of making us feel bad for things. They make us feel like we owe them some kind of apology for the goals and expectations we have for our own lives. Being able to apologize when you need to is a sign of a strong person. But there are some things you never need to issue an apology for. You owe no one an apology for:
1. Setting boundaries and sticking to them.
Sometimes people struggle when you choose to take a stand for yourself. That is their problem, not yours. If you feel someone is crossing your boundaries, you have every right to address it or remove that person from your life. You should not feel like you need to apologize for this. It was not your actions that caused the problem. There is no reason you should let another person continually disrespect you to spare their feelings. They clearly are not considering yours.
Too often people are overly polite and they let others cross lines they are uncomfortable with so they don’t offend the other person. But why is the other person more important than you are? If you do not stand up for yourself, who will? It is admirable to want to avoid conflict and make others feel at ease. But it should not be at your expense. Make it clear where you stand and what you are comfortable with. If someone knows your boundaries and still chooses to cross them, you don’t have to apologize for standing up for yourself.
2. Having high expectations for how people should treat you.
You should value yourself. And because of this, you should have high expectations for how others treat you. You are no one’s door mat or punching bag. Anyone who thinks they should be able to treat you badly does not deserve your attention. No one deserves to be insulted, berated, or criticized to make another person feel better about themselves. If you don’t teach others how you expect to be treated, they may never realize the way they are acting toward you is unacceptable.
Even when the person has some “power” over you, there should still be a level of courtesy and respect in your interactions. Bosses, in-laws, etc. often intimidate us to a point that we let them treat us as less than. This should not be the case. People should not abuse their place to make you feel badly. If they do, you have a right to appropriately address it. You also have the right to create distance from that person if they refuse to acknowledge that they are not treating you the way you deserve. You don’t need to apologize for that.
3. Who you surround yourself with.
People often make time for certain people because they feel like they should. Guilt is a powerful tool. However, the only people you should make time for are the people who bring out the best in you. People who build you up. If you have been friends with someone for years, but you two no longer have anything in common, don’t force yourself to go to lunch with them. It is okay for people to grow apart and move on.
Often I hear people wanting to apologize to not spending enough time with their friends after they get in a long-term relationship or have kids. There is no need to feel bad or explain yourself. You love these people. You chose them and they bring you joy. That doesn’t mean your friends do not, it just means your friends are no longer as high on your relationship priority list. Most people understand this, and the ones who don’t, likely will someday. Even if they don’t, you are not doing anything that requires an apology. Don’t feel guilty about it.
4. Occasional self-indulgences.
You may be on a diet. You may be trying to stick to a stricter budget. Whatever you are trying to improve on, keep up the good work! But also cut yourself a break from time to time. Never allowing yourself to indulge may lead to you not keeping up your good habits. And it definitely will make you enjoy life less. There is no need for that! It is important to stick to your goals and practice your new desired behavior until it is habit. It is also important to be a happy, well-rounded person. Make sure you don’t beat yourself up for an indulgence from time to time. Just know going in that is an indulgence and you are prepared to bounce right back into your desired behavior.
Especially do not think you need to apologize to someone else for your indulgences! While it is vitally important to have a support person to get you motivated and keep you accountable, they don’t have the right to make you feel bad. That is not beneficial for anyone. You should never feel like you need to say you are sorry for doing something for yourself. Self-care is underrated by many people. Just because they don’t know or understand the benefits doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take care of you with no shame!
5. Actions you are taking to be a better version of yourself for yourself.
When you discover something in yourself you are unhappy with and want to change, then you should absolutely do that! This may upset some people in your life because it may make them feel like you think they should change too. If you have a friendship built on commiserating about life and you decide you are going to start having a different outlook, the other person is going to have a hard time encouraging this. That person will feel like you think they should change too, and they may not be ready to. But that is not something you should feel badly about. People develop at their own time. This is your time, so don’t hold yourself down for someone else to feel better.
This becomes harder and harder to remember the closer you are to the person that is upset about your choice to be better. When you are getting grief about a positive change you are making in yourself, think about how bad you felt before you made the decision to do better. Do you want to feel that way forever? Chances are no, you don’t. Hence the decision to change. The negative comments and actions from others will eventually seize. Your new outlook or behavior is yours for life! Never apologize for trying to be the best version of you!
I hope you enjoyed this post. I also hope you remember to stop letting anyone make you feel like you owe them an apology for ensuring you are satisfied with your life!