23 things you don’t have to apologize for


As women, it seems we have a lot to apologise for. Striving, achieving, breathing, existing and basically just being women. But do women apologize too much?  There are many things you don’t have to apologise for. Do we really have to be sorry about the fact that we are able to function on the same level, if not better in some areas, than men? Hardly.

For as long as any woman can remember, we are raised to feel guilty and to believe that we should apologize for many things, often even if we are not at fault.

But when it comes to our success and the strong decisions we make, women do not have to apologize for anything.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are times when it is absolutely good and right to apologise, regardless of gender, especially when you’re actually wrong about something.

But research has shown that women apologise more than men, even when it isn’t necessary for us to do so.

The research “…analyzed the number of self-reported offences and apologies made by 66 subjects over a 12-day period” and found that “…yes, they confirmed women consistently apologized more times than men did”.

And as Karyn Polewaczyk wrote, “Men and women will supposedly both apologize for their wrongdoings, but because we ladies are more prone to “commit personal offenses” (as in, we think we’re making everyone mad when we speak up), we’re more apt to apologize when we sense we’ve been the wrongdoer…”.

An apology can go a long way to resolving tension and alleviating a tricky situation. But there are cases when it’s inappropriate for us to apologize because we haven’t done anything wrong.

For example, if you happen to be  “Handing over your child to your partner because you have other things in your hand?” or you’re “Asking a question in a meeting?”. These are times when you don’t have to apologize because they are things that are an everyday occurrence.

Whereas things like spilling coffee on someone or denting their car…obviously times to be sorry and apologize.

Additionally, making apologies does not mean you’re weak or incapable of great things. If anything, being able to swallow your pride and apologize on some occasions can make you stronger and even a better leader. And as Gabrielle Moss wrote, “Apologizing isn’t inherently bad — it can sometimes be a sign of empathy and caring”.

In her article, Moss compiled a list of 23 things women apologise for that we don’t really need to because, as Moss also wrote “It’s…not always necessary to do it”.

1. Promoting yourself

‘You’re not burdening people every time you post about your new article, theater production or fundraising marathon’. Some people want to know these things.

2. Asking someone who’s blocking your way to move

There is nothing wrong with asking someone to get out of your way because you have somewhere to go and you need to get there.

3. Doing your job at work

There is a reason it’s a called “a workplace” and “…you don’t ever have to apologize for doing your job, or for expecting your coworkers to do theirs”.

4. Your life choices

As long as your life choices aren’t impacting on others lives, live away!

5. Not looking ‘Pulled Together’

So your hair’s a mess and Tuesday’s work clothes are from Monday night?… *shrugs shoulders* No one expects you to dress to the tens everyday.

6. Looking ‘too’ attractive

Your body is your body, no one else’s. So as long as your confident, comfortable and dressed: go for it with your life.

7. Canceling plans with proper notice

“Most of the time, people would just rather be at home in their sweatpants, eating a block of cheese, than engaging with the world in any way. So there is really no reason to treat canceling a coffee date as a tragedy equivalent to having run someone over with your car”.

8. Being upset about something

“You shouldn’t apologize for getting “overly-emotional” — especially when your emotions are totally appropriate for the situation…”. You’re allowed to feel.

9. Having worn ugly underpants or not shaving your legs

Who is seeing your underpants or your hairy legs to complain in the first place?

10. Making accidental physical contact, with anyone, at any time

Wait! You touched someone? With your elbow? My god you disgust me!

11. Eating something ‘unhealthy’ in public

You know, perhaps better than anyone, what you like to eat, what you can eat and when you can eat it. So if the greasy burger is what you want, the greasy burger you shall have!

12. Reminding someone about something they need to be reminded about

“You shouldn’t even have to be asking people to do stuff over and over — but if you do, don’t let anyone (including yourself) make you feel like you’re “nagging””.

13. Being passionate about a point or belief

“Opinions and beliefs are awesome, and you don’t need to defend yourself just for having one (or having one that conflicts with someone else’s)”.

14. Interrupting someone who’s monopolizing a meeting or conversation

There is nothing wrong with interrupting. Especially if you have something to say or need to get back to work.

15. Not paying immediate attention to every piece of communication you receive

“This covers not immediately replying to emails, voicemails, texts, passed notes or pebbles thrown at your window. Respond to them in your own sweet time. You’re busy, and that’s OK”.

16. Asking someone to stop doing something incredibly annoying

Well, somebody has to do it.

17. Telling a joke

As long as you thought it was funny, who cares if no one else laughed.

18. Asking for something

If you need help, there is no shame in asking for it.

19. Needing some time to yourself

We all need a break every now and again, whether it’s an hour, a day or an entire week. That’s why we have holiday leave.

20. Asking for a raise

“It’s not a crime to ask to be paid what you’re worth. In fact, the actual crime is likely being committed by your boss, who is quite possibly paying you less than your male coworkers!” you’re worth every penny.

21. Asking questions

You are allowed to not know things. Questions are a fact of life.

22. Not being perfect in literally any way

Everyone has flaws and that’s ok. Besides, who’s perfect anyway?

23. Apologizing all the time

“What’s clear is that none of us need another thing to feel guilty about — and that includes feeling guilty about apologizing. Apologizing isn’t inherently bad — it can sometimes be a sign of empathy and caring. It’s just not always necessary to do it”.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.