It can never, ever be said enough…
“Never apologize for how you feel.“
There are plenty of reason to apologize. While the examples are rather endless, the reasons for apologizing are fairly straightforward. You apologize if you’ve caused pain to someone – intentionally or inadvertently. You apologize if you’ve caused someone an inconvenience or added difficulty. You apologize if you’ve insulted someone – whether you meant to or not. You apologize if you’re at fault in some way.
However, your feelings are not something to apologize for. It doesn’t matter how your feelings make someone else feel – they are your’s and not to be apologized for in any way. Actually, if your feelings, for example, hurt someone else’s feelings, you don’t apologize. They aren’t apologizing for theirs, are they? No. You can have a discussion about both sets of feelings which could lead to an apology, but apologizing for the feelings is not necessary.
It’s almost a foreign concept, this notion that feelings are not to be apologized for. Your feelings are your own, plain and simple. How you feel about anything at any given time is your own and nobody else’s.
Yes, we are co-existing creatures and therefore are aware of other’s feelings (or at least we should be). That doesn’t mean we can dictate or demand certain feelings from others and then get all bent out of shape when we don’t get it. Yet that is how society tells us that feelings should be. We should be happy because of this or unhappy because of that or fearful or excited or whatever just because of one preconceived notion or other.
We are all unique and our feelings are part of that. How we react, how we feel, is diverse and cannot be sorted into neatly organized, predictable sections. Feelings are personal to the soul who is experiencing them. To apologize for feeling is tantamount to apologizing for simply existing and that is utter nonsense.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone does something hurtful to me (whether they meant to or not) and then they basically tell me that they either don’t like how I’m feeling or that how I’m feeling is somehow wrong. They then wait for me to apologize to them for how I’m feeling and then change it to how they think I should be feeling. And it drives me CRAZY (and hurts like hell)!
I used to try to explain and point out quite kindly how hurt I was and how I understood how they didn’t mean it and blah, blah, blah, but no matter how much I tried, I was either shut down or ignored until I stopped feeling. Yes, I get that being told that you’ve hurt someone sucks and it causes your own feels, but since you did the hurting maybe, just maybe, do what you can to make it better and provide a safe space for the hurt one to feel and not have to apologize for their feelings?
I refuse to apologize for my feelings and if someone else can’t or won’t accept that, well, that is theirs to deal with. My feelings are valid, just as your feelings are valid. And if we each of us choose to not apologize for them or expect anyone else to apologize for them maybe we could start creating a softer, safer world of understanding.
Namaste ~ Ella
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