Sorry not sorry.
How often do you apologize for things you’re really not sorry for, but your apology is acting as don’t-be-mad-at-me-insurance?
When we’re caught up in not-enoughitis, we can be at risk for over-apologizing. We are terrified of people being mad at us, not approving of our work, not liking how we did something, or didn’t do it, and the list goes on.
Perhaps you’re asked to bring something to a holiday party, but forgot, and threw something together at the last minute. You arrive, and before the host can even acknowledge it, “Oh I’m so sorry the cupcakes are kind of small/my cake is lopsided/I only brought enough for 25….”
We don’t want to be judged, and therefore apologize before the receiver can say anything.
But hold on a sec. Why are you assuming the receiver won’t like your offering? You are jumping to the conclusion, or making up a story that your stuff isn’t good enough, and then apologize for it. You are participating in a one-person show and you know how the story ends. Have you considered alternatives to your not-enoughitis narrative?
- Maybe she sucks at baking and is so appreciative that you took that off of her hands.
- Perhaps she didn’t even notice the imperfections that were glaring at you.
- Maybe no one else even offered to bring anything, and she’s so appreciative of your generosity.
By apologizing, you’re actually calling attention to the idea that there could be something wrong with your dessert. Then it puts the receiver in a position to brush it off, dismiss it, or shower you with praise that you’ll internally rebuff anyway.
Ok, but wait. You’re wondering, what if, no really, what if my plate of cookies is actually horrible? What if my crooked cake is the laughing stock of the party? Sometimes that does happen Anya. Ok, I’ll bite. If you’re offering is mistaken for compost instead of dessert, will you die? Will others’ teasing really kill you? Can you laugh at yourself?
Most likely, people will chime in and share their worst cooking/baking mistakes. Once I put olive oil into a cake instead of vegetable oil, and OMG. Another time, my sister and I put actual cloves into chili because we didn’t read the words that continued on the next line: cloves… of GARLIC. It’s funny. It’s endearing. It’s possibly embarrassing, but not shaming.
So here’s your permission to STOP APOLOGIZING. Permission to stop jumping to the conclusion that other people are judging you and thinking your thing isn’t good enough. If it’s not, they can tell you. They can ask you to do something differently next time. Hey, next time bring a bottle of wine or three. What if they don’t tell me though?? That’s their problem, not yours. Truly.