Girl, Stop Apologizing – Sorry, not sorry

“Women are taught that to be a good woman you need to be good for other people. If your kids are happy, then you’re a good mom. If your husband is happy, you’re a good wife. How about a good daughter, employee, sister, friend? All of your value is essentially wrapped up in other people’s happiness. How can anyone successfully navigate that for a lifetime? How can anyone dream of more? How can anyone follow their what if they need someone else to approve of it first?”  ― Rachel Hollis

You’ll wonder why I picked up a book that began with the word, “Girl” — since I am waaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond ever being called a girl. You have to admit though, “Woman, Stop Apologizing” sounds like a line from Murder, She Wrote. Specifically, I picture Seth saying it to Jessica. But I digress.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis is for every woman everywhere who has ever said, “I’m sorry” for things she needn’t be sorry for… or just said it one (or nine hundred) too many times. Are you one? I know I am! I have been told to quit/ stop/ knock it off more times than I can count. I’ve been told I’m an “Honorary Canadian” because I picked right up on the habit that is a stereotype of those up across the border.

I apologize, therefore I am.

I’ll tell you, I picked up the book three days ago and already finished it! THAT’S how wonderful it is.

It’s very current, published in 2019! I usually have to buy current books at full price but not this time. I got it from my fave… say it with me… thrift shop. I can’t believe someone read this and turned it in but there you have it. Her loss, my gain!

Note: It also has those cut pages I like so much. But I digress.

Hollis breaks up her book into three parts:

  1. Excuses to let go of
  2. Behaviors to adopt
  3. Skills to acquire

And they’re ALL excellent! I don’t want to give more away. I want you to buy this book if it resonates with you!

Her writing is conversational and breezy and you never feel guilt or shame reading it, even though guilt and shame are HUGE HUGE HUGE backdrops to the reasons women over-apologize.

That said, if you’ve worked a lot on guilt and shame, the book covers familiar territory. It won’t hurt to read it again… certainly! There’s something about the way Hollis says it all that doesn’t feel too redundant. And some, you may have forgotten or packed away to deal with later. Now may be the time to unpack it!

For some reason – and this will no doubt NOT surprise you – I had never fully equated the fact that I say sorry so much with the partner-facts of unworthiness, guilt, and shame. I mean, WTF? Seriously?

Here I’m thinking that admitting to my MANY mistakes, choices and foibles is taking responsibility for them. Isn’t that the right, authentic, upright thing to do?

Well…………………………….. yes and no.

Until I read this book, I honestly hadn’t thought that much about it. Oh, I mean occasionally, when someone would tell me to stop it (Hi Kaden!) I would ponder on it for a moment or two but always fall back into the habit.

Habit. Yep, that’s what it is.

I swear to God, I have not only apologized for other people (spouses, children, co-workers, etc.) I have apologized for things I have no control over AT ALL like the weather. I’m actually not exaggerating.

Here I am at 60 trying to relearn who I am and what I want… and how to ask for, push forward, insist on and not accept anything less than the BEST.

The book helped me to realize something else… and it also includes a bit of shame. When I over-apologize, I am raising myself as the most important person/ thing in whatever situation it is. In fact, the other person, or the sales report, or dinner, or whatever *it* is that is being discussed is the most important. Not me! It’s almost like there’s a little narcissism in the over-apologizing arsenal. Just interesting. Don’t you think?

Anyhow, this is a fantastic book and one I’ll keep in my collection. I highly recommend it to the “Girls” out there who over-apologize. You’ll be glad to get a handle on this icky habit, I know!

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