On Being Sorry

I apologize if this opinion piece offends you. Wait, no I don't. I have a right to have opinions, and people have a right to disagree with them, so why do I always apologize for expressing myself? Often at work I know something relevant and do not share with my boss for fear she will disagree, or when I correct her, I apologize. Why? Why should I apologize for having expertise and wanting to help the situation? Do I really need to apologize for being right or having a different but equally important opinion?

I apologize in arguments all the time to make them end, especially in relationships I care about most. Even when I know I am right or giving in, I'll just apologize to make the conflict go away.

I never considered the implications of my over-apologizes until I talked with my slightly older project manager. When you are apologizing, you are admitting a level of guilt. Why do I- and some other women in work- admit guilt in situations just to spare people's emotions? My coworker and I had an insightful dialogue about it, and in the end I realized I need to stop apologizing.

I have opinions and thoughts and do not need to be sorry about it. Just because I am young does not mean my authority in my field is not adequate. Even when I am wrong, I shouldn't have to feel bad about it because people are wrong all the time. As long as I can balance between enforcing my authority and considering people's feelings, I should be able to make a contribution without apologies.

So go out there and have creative differences and work to the best possible outcome in a respectfully unapologetic fashion.