It’s not as if Lena Dunham is the first person to point out that women have a problem with apologizing too much (“I am a woman who is sometimes right, sometimes wrong but somehow always sorry.”), but she is the most recent person to bring it up and push it back into my mind. Every time I hear it, I start noting how often I say “sorry” in conversation. Not changing anything; just noting it.
I tried searching my email account for the term “sorry,” and thousands of emails popped up, though the apologies were sometimes real and sometimes not mine. It was easier to do a search on my blog for the term because it only brought up my own posts. 215. I didn’t look at all 215 cases, but I did notice in the handful that I looked at that I often apologize for my opinion. Sorry that I feel this way on my own blog. So 216 cases in about 3,200.
It’s interesting; it’s something I notice a lot in other women, but miss that I’m doing it, too. I know I am because when I read articles about it, it feels very familiar, like slipping on a well-worn hoodie. I’m an apologizer; it’s how I pave my way through life. I apologize for not understanding and needing to ask follow up questions. I apologize for interruptions. I apologize for asking anything of anyone. And I apologize for stating how I view the world.
Unlike Lena Dunham, I’m not going to say that I’ll stop doing it because writing those words would necessitate another apology when I inevitably fail. Because I know myself. I mean, could I if I dedicated my entire being to the endeavour? Probably. But it’s not worth the energy expended.
Still, it’s an interesting exercise. Go to your blog dashboard. Do a search for the words “I’m sorry.” Record how many times you’ve written that on your blog and note your total number of posts. It’s eye-opening.