Stop Saying Sorry

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Are you an over-apologizer?

Do you say you are sorry constantly? For everything. Not just when you have actually done something wrong but when someone just makes you feel like you have?

Someone makes a comment about something you say or do or wear and you apologize for it as if it is some offense you have caused by being yourself. As if the things you enjoy are somehow wrong because the other person does not like them or makes fun of them.

Let’s say your significant other states that they would like some space in the relationship and you say sorry as if you have caused this distress. They are the one that made the request and you took it as your responsibility.

Usually when someone has an over-apologizer trait they have some conditioned belief that they are the cause of other people’s distress or unhappiness. Usually learned in early childhood when a primary caregiver makes them feel that they are in some ways wrong.

Many times this is reinforced in school by peers who tease and bully and even those who we call friends and are in relationships with can make us feel that our choices are wrong we should be ashamed of them. In doing so, we become ashamed of ourselves and have no confidence in what we enjoy or look like.

Differences are more than okay they are necessary for a diverse society. If you want to change your hair every week do it. If you want to wear cosplay to school do it. If you want to listen to KPop do it. If someone is talking about how they feel do not take responsibility for it.

Instead of saying sorry, say thank you or some other positive response. If someone tells you they do not like KPop while you are listening to it, say I find it fun and entertaining. If someone makes fun of what you are wearing, say thank you for noticing my outfit I think it looks fantastic. If someone talks about your hair and/or makeup say thank you for noticing I love trying new things it makes me happy.

If you are late say thank you for waiting for me. If you are trying to explain something to someone and feel like you are not making sense say thank you for listening to me not sorry I sound so crazy. If you need to ask for help do not say sorry I am so bad at this say thank you for helping me today.

Do not pile more negatives on yourself. Do not apologize for who you are and what you like.

Turn your negatives into positives and carry on being yourself and be bold in it. Stop saying sorry.

Who You Are

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I have never been a big fan of new “trendy” words used to describe things in therapy. Imposter syndrome, trigger, serial monogamy, etc. I prefer the less trendy childhood trauma, cause, relationship issues and questions to find the root of thoughts and behaviors.

Many people feel that their inability to be who they are started in their own minds and beliefs. In all the years I have been in mental health counseling, I have never, not even once, found that to be a true statement.

The thoughts and beliefs that people have about themselves started when someone else made them feel or think something negative about themselves through words, actions, or no words, and no actions. They were conditioned to believe these things about themselves.

This conditioning done at very early ages is then internalized and carried on into every aspect of life that follows.

The words of negativity become ingrained in the mind and then in the belief and then in the behavior. People live out what others have caused them to feel and believe.

Even if they go through life having success, being smart, looking amazing, they still feel that they are not that person but the one with all the voices in their head who can’t be successful, who isn’t smart enough to do big things, who never looks good enough. And the lies, if unprocessed, are always far louder than the truth.

So what is the truth? Who are you? It can be very difficult to find that person as many times you never met them. The childhood trauma started so early, it is the only person you know.

Who do you want to be? If you could be anything, do anything, think anything who would that person be?

If you examine the truths in your life you can find out more about who you truly are. What are your successes? When have you been smart? When have you done big things? When do you look amazing? What have you overcome? What have other people noticed about you that you continually fail to see or believe?

It is not going to be easy to dig that person out of the lies. And once again, there is only one way on the path to truth. Repetition and reinforcement. Constantly repeating the positive, the true, the things you want to be, and reinforcing them in words, writing, thoughts, actions. And doing this again, and again, and again for as long as it takes to replace the lies that currently reside in your head.

The path also includes a side quest, acknowledgement. Recognizing and addressing where these lies started. How old were you, who said them, in what ways were they reinforced in your mind by others and by yourself. Acknowledging that YOU did not start these lies. They are not yours. And you do not have to keep living them.

Who are you…..let go of fear and find out.

Until next time be well,

Deborah