Thursday, 5 April 2018

Screw saying sorry (for living the life YOU want to live)


How many times have you felt the need to apologise for a lifestyle choice? 

Saying sorry profusely for being "boring" because a work colleague or a stranger or an acquaintance is judging you for not living up to a certain expectation? I know I've probably uttered about 12345678 vague apologies in the past just to cast off judgement, a certain expectation I've failed to live up to or a "how boring are you" type of label. In past office jobs I always felt fearful on a Friday as the inevitable "so, what are you doing this weekend?' burning question would be thrown at me. I used to worry, to desperately try and make my plans sound more interesting and exciting than the reality. I felt like a failure because often it sounded as though I wasn't doing much at all. In actual fact I was, but my plans never seemed to quite cut it. 

If Graham was working the weekend then I'd be at home writing my book, driving to Starbucks, reading in the garden and in all honesty? That was about it. This is what I still sometimes get up to on a quiet weekend. I'd feel humiliated, embarrassed and ashamed of my weekend plans, just because other people felt they weren't "cool" enough or "exciting" enough. The worst part? I really felt like a let-down. 


 
I've never been drunk, smoked a cigarette or done drugs in my 28 years. There is no particular reason for this, other than the fact that I've just never really wanted to do any of those things. End of. It doesn't make me superior or inferior to anybody who has done the aforementioned. But it does mean I shouldn't have to apologise or feel like a let-down for not having done so. I've always felt the need to make an excuse, an apology or conjure up some magical reason for being such a disappointment to society. Not very often does it crop up in conversation that I've never been drunk, but, when it has done, people have been shocked by the admission. Shocked in a way that I might as well have announced I'm Britain's biggest mass murderer, or am planning a global bank robbery or something just as ludicrous. Some people have even seemed upset, disapproving or disappointed. Which is ridiculous, right?


 
What does it matter what choose to do? Why does it affect them so much? And worse still, why the judgement and disapproval? 

Upon returning to work after a long bank holiday weekend once a colleague had asked me what I'd gotten up to. "Well, Graham and I went to Leeds Castle, to the cinema, that kind of thing." I'd said, quite happily. "Don't you ever do anything?!" She'd retorted in a critical tone. "Yes... we do! We go to the cinema, out and about...' I'd attempted a feeble reply but she'd looked unconvinced. "No, I mean don't you ever go "out? Properly?"" I'm guessing she thought I was some kind of failure for not getting smashed, partying the weekend away and doing whatever else she thought a twenty-something girl should do. I went off to lunch feeling a bit upset, a bit judged. Were we boring? Did we lead mundane lives? Why had her crappy comment affected me so much when five minutes earlier I'd felt more than happy with how we'd spent our weekend? Now I think I would've politely told her to f*ck right off. 

It's funny how you get to that age where you stop feeling like the pathetic person for being judged and start seeing that, in actual fact, the only pathetic person is the one aiming judgement at you

Now I'm nearing the end of my twenties, you start hearing horror stories about the other end of the spectrum. Not: do you? - do you drink? Do you go clubbing? - but: are you? Are you getting married? Having kids? - Fortunately I haven't come across to many people trying to pin point me into marriage and kids and mortgage. My mum made me laugh, though. "You are going to be 28 soon! Don't you want to get married?" Like 28 is some kind of curse and if you haven't tied the knot then all hell will hail. I explained to her, quite simply, that marriage shouldn't be about to happen just because someone is turning 28. It should happen because the time is right and two people decide the time is right for them. I've had it a little bit, the odd person asking personal things and honestly? It's really no one else's business what choice a couple makes. Please stop putting us on the spot, asking probing questions and generally being nosy. Live and let live and if someone isn't making a lifestyle choice that you approve of, then do everyone a favour and just keep quiet. Can we say it louder? LIVE AND LET LIVE!!!




In the past I've often felt the need to apologise for not drinking, partying, etc. 

I've always said things like..... 

"I know, I'm so boring!"
"I'm such an old woman!"
"I'm just really dull, sorry!"
"I'm a lightweight, sorry!"
"Pathetic, isn't it?!"

