Stop Apologizing

Stop Apologizing

The other day I was reading a beautiful blog post and the writer was giving us a tour of her living room and her pretty Christmas decorations.  It really was lovely.  But then in a blink of an eye it happened.

She apologized.

For her table.

Her table that she thought was ugly.

I hadn’t even noticed the table.

Until of course she pointed it out.

And then I was just sad.

Because the beautiful moment had disappeared.

Poof.

Just like that.

Ladies why do we do this?  I see it time and time again and believe me I’m guilty of it myself as well.  Focusing on the negative only draws attention to it.  Why do we want to do that?  Let’s face it we all have things/stuff in our lives that maybe isn’t our ideal or as fashionable as maybe we’d like but it’s ours nonetheless.  And while we may be embarrassed by it and feel the need to make sure others are aware of our embarrassment someone else may be looking at your table, or couch, or bedspread or carpet and wishing they could have something half as nice as that.  They might be saying to themselves, gosh if they think their couch is hideous there is no way I’m inviting her to my house to see mine.

I caught myself the other day apologizing to a girlfriend for the blandness of my builder beige walls.  Why did I find it necessary to point out my discontentment when I know that negativity breeds negativity.  I don’t want that.  I want to instead focus on the fact that I have walls that give me shelter and a place to put my head at night.

How can we be apologizing for something and grateful for it at the same time?

Let’s instead try to focus on the positive, especially during the holiday season when it’s so easy to be envious of what someone else has.

My challenge to you (and me) is to pay attention to your words this week to see if you can catch yourself apologizing for something you’re maybe not so happy with.  Then turn that negativity upside down into something beautiful and gratuitous instead.

We can do this.

Stop apologizing.

Let the moment happen.

Filed under: Motivation-Encouragement

Comments

50 Responses to Stop Apologizing

  1. 1
    Caitlin says

    Challenge accepted!

    Great post, so true, I’m guilty of it all the time.

    Next time someone comes to my house, I will not apologize for the empty fish tank. I’ll just hope they don’t realise it’s empty! Poor dearly departed fish…

  2. 2
    Debbie says

    Great post. I, too, have caught myself doing this, and I think that what it comes down to pride. To be embarrassed over a material possession when many, many people have nothing makes me sad. There’s a car commercial that’s been airing recently where a little boy makes his dad park down the street to drop him off because he’s embarrassed of the car his dad drives. And our children are watching this commercial on T.V. – what is that teaching them???

    Especially during this season, we need to think about the eternal gift that has been given to us, and that nothing we have could have bought or paid for what we were given.

    No more apologies!

  3. 3
    Melissa says

    What a good word! So true! I am guilty of this too, but it’s not only us ladies…I’ve caught my husband doing it too! lol! I will definitely be aware of what I am saying as others come into my home this holiday season :)

  4. 4
    Marcia Francois, Organising Queen says

    Love this post, Laura.

    I don’t necessarily apologise but I do find myself automatically making judgements like “oh, so and so has a beautiful home so better go OUT to dinner instead of having them over” or “so and so cooks beautifully so why would they want to eat MY food”

    Oy!

    Thanks for the reminder that we have a roof over our head and food on the table and that is something to be grateful for.

  5. 5
    Trixie says

    Sigh, I do this too. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all stop, and then enjoy having company over? When I visit people, I go to enjoy their company and hospitality and not to find fault with something, and likely they visit me for the same reason.

  6. 6
    Mrs W says

    Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine. My dad did this all while growing up, and the weird thing is, they had more then than what we have now.

    I don’t apologize for my house or my stuff. If you are snotty enough to not like it, you don’t have to come back. That’s how I feel.

    I guess I see it a little differently. I see us as blessed, not as us doing without.

    We are a family of 5 (soon to be 6) living in a 1,200 sq ft, 1 bathroom, 2 bedroom house. The house is old. We are so blessed because there are other families in the world who don’t have a house; and some families that have a small one room shack that they live in. I have a whole entire 1,200 sq ft to raise my family in, and a nice sized yard. Some people don’t have indoor plumbing and running water, but I do in my bathroom. And, the kids have a whole room that is JUST for sleeping. How awesome is that? And my husband and I have our own room to retire to.

    We have people come to our house and tell us that we “need” certain things such as a dryer. They see my clothes all hanging out on my clothesline, and they assume that we “need” a dryer. Well, the clothesline cost us an initial investment of about fifteen bucks, for the clothesline rope and the clothes pegs. It costs me roughly a whole $2 a year to replace the clothes pegs. There are NO running costs, and the laundry gets just as dry as it would in a dryer. It might take a little longer, and be slightly less convenient, but oh well.

    They also tell us we “need” floor coverings. We have wood floors (unpolished and really messy job done) with no floor coverings. We don’t “need” those, many in the world live on dirt floors. However, we do plan on buying them, when we get the money. We aren’t going to buy vinyl on credit. The blessing in that is that, rather than having to live with something someone else chose that I don’t like, I will eventually be able to choose what *I* want to go on the floor. Isn’t that awesome.

