Apologies are like yawns, they are contagious.
I know this because my two-year-old has been repeating them to me and in no context. I mean, she has repeated "sh!t" in context, and I knew I had to watch my language. Indicating to me-- she understands everything! But sorry, she says out of the blue and it doesn’t make sense.
“Sorry mommy,” she said to me from the backseat of the car.
“What baby? You didn’t do anything…” I answered her, a little confused, looking at her through the rear-view mirror to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.
And I wasn’t.
It made me self-reflect: I say sorry way too much, like diarrhea-of-the-mouth-level of sorry, that it’s almost like there is no context for my apologizing. I am an abuser of the word sorry. It’s an old habit that I never kicked with my other bad habits—and trust me, I had many. Do you know I am the person that someone crashes into ME and I say sorry? How nutso is that?
Like, sorry you bulldozed into me random person? NOOOOO.
I think it comes from being a reformed people pleaser. I always felt like I should stay out of people’s way. I mean, I was the girl who wanted to take up the least amount of space possible. Plus, I have always been super sensitive, so I am hyper-sensitive to others feelings. I am so sensitive that I used to put myself in harm’s way to make another person feel comfortable. I was a martyr like that. Or completely stupid. Or a little of both.
I hate that my daughter is saying sorry a lot and even worse-- for no apparent reason. Yes, when she hits another kid, she should apologize. And yes, my daughter is THAT aggressive kid at times. But, I don’t want her to be the girl that pops out apologies like they are pimples.
So, I will work on cutting down its usage or more like over-usage for my daughter.
Because I don’t want my daughter to apologize for simply being.
Because I want my daughter to be strong and confident, yet empathetic and kind. But never ever a pushover.
Because I want my daughter never to feel like she's a burden. Because she is not.
Because I want her to look in the mirror and never apologize for that person looking back.
So, let’s all work on kicking our apologizing habit. I said it's contagious like yawns, but the difference is yawns are involuntary. Apologizing is completely voluntary, meaning we have total control over when they come out of our mouth. So, going forward let’s only apologize if we really did something wrong. Okay?
This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook.