There is certainly a time and place for asking for forgiveness, and women can show strength by being humble when needed.
Asking for forgiveness when we make a mistake is a positive character trait, whereas over-apologizing can be seen as a sign of weakness.
“I’m sorry” can roll off of the tongue so easily that it can leave you wondering if you did anything that was really worth apologizing for. When an apology is called for, a strong woman does the right thing, but there are at least 8 things that she should never feel that she has to apologize for.
1. MAKING CHOICES AGAINST CONVENTION
Even women who consider themselves liberated from social conventions feel that they will be judged for going against the expectations that others have for women, even though that expectation has changed over time.
Choosing to focus on her career, choosing not to have a career, choosing to not get married, choosing to have a traditional family; women make choices that are right for them and they should never apologize for that.
2. PUTTING HERSELF FIRST
A strong woman knows that she can’t be her best for others unless she is already at her best. By taking care of her own needs before helping her family, boss or community, she is able to do more for them.
But first she has to be healthy, financially secure, and mentally strong. Strong women don’t apologize for prioritizing their to do list with taking care of her own needs.
3. MAKING PLANS WITHOUT DEFERRING TO ANYONE
In the 1970’s a study found that prior to learning about women’s liberation, women felt the need to defer to men when making a decision. The need to ask permission of the men in their lives left them feeling resentment and anger.
Today, a strong woman knows that she is her own boss. She can make her own decisions about her future financial security, career, education, family or health. She doesn’t need to ask permission from anyone.
4. BEING COMFORTABLE WITH SEX
Consensual sex is healthy and natural to both men and women, but it’s only women who feel like we should hide the fact that we both have, and enjoy sex just as much as men do. A strong woman knows that she has control over her physical enjoyment and has a choice of whether or not to have a partner.
A strong woman rejects the negative labels that have been given to women who have sex frequently or outside of marriage. What she does with her body and with whomever she wants to is none of your business.
5. SPEAKING HER MIND
Words have power and a strong woman uses them to her advantage to communicate effectively. Strong women should never apologize for using language to express themselves; even if that includes swearing, raising her voice or saying unpopular things.
6. SAYING NO
‘No’ is a powerful word, and strong women will not apologize for using it liberally. A strong woman will decline to overextend herself so that she has more energy to devote to people and activities who are a priority.
Although it can be tempting to apologize for skipping your party, a strong woman knows that she’s not doing anything that needs your forgiveness. If you are upset that she can’t attend your event, that’s a negative emotion that you put on yourself, not something that a she has caused you to feel. Apologizing for someone else’s negative emotions is not what a strong woman will do.
7. HAVING STRONG OPINIONS
A strong woman will not apologize for having and expressing her own unique thoughts, even if they are different from yours. She also has no need to apologize for holding seemingly conflicting beliefs. For example when she expects a gentleman to hold the door for her, while still expecting him to treat her as his equal.
Strong women are aware of the convention of devaluing traditional female roles and segregating gender in the workplace and they do not apologize for expressing their dissatisfaction with this. Strong women will not apologize for expecting equal pay for equal work, equal treatment by the law and evolving gender roles.
8. EXPECTING MORE
A strong woman has a list of accomplishments that she wants for herself but she also knows that she is capable of much more. She not only expects herself to achieve, she expects the same of others. A strong woman knows what she wants to change and how to achieve it.
A study in Psychology of Women Quarterly found that when it comes to breaking gender barriers, women’s own expectations for their success were important to their sense of achievement. Since gender discrimination still exists in the workplace, women bear a psychological and economic burden that men do not.