Women say sorry all the time — for the small things and the really big things. As women, we tend to be concerned about the emotional impact of what we say and the choices we make. Our instinct is to want to smooth things over. Far from being a problem, this is actually a great quality in almost any social situation and the first thing we need to stop saying sorry for is for saying sorry – if that’s what feels right and natural! A confident woman may feel free to say she is sorry if she really is.

Conflict often arises when women feel the need to say sorry for things for which they don’t really WANT to apologize. Meet Susan, a confident woman, who refuses to say sorry for putting her own needs first.

Standing up for what is right for her

Susan is married to Jake. Jake would like to move to a suburb that is much further for her commute. What is right for Susan’s husband may not be right for her. Susan explains the reasons she isn’t interested in that location and how it would worsen her quality of life. She is able to communicate her needs and preferences and does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY because her husband isn’t getting his way.

Asking for help

Susan, like many wives, ends up managing the household and her career and the children. It doesn’t seem to stress her out as much as her husband Jake. She is able to plan meals, stay in touch with friends and family and pay bills on time and so on – a lot has to do with her ability to multi-task, plan and pay attention to detail. When she asks for help from her husband, such as taking out the trash at a certain time, she does not feel guilt for interrupting him. Women do it all without flinching and yet apologize when they are overwhelmed! Even Batman needs Robin. At work, if she reminded her peer of a deadline, she would be considered a great team player. At home, if she reminds her husband to take out the trash, she may be ignored or criticized for being a nag. Not only does Susan not need to take on everything alone; if she does, she certainly does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY if she needs help!

Being ambitious

Women often make career compromises for the sake of the family.  Susan decides she is in a really good place at home and at work. She and Jake have one child just getting past the hectic toddler stage and about to start a steady school schedule. She is ready and excited to get back to building her career with her extra time. While she and Jake have decided to not have a second child, their mothers are up in arms. They were both looking forward to a second grandchild. She starts to feel the anxiety build but then talks to her coach and is reminded that she gets to make the decisions that are right for her. Susan does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY for not wanting a second child and putting her ambitions first!

Expressing emotions 

Whether having a difficult conversation, getting pushback from a team member and being frustrated at work, Susan inevitably tears up in response. Susan is a kind, successful and emotional woman. The same emotionality allows her to be sensitive to her coworkers, empathetic with her team and intuitive in various social situations. Susan does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY because her co-workers are uncomfortable with her vulnerability.

Prioritizing life balance and wellness

Susan has recently been experiencing exhaustion and poor health. To the dismay of her boss, she starts going to the gym during lunch hour (and actually taking the full lunch break after all these years!) or leaving earlier in the evening to work out. Creating life balance is extremely important to improve quality of life, spend time with family and take care of yourself. Her boss may not be pleased but she does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY for prioritizing her wellness.

Starting over 

Susan ultimately decides her job isn’t fulfilling and discovers her real passion. Unfortunately, it rocks the home financial stability. Jake has a lot of questions, mainly about her experience as an entrepreneur and the repercussions and impact on the family. Being detail-oriented and with high emotional intelligence, she is prepared for this discussion and explains her plan. Susan understands she needs Jake to be on her side to move forward and make her new dream a reality, and she too is concerned about the inconveniences to the family. Susan must be responsible, but she certainly does NOT NEED TO SAY SORRY for having the courage to start over.

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