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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

Real Talk: Stop Saying Sorry

Something that I think an awful lot of us can be guilty of is saying 'sorry' when we really don't need to. I'm *that guy* who someone will say "stop apologising!" to and I will always, unintentionally answer with "I'm sorry!" to only be met either an angry defeated sigh or a clip around the back of the head. It's something I've always done and as I've gotten older, I've gotten better at not doing it in certain situations and worse in others. I don't know if it's tied to my anxiety, my low confidence, or just the fact that I don't like confrontation, but either way it's always been apparent and an unfortunate trait of mine. But now sitting here at 26, I've realised there's many things I apologise for which don't need to have a "I'm sorry" anywhere in sight. I'm talking about the things that make me *me* that others don't like, would prefer to change, or just outright like to disappear. So to those folks and those things I feel the need to apologise for, I'm giving you a big ol' middle finger and here's why:

"I'm no longer sorry for not drinking alcohol."
I'm not going to start all guns blazing, but something that I always apologise for (and I'm still doing at the moment I've sat down to write this) is not wanting to drink alcohol. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to sit here and say I'm T-total as I'm partial to the odd alcoholic ginger beer when it's sunny outside however I just don't like alcohol. I used to go out quite regularly when I was younger and in my early twenties and whilst I'll get nostalgic about the memories of those hilarious nights out, I just didn't enjoy the drinking part. Generally, I'm a good drunk and just act exactly the same but sillier, but sometimes it has played havoc with my mental health and in turn made me ill for days. I just don't even enjoy the taste of almost all alcoholic beverages but people can't seem to deal with that. "Don't be such a bore" should be printed on a tee for me to wear where I decline an invite out for a night on the toon - I just don't want it. I still will occasionally go out for an afternoon of cocktails with my best pal, but drinking til you're blind drunk? It's a no from me and guess what? That doesn't make me boring in the slightest.

"I'm no longer sorry for being an introvert."
Which leads me onto possibly one of my biggest peeves about myself due to the reaction of others - I am not sorry for liking to stay in in my PJs reading with a cuppa instead of going out to a loud bar, a crowded shopping centre etc etc etc. I've talked about why it's okay to prefer this kind of lifestyle before, but it's honestly something I've had to convince myself is okay to do. It's encouraging to see that more and more young people especially seem to be comfortable with identifying as a bit of a homebody and it doesn't seem to have as much stigma attached to it any more however, it is still a big hurdle for many.
"You're so boring!"
"Don't be so anti-social"
"You need to get out more"

All these phrases are thrown around and so many times in the past I have ended up giving in and doing what others want me to do but do you know what? I'm not boring - I get to do what I enjoy whether that's reading, painting, blogging, going out for walks, visiting a museum etc. - it's all on my terms. And you know what? I'm 110% anti-social and I don't give a damn. I really enjoy my own company. I like the company of small groups of people I really love and like. I don't want to go out and meet 20+ of your mates and pretend I'm having a good time. I don't need to get out more because actually? I feel pretty fulfilled and content yet happy to switch things up and continue to grow which to me is the balance everyone strives towards so yeah - no more apologies here!

"I am no longer sorry for having a small friendship group."
I guess this one is linked to what I spoke about above, but I'm really not sorry for enjoying my own company and only that of a handful of individuals. I've even had close friends in the past feel almost pity for me because I relish in this social style, but I no longer feel bad about it. There's lots of people who love surrounding themselves with lots of people and there's also people who like to be with me myself and I and of course, plent of folks in between. I like trusting only a handful of people and I'll be honest - I'm a bit of a sucky friend as I don't constantly check in to see how my friends are, what they're up to etc. so having only a few friends I actively want to keep track of because I care about them makes me happy.

Images courtesy of Grime & Glamour Photography

"I am no longer sorry for my interests."
Although this is something I've never necessarily apologised for, I have sometimes played down my interest in certain things in order to fit in with the people I'm speaking to or to avoid confrontation/mocking. This is something I do less now and I think a lot of it is to do with getting older and becoming more comfortable with who I am and my personality, but it's also because I'm really not sorry for what gives me joy.

"I am no longer sorry for changing."
How many times have you apologised for not liking something anymore? For not being interested in a person anymore? For changing your opinion on a particular political argument? We all change and grow as people and very few of us like the exact same things we did when we were 16 as we do when we're 26. It's just a natural process as incidents in our lives change us and that could be big events, people we meet, or just something small and personal that is extremely unique to each individual. As I mentioned earlier, I no longer want to go out dancing til 4am after 1O+ drinks and would rather be in bed by 1Opm with a good skincare routine. It's something we all go through and we all change at different rates so we need to accept that other people - especially those closest to us - might point out these changes and we need to address them. But address them in a positive way. If the change is benefiting you; if it's making you a better *more you* you then "sorry" shouldn't be anywhere in sight.

"I am no longer sorry for asking silly questions and voicing my opinions."
The last thing I want to mention is the fact that I no longer apologise for asking things and educating myself. I'm a firm believer that people should be able to speak their minds and it is the duty of all of us to accept and tolerate that and if that opinion is something we don't personally agree with? Challenge it. Ask the individual why they think or feel that way. Ask what brought them to that particular conclusion. Something I see an awful lot of on Twitter especially is people saying down right silly shit like "If you believe *insert thing I don't personally agree with* unfollow me right now!" and you know what? Those of you who do that are foolish. You are! If someone believes the complete opposite to you or says something that offends you, explain to them why it is offensive. Explain why in your eyes it isn't a solid argument. Do that in case that person didn't have all the information and therefore their opinion may be formed on lies or skewed truths. The opinion could be held on the foundation of naivety. You can actually help others and also yourself by being open and honest about what knowledge you are lacking. Whilst some sillies might be dismissing people based on the surface of their opposing views on the likes of Twitter, there are also young people asking about advice on matters such as the current election in the UK in equal measure. And that, that is worth so many pats on the back for those unapologetically curious folk.

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