Many targets of bullying, sadly, get tricked and programmed into thinking they should apologize for everything- for things they need not be sorry for. Understand that these needless apologies are a survival mechanism. Targets over apologize in hope that the bullies will be appeased and back off from harming them. I completely understand and will never fault them for that. They’re doing what they feel they must do to protect themselves.
However, their apologies, in most cases, don’t work and can make the bullying worse. And if these targets aren’t careful, they can unwittingly allow themselves to be programmed to over apologize even after the bullying threat has passed, which will only make them targets of future bullies.
What happens is that when we’re bullied, abused, and made to apologize for so long, we develop new neural pathways that rewire us to become subservient. And the lines between what we should and shouldn’t apologize for become blurred.
So, what are the things you should never apologize for?
1.Your very existence. You have just as much a right to be here as the next person. Never ever apologize for being in this world. Remember that The Lord put you here for a great purpose. You have your space to fill, and you have every right to carve it out.
2. Setting boundaries. As human beings, we all have unalienable rights endowed by God. One of which is to stand up for those rights. If someone is violating you in any way, you must set boundaries. You must call them out and make it absolutely clear to them that what they’re doing is wrong. Never be sorry for that.
3. Defending yourself and your loved ones. Again, you must set boundaries. If someone is harming you and your loved ones, you have every right to defend yourself and them. A while back, media outlets were implying that if people of European descent defended themselves against home invasions, robberies, physical harm, and murder; it was wrong because they considered it “white privilege.”
Ahem! No! What it is, is human survival and self-preservation. Everyone has a right to protect themselves from harm, no matter their race or skin color! And you should never feel guilty for defending your right not to be harmed. Never! You have a God-given right to save your own life! God gave you a brain. Use it!
4. Walking away from drama. Bullies, abusers, gossips, backstabbers, and troublemakers are people who bring us unnecessary drama and life’s too short for it. Anyone who brings you drama doesn’t deserve to be around you. You have every right to get up and walk away. Never allow anyone to make you feel guilty for that.
5. Your successes and accomplishments. When you’ve worked hard and achieved your success, you have a right to those rewards. You have a right to enjoy and celebrate the fruits of your labor. Many times, jealous, insecure, and resentful people will attempt to make you feel guilty for being successful. Don’t fall for that garbage! Don’t be arrogant, but be pleased about your success, whatever it may be. You have that right.
6. Being who you are. You are beautifully and wonderfully unique. There is no one else in this world like you nor will there ever be. Understand that the original is worth so much more than a copy. Don’t be peer-pressured into cheapening yourself by becoming just another copy. Let no one make you feel guilty for being who you are- an original!
7. Your happiness. Happiness comes from within. You, as much as anyone else, deserve your joy. If you’ve done the inner work and found purpose in your life, let no one demand that you apologize for it.
8. Your lifestyle. Unless you’re a criminal and your lifestyle is about causing others pain, never apologize for the way you live. Ways of living that are unapologetic include well-earned affluence, poverty that you can do nothing about, being a single parent, etcetera, etcetera. When it comes to these things, people really need to mind their own business and you have a right to tell them just that if they have the audacity to judge your lifestyle.
To protect your self-esteem and confidence from bullies, abusers- anyone who many violate you, you must be clear on what needs an apology and what doesn’t. With this knowledge, we have a powerful weapon with which to preserve our self-esteem and, thus, our very lives.
With knowledge comes empowerment!