Yes, it is pathetic. It's pathetic than anybody should be made to feel guilty for living the life they want to lead. Doing or not doing things they want or don't want to do. It's time to say SCREW SAYING SORRY. Why the f*ck should we feel guilty for what we decide to do with our own lives, in our own personal time? Number 1: it's nobody's business. Number 2: we have nothing to feel guilty about! Period.

Why people judge (and why you need to ignore them)
  • NARROW MINDED if they can't accept other people's choices, well... pretty sad!
  • NOTHING BETTER TO DO why else do they care so much about your plans?
  • A BIT PATHETIC, REALLY why else would they pass judgement? (Get a life). 
  • JEALOUSY/INSECURITY a theme here, but why else would they be so bitter? 

BE FIRM
Stick to your guns. Stay strong and feel no guilt for doing what you love/not doing what they want/whatever those dicks are making you feel judged about! 

DON'T SAY SORRY
Sometimes hard, but vital. Why the hell do you need to? 

STAND YOUR GROUND
You don't owe anyone an explanation. You don't need to feel guilty! 

BE HONEST
Change the subject, make it clear you don't want to talk about the situation further, if they're starting to unsettle you and you feel it's possible, tell them they're making you feel uncomfortable.

MAKE IT CLEAR IT'S UNACCEPTABLE FOR THEM TO JUDGE
If people are making you feel uncomfortable with their judgement, I think it's perfectly okay to call them out. Ask them why it matters what you get up to in your own time. Does it affect them? Explain that you're starting to feel uncomfortable. That you don't want to be criticised for your own choices. 


I hope this post helps anyone out there who needs it. I know I've been judged many a time for not living up to certain expectations but I have nothing to prove & neither do you. Screw saying sorry! Have you dealt with judgemental people? 



🙅

22 comments:

  1. Big old standing ovation to you for this post! xx

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  3. I love this post and as always completely relate to it! I just think everyone is different, if we were all the same it would be boring and just because our idea of living isn't getting smashed or high definitely doesn't make us any less of a person, dare I say if anything it makes us more of a person. Fabulous post as always xx

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  4. Bravo! I applaud you for this one. It is stupid that you would have to apologize for being healthy! People should be inspired by it instead of judging you for it. I find that especially on drinking part that there's often so much peer pressure. Why? It's not like people would nudge you to have mayonaise with your fries if you choose not to. It's silly people act like that. I think your post teaches us to not apologize for ourselves and loved reading it.

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  5. this is so true, you dont have to apologise for who you are.
    The Glossychic

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  6. Dear Sophie!

    I love what you have written, it is so true we apologize too much!

    I love your outfit and photos, you look so gorgeous and pretty!

    Have a good day! x Eva

    NICOVABEAUTY

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  7. You have no idea how much I can realate with this blog post! I was called boring recently because I don't speed when I drive and because I'm trying to be sensible and save money? People are so judgmental just because they think they are less boring. I literally feel like a grandma now, I cant be bothered half to the time to go out on a night out anymore haha, I just need a boyfriend to spend my nights in with. Seems like you do what I think is actually enjoyable, and defo not boring. x

    LAURA ­| Laura Thinks About

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  8. Yes totally get this! I always find myself apologising for not wanting to go out or drink. We should be allowed to live our lives without judgement, but there will always be one person! Your posts are always so inspiring and relatable Sophie!

    Anna xx
    http://www.madeupstyle.com

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  9. This is a brilliant post Sophie - and one I'm sure many people can relate to! I'm with you on having never been drunk before, simply because it doesn't appeal to me. I hate the idea of being out of control! I apologised a lot for that in the past when I'd be the first to leave parties, but you're right, as we get older, we gain a LOT of confidence in who we are and how we choose to live our lives :) Hope you have a fabulous week ahead gorgeous girl!!

    aglassofice.com x

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  10. You're not alone Sophie. I don't drink alcohol nor smoke and haven't done that in my 32 years of life before. Most of the time people think I must be boring because I don't do those, but I'm actually a fun person to be around. I don't go to work dos because I get judged because of the above. Anywhos no more apologizing. Thanks for sharing. You look very pretty.

    https://www.missymayification.co.uk

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  11. I love this post Sophie! I've never been drunk either (I'm 39!) and when I was younger I too used to feel the weight of other people's judgement and fear that I was missing out on something. Now, I realise the only thing that's pathetic is other people trying to force you to be exactly the same as them. I mean, why??!! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

