I’m no stranger to irritation.
In fact, I might even go so far as to suggest that irritation is my baseline emotion. Between my depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia , the world rubs me raw.
So when I’m told – again – that my constant apologies are annoying, I understand exactly the feeling they’re coming from. I want to apologize for making them feel that way.
However, there are many reasons a person might become a serial apology-giver. Anxiety, compulsive thinking, and chronic pain all come to mind.
For me, the crux of it lies in my complicated relationship with self-esteem.
On the one hand, I think I’m pretty neat. I’m great at listening, persistent, and a creative problem solver. I’m proud of how I’ve handled myself through mental and physical illness. I’m proud that I keep trying.
I like who I am.
On the other hand, I can’t seem to stop thinking I do so many things wrong or that I’m a burden to everyone. Yet, I can’t help but feel like that some people keep me around out of a sense of obligation.
I apologize for little things because I’m apologizing for the space I’m taking up in their life.
Here’s a reminder, for myself and anyone who needs to hear it today: You deserve grace. It’s OK to apologize when you feel like you need to. In fact, it’s admirable to reflect on one’s actions and verbally acknowledge when you are in the wrong.
If you, like me, feel like you are always in the wrong, consider this: Whatever grace you extend to other people, you deserve it, too. Would you expect someone else to apologize for the same event? If not, try to hold back.
Or you can accept this piece of how you interact with the world.
Being prone to apologizing in and of itself isn’t a problem. The problem arises when you chronically believe you have something to apologize for.
You don’t need to apologize for living. You deserve to exist too.