I apologize…a lot….too much. I'm sorry about that.
I'm not sure anymore if I am truly sorry or if I have just settled on the fact that those are the words that best end an uncomfortable situation when I don't have other words.
Because I always feel sorry, guilty, inadequate, ashamed, generally like a disappointment.
Those close to me point out my excessive apologies…to which I usually apologize.
Someone who means a lot to me remarked that it appears as though I am apologizing for my very existence, and that that isn't good for anything involved. What he meant was it belittles me, which is damaging to me and my self worth and confidence, and it does so in front of others who will eventually get the impression I am a push over. I do understand that, but there honestly are times I am apologizing for my existence.
I haven't figured out if my over analytical nature causes me to feel sorry about percieved wrongs, or if it is because I always feel sorry that I actively dig for things to justify it.
A few steps to help my damaged thinking were presented to me and I'd like to share them in the event it may help someone else. They are questions to ask myself when I am feeling sorry or am questioning something I said or did.
1. Can it be changed? – this represents the futility of lamenting over something that has already happened.
2. Is the situation over? – this brings in perspective timeframe, and that there is a good chance the other party already has forgotton and would not benefit from a rehashing.
3. Was what was said an honest statement? – to remind yourself that you should never feel sorry for a true opinion or an action of honest character.
4. Did it seriously upset or anger someone? – are you really the only one that is concerned about this.
Now most of the time these questions are meant to bring a little bit of stark reality to the situation but can also highlight those times where it may be something to feel sorry for. Was it not an honest comment and it was intentionally harsh and snide? That may need to be apologized for. Is the other party very upset about it, possibly due to a misunderstanding of what was said? Then things would need a clearing up. And if a situation truly isn't over, it wouldn't hurt to emphasize or reiterate something you were concerned about meing misconstrued.
Sounds awful wise, doesn't it? Well, I can't follow the advice myself to save my own skin.
I still apologize for anything and everything, even though I know it's lowering my self worth.
I still apologize for offering my honest opinion, even though I know it's undermining my confidence.
I still nit-pick over old conversations and situations, bring myself to tears, and make mental notes to apologize to people the next day…knowing full well they've probably already forgotten or never noticed in the first place.
I'm still sorry for being sorry, for my existence, for my failings, for my forgetfullness, for not being good enough.
I know apologizing so much waters down the words for when I truly need to use them, and I'm sorry about that.