“I’m so sorry. I’m just emotional/hormonal/worked up/insert unreasonable display of emotion here.” I have a monthly dinner party for women in my community. We eat, laugh, cry, brag and share — with one rule: no apologizing. Unless one of us intentionally hurts someone (not possible with these beautiful, fierce, loving women) no one is allowed to say, “I’m sorry”
Maybe it’s because we have been told that our emotions are too much. Maybe it’s because we don’t know how to unapologetically take up space. Maybe it’s because we don’t know how to show emotion without blaming it on someone else.
But women say ‘sorry’ a lot, and I’m out to change that. I want to move women empowerment forward by making women understand that it’s ok to express their emotions.
Before you roll your eyes, take stock. How many times a day do you apologize? How many times do you dismiss emotion?
There is nothing more beautiful, graceful, and confusing than a woman showing, and owning her emotions and feelings. Whether that be excitement, tears, anger, or frustration. It’s beautiful. And so often we condition ourselves, our daughters, and our friends that being emotional is not acceptable.
Instead, how should we be? Overthinking, over-calculating, manipulating, and controlled? These are all masculine traits.
And while masculine energy is enigmatic and entrancing and has a place in getting things done, for most women masculine energy is how we think we should be.
I know a woman I’ll call Christine. She’s gorgeous, funny, passionate, and has, like most of us been through a lot. She’s built a six-figure business around spirituality and is crushing it.
And yet, when she cries her whole face contorts as she tried to hold it in. Past domestic abuse trauma, growing up around boys, and thinking that there’s some way that she needs to be as a businesswoman, she says sorry for crying.
“No apologizing,” I remind her.
And her face contorts. She looks angry. Her whole body tenses as she tries (unsuccessfully) to not cry again. Still, this woman is an inspiration. Then, sometimes, the most wounded bird is the one who can make the biggest difference.
“What do you need right now?” I ask.
As you learn about me, it’s a question I ask a lot of people until they remember to ask themselves.
“Space,” she says, and her face starts to soften.
“What does that mean to you?” I ask.
“I need to lean back. I need to pray more. I need to laugh more. I need to window shop with no destination,” she replies.
By the end of the next week, she has done all of those things. And here’s what happened in her life as she continued doing them over time:
- She and her husband started talking to each other more
- She learned how to make requests without automatically starting a fight
- She learned to schedule time for herself in the morning, in the afternoon and again before going to bed
- She softened emotionally
- She lost 30 pounds
- She nearly doubled her business within approximately six months
This week, make a commitment to yourself that you’ll stop and take moment to notice how many times you apologize unnecessarily. Don’t try to change anything you’re doing. Just take notice.
Then, deep down in that heart of yours, ask yourself what is that you really need — and make it happen.