    Also, last year, after being married three years and being only 24 and 25 years old, my husband and I were able to buy this house. A lot of people our age can’t afford to buy a house. A lot of people are living in somebody else’s house. This is OUR house, and that’s a blessing.

    Why would I apologize for all these blessings?

    • 6.2
      Trixie says

      What a fantastic way to look at it. And, really it is the RIGHT way for us to view all the Lord has blessed us with!

  7. 7
    Tina says

    So true. I always think of Erma Bombeck’s ‘If I had my life to live over”. One line that stands out-’I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.’ I think about her list very often!

  8. 8
    Mrs. J says

    I’ve caught myself doing that before, and I don’t know why! I’ve visited other people’s homes and it always makes me feel bad when they make a negative comment about their house. Usually what they comment on is better than what I have in my home! So I guess hearing them say that makes me feel like I must apologize as well!

    As I try to adopt a more simple life style, I’ve been working to be happy with what I have (and not apologize). Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I feel like we, as a society, tend to focus on the negative. I think we should all accept your challenge and focus on the good!

  9. 10
    Johnna says

    Thank you for the reminder…Helps me remember where my true contentment should come from…Not from what others think but what my Jesus thinks! Have a blessed holiday!

  10. 11
    Annie says

    Amen sister!!

  11. 12
    Living the Balanced Life says

    This is so very true. It is an issue that I deal with and a lot of women do. We have this need for others to like us. And we feel if the guest sees something “bad” in our home, they will think less of us, so we feel the need to explain. Most of the time, however, they didn’t even see what you are worried about, or it doesn’t bother them at all.
    This goes tothe heart of soemthing I am trying to fix in my life and help other women as well. That need to have everything perfect because we think everyone else has it perfect. For crying outloud, none of us are perfect! Let’s allow one another to be real and stop apologizing for who we are!
    Very good post!
    Bernice
    http://livingthebalancedlife.com/2010/the-walking-wounded/

    • 12.1
      ppw says

      I’m overwhelmed reading these posts…it’s as though all of you are in my head and writing what you hear! I struggle with this so much.

  12. 13
    ter@waaoms says

    This is something that I struggle with too! My house has been kind of disorderly since my husband died (not that it was perfect before!) but I’m constantly apologizing for it and I’m trying to stop that, but it is hard!! I don’t want people to think that the mess here is something I like!! A few people have told me it’s not really a mess mess, but it’s like, I can’t see the forest for the trees, you know? I only see the mess which is really just piles of stuff, mostly papers, that I have been going through this year, and some dust bunnies because goodness knows you can dust and not 5 seconds, the buggers come right back!

  13. 14
    donetta says

    :)
    contentment is contagious.
    The hardest thing is to live with discontentment all the while being content and grateful. I live like a zar and although it is wonderful to aspire it can really rob ones daily pleasure. If the aspiration robs the joy and gratitude of the day…well your loosing what you have and the joy of it by just wanting more.

  14. 15
    carol says

    Ouch!! I do this ALL of the time! Thank you for the challenge. I will keep this as my goal when having ppl over for the holidays.

  15. 16
    Jacque says

    You are absolutely right….and it works just as you said. As soon as the negative is pointed out POOF the joy goes out as well. Love the Erma Bombeck quote too!

  16. 17
    Cori says

    GREAT post! Just what I needed to hear today.

  17. 18
    DeWanna says

    Thank you so much for this post! I have become so sensitive to what others think about my home that I just dont ask people over anymore. Maybe it is time to stop thinking like that and be proud of my things I have worked so hard to have. Thanks again.

  18. 19
    valerie says

    Thank you for this post. You are so right, and I needed to hear it.

    “How can we be apologizing for something and grateful for it at the same time?” Ouch. Exactly. If I am thankful I have a couch to sit on rather than the bare floor, why am I apologizing for it? If I am thankful I have carpet to walk on instead of dirt or concrete, why would I apologize for it? Oh my goodness.

    Johnna’s comment really struck me to. My contentment should come from what Jesus thinks…not others. HE may be thinking, “I blessed you with that couch (carpet, bed, table, etc) – and now you’re complaining about it??”

    I needed this….thank you, Laura.

  19. 21
    Christa says

    Thanks. This was encouraging and inspiring.

  20. 22
    Marilyn Holeman says

    Amen!

  21. 23
    Rachel says

    How appropriate…especially at a time of Thanksgiving. I thought it was just my family that did this. At least now I know we are not alone. We tend to apologize for the food we cook. Even before it is tasted we are saying, “Sorry about the green beans/meat/biscuits…they burned/didn’t get brown enough/” I hate it when I hear my sisters say it and hate it when I say it. I will endeavor to have a new attitude on this. The funny one I remember hearing growing up – after working to exhaustion cleaning the house….when company came….”sorry the house is such a mess” What???

  22. 24
    Amy @ MomsToolbox says

    Oh, that’s a tough challenge to accept… but one I need to accept!
    I am unapologetically IN!

  23. 25
    Angella says

    Beautifully said, Laura. I do that way too much.

