There’s an apology epidemic going on among women and I, for one, was ready to do my part to end it. So as an experiment, I decided to spend a whole week without using the dreaded word “sorry” altogether, and boy, was my boyfriend mad.
You don’t realize how much you say “sorry” until you start really paying attention. I caught myself almost apologizing throughout the day: when a stranger bumped into me, when I spoke with my boss about a project, and when I texted my boyfriend Kevin if he would mind emptying the dishwasher. I was feeling pretty good about myself! But then Kevin texted me back and was like, “Why are you being such a bitch?”
Looks like this new lifestyle was going to take some getting used to for both of us!
One of the craziest parts of this experiment was realizing how often I, as a woman, want to apologize for taking up space; for just being. I also noticed how often—if I wasn’t paying attention—I was tempted to apologize to my boyfriend just for expressing an opinion. Kevin told me he wanted to watch The Godfather again, but I really wanted to watch Goodfellas, and said so—without apologizing. “Jesus Christ, what is up with you?” Kevin asked me. He stormed out and I ended up watching Goodfellas alone. Kevin sure did hate this experiment!
On the evening of the 4th day, it was Kevin’s birthday! Usually I would be apologizing as I made celebration plans, but this year I was determined to leave apologizing out of it. We ended up forgoing celebration altogether, though, because he stood dramatically in the doorway and muttered, “I think I want to break up.” But he did not say sorry, and I respect that!
By week’s end, I had successfully avoided ever apologizing to anyone, including Kevin. I emerged with more workplace confidence, a stronger sense of self, and a relationship teetering on the edge of dissolution. I think this experiment helped me fully own my power as a woman and I think Kevin really doesn’t understand the nuance of what’s going on. Sorry, not sorry!