I fought the urge to say sorry today and won.
It was difficult but when you consider the amount of times women say sorry for no reason, it’s ridiculous. We say sorry when we talk too much. Sorry when we tell someone to do their job. Sorry when we don’t make sense.
I’m not talking about saying sorry for bumping into someone or saying sorry for making a mistake, I mean apologizing for getting the job done before someone else or for “sounding confusing”. These aren’t valid reasons to say the word “sorry”.
You don’t have to make yourself small to gain respect, especially in the workplace. I model my career ambitions after my mother’s. She may have her flaws but if there’s one thing I respect about my mother it is her work manner. She is a boss. Both literally speaking and Beyoncé-speaking. In “Who Run the World” Beyoncé croons “strong enough to bare the children, then get back to business.” That describes my mother to a T. She’s the woman who will enter into any new work environment and kill it. She can command a diverse room of both male and female employees without hesitation. She can tell you what you aren’t doing right and what you’re doing well in the same sentence. She can effectively and efficiently follow protocol without skipping a beat, all while looking fabulous. And one thing my mother does not tolerate is disrespect, neither in the home nor the workplace. So whenever I make a decision I consider what would she do in this moment, what would she think of me? She wouldn’t bend over backwards that’s for damn sure.
Resisting the urge to apologize was one of the hardest thing I had ever done (I actually sat here and retyped an email several times before sending it out). I was so afraid of not being considered polite that I didn’t care if someone was falsely accusing me of incompetency. When I weighed the situation against itself I decided that having my work ethic come into question for no reason was more important than apologizing. In the end the recipient was pleased with my response and I even got some congrats, too.