By Soumya Kulkarni, IATG ContributorFebruary 29, 2016
image via collegecandy.com
The word “apology” comes from the Greek root apologos, which means “a story.” Greek philosophers, Plato, Isocrates, and Aristotle, considered the “apology” a genre of literature by which one could defend themselves and regain the acceptance of others- in fact, it was in no way considered an admission of guilt.
As years passed, the meaning of the word has changed, resulting in the fully contrary meaning it holds now. Recently, I've found this “apology” crossing my lips much more often.
The word “sorry” feels tainted, like a shiny copper penny in my mouth. Who am I apologizing to and what for? I find myself throwing up the word in all sorts of situations and offering it as wrapping paper for my excuses- and I am ashamed.
I've begun to notice how often I apologize when I’m complimented or when I’m offering up a suggestion. I’ve also noticed that I am not the only one. “Sorrys” flow incessantly from our speech; they have flooded our verbal markets, and, as any good economist will tell you, rapidly increasing supply results in inflation. The value of an apology has become so nominal, it’s nearly worthless.
Within the IATG community, the Senior Editor of the blog, Ms. Sheila Moeschen, once kindly told me in an email to not say sorry after I had apologized in a previous email for asking a question. Now that I'm starting to see how often I apologize for asking questions, I’m able to comprehend the full wisdom of her words.
I will never be able to walk through life if I am constantly apologizing for who I am- I am curious, and I fuel my curiosity with many, many questions. I am also bold, loud, and sometimes a little immature.
And if people won't accept me for being who I am, it’s none of my business to apologize to them.
Over-apologizing has two pitfalls- not only do I diminish my own self-worth, but when the time comes for me to actually take responsibility for my mistakes, I may find that I have no words left to say “I'm sorry.”
Do you find yourself over-apologizing for who you are? How can you work to embrace who you are instead? Put yourself on a one week “sorry” diet and apologize ONLY when truly necessary. Share your discoveries here, with friends, or on safe online spaces.
Soumya is a high schooler from the Midwest. In addition to writing, she loves chess, reading good books, chocolate, tea, new cities, and Harry Potter. She hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams as she embarks on her own journeys. Find her at her personal blog, ifturquoisecouldtalk.blogspot.com or tweet her @soumkulkarni.
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