However, ever since I started reading blogs, one pattern has become evident. It seems that for every blogger posting an outfit or thoughts regarding summer trends, there's another apologizing for not posting more, not having "better" photos, not wearing a blog-worthy outfit (what does that even mean?), not writing enough, not writing like 'X" blogger does, not participating in a challenge, or for some other reason they feel they are inadequate. I myself have been guilty of this. It makes me wonder - why do we feel the need to apologize?
If you're like many women, saying "I'm sorry" has become a habit, something you murmur before asking a stranger the time or telling the cashier they've given you the wrong change. Experts observe that women apologize more often than men and for a wider variety of reasons. The fear of conflict is a big reason why many women over-apologize. “Women are hard-wired to focus on cooperation and community, versus competition and confrontation, the way men are,” says Beverly Engel, author of The Power of Apology. And according to Dr. Susan Gaddis, of communicationsdoctor.com, "Women say, ‘I'm sorry’ much more than men because of our nurturing nature and our desire to make everyone happy.”
There's nothing wrong with apologizing in and of itself. Taking responsibility for our impact on others; acknowledging our own mistakes and shortcomings; and restoring connections and trust with those we've wronged (which is what authentic apologizing is all about) are essential qualities of mature relationships and living a fulfilled life.
However, the problem becomes when we start apologizing for who we are. When we're telling our readers that we're sorry for not posting more, or not dressing more blog-worthy, or not participating in a challenge, we're communicating that we're not good enough, and our blogs are not good enough. We're putting ourselves in a position to be judged. We're essentially saying, "I'm bad; it's my fault; don't hate me; don't leave me." I hypothesize that so many bloggers over-apologize because they're afraid of losing followers. In their eyes, losing a follower means they've failed. And who wants to be a failure?
There's nothing wrong with explaining to readers why you skipped a few days of blogging, or why you chose not to do a challenge, or why you're dressed more casually than you normally do. But unwarranted over-apologizing positions us as subservient and hurts us. It can make us feel indebted to our readers and less powerful over what and how often we post. In addition, over-apologizing to your readers immediately puts their happiness at a higher level than yours. It creates a divide: the needs of your readers are 'right', and your own needs are 'wrong.' This leads you to you to feel remorseful for your perceived "inadequacies." The quality of our life depends directly on the choices we make and how we act upon them. Part of the process of building healthy self-esteem comes from making your needs a priority and not being apologetic about them.
When I started blogging, I didn't do so to attract a million readers (though I am THRILLED that you all are here.) I don't blog to be competitive, and I don't blog out of a feeling of obligation. I blog because I want to. This blog is, ultimately, for me - a place to write about topics that interest me, share my thoughts with the world, be part of a community of people with similar ideas, and have fun. It's my space, and it's up to me to set the rules. If I want to post every day, I do. But if I miss a day, so be it. I recognize that my real-life activities and relationships are far more important, and there's no reason for me to apologize for it. None of us should feel we must say sorry to our readers for having a life outside our blogs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a day, or week, or month off. And, in that vein, there's nothing wrong with not participating in a challenge, or not having regular features, or not constantly updating your layout. It's your blog - do what you want, when you want. Ultimately, your blog exists to make you happy. And that's what matters the most.
And now I ask you: Have you ever felt a need to apologize to your readers? Do you believe bloggers over-apologize out of a fear of losing followers, or is there something deeper going on? Have you ever struggled with apologizing too much? Do you believe you owe your readers an apology when you miss a day of blogging, or aren't participating in a challenge?
|Thrifted vintage silk blouse; thrifted Armani skirt; thrifted vintage Coach satchel; Target belt; MIA clogs; Dolly Python leather cuff; World Market Catholic saints bracelet; Forever 21 pendant|