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  12. Honestly, I don't think I've ever related more to a post. From making your plans seem more exciting to pretending you've done X, Y or Z, all because you feel like you need to become someone you're expected to be. Or at least, how you feel you're expected to be. This used to happen so much at work, but I'm making a conscious effort to be more honest, and not feel the need to apologise for who I am - because I guess that's what it is - which seems ridiculous typing that out! There's such a stigma around not doing something and therefore missing out, but that's just not the case. Why can't we just do our own thing without feeling guilty?
    I'm going to try so hard to not say sorry so often, it's become a reflex! Following your tips to the letter.

    As always, you look amazing <3

    //teandtwosugars.blogspot.com xx

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  13. I've also felt bad many times for not having such a busy weekend or not done anything at all. Imagine that I am over 31, I get constantly asked ''when will you 2 gonna have kids?''it's harder after 30's to have kids'' You should start getting married soon'' and so on. The truth is, that me and my boyfriend did got married but not invited anyone cause we didn't want to make it a big deal. All in all, I agree with what you say in your post and I hope for you as many relaxing weekends as possible :)

    https://mihabalan.com/2018/04/08/the-ultimate-backpack-for-everyday-travel-and-everything-in-between/

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  14. This hit me. I also don't smoke, drink, party, etc. Especially with my officemates now who do all of those during team outings. I used to feel bad and left out about not being able to join in those particular activities but I've now learned to stop saying sorry. I don't want to force myself to do things just to fit in. And people who matter would get that.

    xx, Richel V. | Richel Goes Places

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  15. I'm proud of you for sticking up for who you are and not changing for anyone! Nothing but respect for you - I relate to all you've said and I can completely understand! Keep on being who you are and doing the things you truly love! ♥ xxx

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  16. YES SOPHIE!!! I could not have said it better myself :)
    Narrow minded people will always judge, it is up to US to give them the polite finger and carry on with the life that makes us happy.
    From Ruth, Julie Kitchenside's devoted canvasser at CRUK!

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  17. Yet another great post Sophie! I always seem to relate to all your posts! I have come across many of these judgemental people and felt all the feelings you have felt. I think the majority of my social anxiety has come from worrying about meeting new people and them asking about my life and not feeling like I'd have anything interesting to tell them because I'd spent so much time avoiding situations because of my anxiety. Who wants to hear about the weekends I spend at home watching movies, baking and snuggling with my dogs? But if that's what makes me feel better, why shouldn't I? I can totally relate to the marriage, kids and mortgage thing too. I remember feeling really depressed when I turned 30, not having any of these things and feeling like I had wasted so much of my life. But then when I decided to stop caring and live the life I wanted to live I realised that these things would come when I was ready. Now I sit here, a year later, typing this in my own house, which I never would've imagined a year ago. Do what you want, when you want and be happy!! You are all that matters :) xx

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  18. People don't understand that you can have other priorities, likes and passions than they but why they think that they have right to express their disapproval? Being assertive is really important I think. Great text!

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  19. I can definetly relate to this. When I was in university I never wanted to drink or get drunk but I ended up doing it just to stop people’s judgements. I wish I’d have stood true to myself now.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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  20. such cute sunflower shorts!

    www.emmemablog.blogspot.com

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  21. Props to you! Drinking is so fun, but it can get you into trouble, and hangovers are not fun.

    http://surrealistique.com

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  22. This is the kind of post I wish I had read as a 14-year-old. Back then, everyone's idea of fun was to go clubbing on Fridays and Saturdays and whilst I didn't really struggle with the judgement of others, I still wanted to join the 'fun' and spent years trying to enjoy clubbing. Now that I'm older, I have accepted that I can't stand it. Luckily my friendship group is divided on that issue so half of us will usually leave after a drink or dinner whilst the other half might then go on to a club - sounds weird but it works haha. Being drunk is an experience but not a great one and I don't think it's something people should aspire. But that's not really the point, the point is that it's okay to love a night out just as it's okay to much prefer Friday night at home. There is no right or wrong, there is only right or wrong for us as a person. Listening to yourself and doing things that make you happy is much more rewarding than following the crowd. Great post, as always! xxx

    113thingstosay.com

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