    I’ll do my best to be better!

  24. 26
    shelley says

    So true ,
    My Mom has always said why clean for the company to come over ? Clean after they’ve gone home !!
    While she taught all of her kids to be house proud and tidy , she focused on the joy of entertaining friends and family in her home . I think it is easier as you get older and more confident in who you are to welcome people into your environment and really be all right with what you have
    ( or don’t … )

  25. 28
    Maria says

    I just did this last night! I’m in a beautiful, brand new home and just bought some new living room furniture last week. My living room is pretty big, so I still have my old furniture in there as well. I also have the curtains from my old house up until I decide what I want (and was waiting to get the furniture.) A neighbor came by to see my place and dontcha know I explained why I have furniture EVERYWHERE and pointed out my odd sized curtains! ARGH!

  26. 29
    Jennifer says

    Yeah, what she said! I totally agree that this self-depreciating stuff has to stop!

  27. 30
    Keli says

    I try not to do this as much! I’ve noticed that I do apologize a lot about the apperance of my house.

  28. 31
    pentamom says

    Amen, amen, amen!

    It’s so ungrateful! I mean, I know most of us do it unconsciously, but it works against a grateful spirit and certainly doesn’t give the impression to others that we’re thankful for what we have!

    My mother “trained me well” (not) in this area. Especially with cooking a meal, her automatic response was always, “Oh, it was easy, blah blah blah.” I’ve tried to fight this by learning just to say “thank you” but a post like this just refreshes my resolve to train myself out of it.

  29. 32
    se7en says

    I will start my comment with an apology!!! I wanted to comment as I read this and down went our internet… Great post!!! Say it again!!! I read in a book: Open Heart, Open Home… Never apologize for the mess as folks step in the door… it is very unwelcoming, as if your guests are interrupting you!!! It places the priority on your mess, rather than them which is very often not that bad a mess and just the way we live… so it is a bit of a pride thing because the other player is supposed to then say: “NO this isn’t a mess…” I think this is how my mom greeted everyone when I was a kid: “Hello, excuse the mess, how are you?” So I bite my tongue and say: “Hello, breathe, how are you?” and I really think visitors feel more relaxed and less like you are putting on a show for them !!!

  30. 33
    Julie says

    Thank you, I needed this. I think this is my favorite post of yours.

  31. 34
    alece says

    oh i am so guilty of this. i am so quick to apologize for ME. for simply being me. it needs to stop…

  32. 35
    Rebecca C says

    So very true! I don’t apologize for our stuff, but I do end up apologizing for the mess. I did NOT apologize for having stuff piled on the dinner table last time my mom came over, and she just gushed about how wonderful the house is looking. Now, she has seen it much MUCH worse, but I honestly don’t know if she even noticed the table in the unlit corner with stuff on it. If I had brought it up she definitely would have noticed. :) I really ought to do this more often.

  33. 36
    Ashley@AboutOne says

    I do this all.the.time. For all types of things too- I’ll apologize on my blog, I’ll apologize when having a friend and her kids over for playdates, apologize for my appearance.. etc., etc. It’s funny, I can think of several instances this week alone that I apologized for various things that really just didn’t matter. This is definitely something to pay attention to on a regular basis-just take a deep breath.

  34. 37
    sue says

    never looked at it that way before but boy is it so true! Thank you for your post and I am going to do this for the week and hopefully continue to apply it! I am definetly an apologizer!

  35. 38
    Shawnie says

    Awesome post! Guilty as charged and I so needed to read this….I’m entertaining friends next weekend, some of which have not seen my new house and I had already conjured up excuses for this or that in my head in preparation for their visit.
    I think I tend to point out personal flaws as a way of making people feel more comfortable around me. For instance, I’m very blessed to have a new house but sometimes I feel so spoiled and I think I try to point out flaws to make people feel more comfortable at my home. I hadn’t thought about the negative way it might make someone feel. Thank you for pointing that out. I am definitely going to try and flush out that negativity and just be gracious in manner.
    I really enjoy your blog Laura. I haven’t commented in a while but I read your posts weekly….thanks for sharing your world with us.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. :o)

  36. 39
    Sarah says

    Thank you!!! Oh my this post is exactly on target with what I have been thinking about. I had a friend come over and before she was here I found myself thinking of what I was going to say when she got here, and then apologies rushed to me head about this object or this room that isn’t up to my standards. But when I thought about it I couldn’t imagine why I want her to know why I don’t like this or that. So i didn’t apologize for anything when she came. And I am so glad I did this ; )

  37. 40
    Daniel says

    I cant get enough of your interesting points. Goodluck to you ladies! I hope you can do it! Which I am certain that you will. Thanks blog owner. =)

  38. 41
    Traci says

    just ran across this post and it couldn’t apply to me more. I AM very thankful for all that I have been blessed with, yet I constantly apologize or let others know our plans for fixing, remodeling, etc…which totally makes it seem like I’m not happy or content. I’m am totally going to work on being positive about my surroundings and remember how lucky I am to have so much! Thank you!

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