Recently I’ve seen a Malorie Blackman quote floating around the internet on this subject, but in all honesty it’s something that has been talked about for ages and it’s something we need to keep talking about. I don’t really think this problem is too gender specific, but in my day to day life I’ve noticed this behaviour in more women than men – especially in the work place.
We apologise before asking a question
We apologise before asking for clarification
We apologise whilst walking
We apologise for literally everything and it’s getting ridiculous.
Stop saying sorry for asking questions, for demanding clarification and when you’re walking around. We are allowed to take up space, we are allowed to exist, we are allowed to live, so we need to stop apologising for it. I know in a lot of cases it’s to be polite, but there needs to be a different way to convey manners because the more you apologise for taking up space, the less likely you’ll feel like you deserve to exist.
I know it sounds crazy, but it starts off small, and then you wake up and realise that you’re feeling apologetic so much that it becomes a breeding ground for anxiety and worthlessness.
Repeat after me:
I am allowed to take up space.
Keep saying it until you generally believe it. If you catch yourself apologising for something that isn’t actually an apology – stop. I understand saying sorry when you’re admitting to a mistake, but asking a question is a mistake. Taking up space is not a mistake, and lastly, you are not a mistake.
Welcome to the end of my TED talk, I hope you’ve taken something from this.