#95: It is Ok to be Unapologetically You.
We are often sorry. How helpful is it to be apologetic?
Kathryn Chapman, a fabulous photographer whom I admire for her powerful and impactful work, once wrote in one of her posts:
«Be unashamedly authentic, unapologetically you.»
This is so true. I believe in this wholeheartedly. It’s hard, though, isn’t it?
An apology automatically comes with regret. If I didn’t have any regrets, didn’t feel bad about something I did or said, I wouldn’t apologize. In other words, you wouldn’t say «I am sorry».
We should all be proud of who we are. Being ourselves is therefore nothing to be ashamed of. What if it comes at the cost of someone else? Your behavior or one of your statements has always the potential to actually hurt someone.
Let’s consider that scenario for a moment. Does it warrant an apology? You might not have done it intentionally. It just happened. That is how you often behave. Or you would have used an expression that isn’t really offensive, definitely not according to your own standards. There are two ways this can go.
You decide not to apologize because you don’t see an error on your part and don’t feel any regret for what you did or said. Hence, you are unapologetic.
Alternatively, you realize what the clash has lead to and decide to say «I am sorry», although you do struggle to see any error and wouldn’t want to take back anything you said. However, you value the relationship and don’t want to damage it. So you do apologize.
Does that mean you can no longer be unapologetically you?
I don’t think that is what it means. Whichever way it goes, I am a strong believer in separating the individual from the relationship. There is nothing wrong with being «unapologetically you» while «apologizing for hurting someone you love» for something you said or did, which is not to be confused with “who you are and what you stand for”.
Here we go.
I am sorry.
I will always support and help you. You know it.
We can do better than that, can we not?