31 Things I’ve Apologized For

A quest to stop apologizing so much.

Women tend to apologize more frequently than men, a study in Psychological Science shows. Whether it’s in lieu of an “excuse me” or something we deem more of an offense than men, it’s a subtle, self-defeating habit.

To see if I could stop pardoning myself so much, I kept track of my apologies to family, strangers, and anyone else for a month (excluding the times I genuinely messed up and owed someone an apology).

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

1. Being sleepy

2. Writing a long email

3. Asking a question

4. Fishing change out of my wallet

5. Someone holding the door open for me

6. Being told where to swipe a credit card

7. Having to pee

8. Being bumped into

9. My grumbling stomach

10. A spill in the fridge

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

11. Ordering a drink

12. Being under the influence

13. After taking a sip of soda and making that satisfied “ahh” sound

14. Not getting back to someone right away

15. Taking the elevator one floor

16. Petting someone’s dog

17. Stepping over someone’s foot

18. Opening the door at the same time as someone else on the other side

19. Being extremely excited

20. Not following someone on Twitter I didn’t want to follow

21. Canceling plans in advance

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

22. Asking to change the music on a road trip

23. Squeezing past someone who’s blocking an aisle and won’t move

24. Not being able to afford a personal chef

25. For my bathroom’s temperature in the summer

26. Walking into a freshly cleaned room

27. Texting a lot

28. Not texting enough

29. Texting late

30. My phone dying

31. For apologizing

The exercise worked: After writing down every instance in my phone’s notepad — accompanied with mental forehead slap — I felt my brain halt the words before they reached my mouth. I’d either omit them entirely or say “excuse me” instead.

You can try boosting your confidence with the exercise if you feel you apologize too much too. Or add yours below, if you feel inclined!

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